Friday, February 28, 2014

They Call Me Mellow Jell-O

I wrote this before going into surgery yesterday morning as a vamp for time since I am anticipating having to have overnighted last night at the hospital. Unless something happened like no one on the surgery can find the keys to the operating room.

That will be funny, if this is indeed what has happened. Gotta tell ya, this writing in the future pluperfect is driving me crazy and I'm usually so close I can walk. And I would if I had pants but for part of today I'll be in one of those air-conditioned gowns the fashionistas in St. Tropez are modeling. And what, pray tell, is sexy about nearly-naked butt cheeks, freezing in the breeze?

I am more of a creature of habit than I might like. I spent the last days of February of last year in the hospital as well, at that time for a transient ischemic attack. I think next year I should try a cruise instead, news my wife would welcome I'm sure, as she was ashen by the time we went to the hospital yesterday (and may have been since I was told I required surgery last week, come to think of it).

Truth is, I think I'm addicted to the 'gelatine product' (not Jell-O, a trademarked term) every hospital serves as if it were lark's tongue in aspic. It's not.

I will do nothing today except watch the sun come up, assuming my health insurance allows a window, until it's time to go home and then we will and I'll take a nap because rest is not something you can actually do in a hospital. I wish it were just a matter of closing my eyes and when I re-opened them I was to the next point.

I would hope to be more chipper and cheerful tomorrow, assuming this goes as swimmingly as it's supposed to except none of that is my call. So if something has happened, I'm hoping I was under and missed it as I am the consummate coward.

In that case, thanks for stopping in and checking out this space for all these years and if you just stumbled by for the first time today, nobody else will tell you what you missed so you're on your own. As are we all.
-bill kenny

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free Falling

I'm not going to have very much from today, and I'm not happy about it or the fact that my happiness (or unhappiness) will have no impact on the course of the day at all.

Early today, much later than I normally get up but still early, I will be in the hospital undergoing surgery-repair of an artery (thankfully in my leg as opposed to someplace else). Granted, based on how I act sometimes, it's logical to assume I have been battling and losing to blood clots in the brain-but I have not.

The hospital is close to home this time. Last time around it was the Yale-New Haven Hospital which is a massive, world-class facility that (country mouse that I have become) I found decidedly daunting.

I'm at Backus Hospital in Norwich, less than a five minute walk from our house, though I am not sanguine at the prospect the post-op folks will let me hike home for lunch. I like the idea of ​​home and dry even if all it will be is an idea. I am working very hard to not get exorcised about anything that's going to happen today or tomorrow since I understand that NOTHING changes if I do.

My brain gets it-the rest of me not so much.

Most of all, I hate how it disrupts the lives of my wife and family. Being related to me is not always the barrel of laughs I may have advertised was always the case when this living arrangement was in the negotiating stages. I have the easy part-I close my eyes and then there's nothing but free falling .
-bill kenny

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Past as Prologue

With the Winter Olympic Games at Sochi ended and the Boys of Summer starting spring training in a matter of moments, there’s just enough time left for the Great American Pastime, Second-Guessing. Actually, there’s always room for Jell-O and enough time for second-guessing (but not about Jell-O).

Maybe because I’m a little fatigued from snow shoveling and our winter or maybe because I’m just tired of politely putting up with murmurings and mutterings from Norwich neighbors who not only know everything but know everything better (and if you don’t think so, just ask them), I’m less than tolerant of posturing and finger pointing than I usually am. Not that I ever tire of doing it myself.

And if you think I’m talking about the drama and trauma surrounding the Ice Rink as well as the Hampton Inn Resuscitation, you’ve just won yourself a heaping helping of Jell-O. You can pick the flavor. Guten appetit.

I admit the only thing I know about ice is it clinks when you drop it in a glass, thus proving I am unqualified to ever utter a sentence containing the phrase “we should.” Besides, I’m more comfortable with “we could.”

The Ice Rink is now a poster child for Six Phases of a Project: Enthusiasm, Disillusionment, Panic Search for the guilty, Punishment of the innocent, and Praise and honor for the non-participants. Not that any of that helps us develop a solution, but still we do it.

If I had a dollar for every person who, so far, has offered an “I told you so…” I would have enough money to buy a new chiller for every skater who has ever used the rink. Forever. And if my Mom had married a Kennedy, I’d be living in the White House. Aren’t you impressed with how smart we always are in hindsight? Yeah, me neither.

So what’s happened so far in regards to the abandoned hotel hear 395 South? Nothing-don’t care what you think you heard or read. Last week’s City Council scheduled a public hearing exactly a month from today, March 26, on the Norwich Community Development Corporation, NCDC, plan for Hampton Inn Project Development Plan. That’s it.

The eye-catcher in the plan is “Tax Increment Financing” which I believe lets us trade 100% of tax revenues on something certainly not worth very much right now for full taxes on a fully completed property later. Drive by 154 Salem Turnpike and see for yourself. Then do the math.

There’s a lot more in the plan but you’d never know it, judging from the on-line comments and Monday morning quarterbacking in local papers during the days that followed (the Super Bowl is over and none of us are going to Disneyland) mostly by people who weren’t even in Council Chambers Tuesday night.

The Hampton Project Municipal Development Plan-to give it its official title- is on line right here. You should read it, maybe in addition to the drive-by on-line comments or better yet, instead of them.

The only thing that continues to keep us from succeeding is fear and distrust based on a past we cannot change and will not forgive. We are prisoners of our history but have the key to our own chains.
-bill kenny

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Backwards Is Also a Direction

I'm a huge believer in the indefinite article. I've spent most of my life differentiating between offering the solution when I really mean no more than a solution. While both may address a perceived need for a position, the former very effectively closes off further discussion, and that's rarely a good thing.

I am a flaming heterosexual (in keeping with my beliefs I did NOT say the flaming heterosexual) who is also a Caucasian male of middling height and weight (with a dazzling smile; checking to see if you were reading). I had no control over any of these things (okay, I'll give you the weight), which is just as well since, given choices, I'd have no idea what to choose and what to choose from.

That's why when we started to catch up across the USA and around the world in recent years with the realization it takes every kind of people and that selectively persecuting or prosecuting one or more lifestyles because they are different from what we consider 'normal' was just goofy, I exhaled as it appeared we'd weathered another storm of our own making on the dark and rolling sea of life.

But then I read stories like this, and like this, and I get dismayed and disturbed. We still haven't fully grasped that no matter how quickly we move we cannot outrun our own shadows and that each of our our lives is filled with other people. To pretend it's okay to choose to exclude suggests we've started down a path of no return marked with photos of people with shaved heads and colored stars and perpetually fired furnaces. Certain catastrophe for victim and perpetrator.

As a species, we evolve; not devolve. If we have learned nothing from the life and times of people like Alice Herz-Sommer then we are destined to be dust ourselves, and deserve nothing more. Hate is a wasted emotion and in light of the fragility of our planet, an egregiously stupid way to get along with one another. We are, as Dr. Seuss might suggest, all sneetches just waiting for our stars to be added and/or removed.
-bill kenny

Monday, February 24, 2014

Crawling Down the Alley on Your Hands and Knee

It was in Friday's Washington Post but I first heard about it online through a reference in the Bill Moyers & Company.

It's a perspective piece (=editorial vice news) Anatomy of the Deep State, by someone unknown to most all of us but well-known to those who push and pull the levers of power and by the time you're done reading it, if you are not disturbed about how we have been played by every single institution, from religion through the military to the media, then you are not paying enough attention.

It's a LOT more than a dyspeptic New World Order, though it is all of that. It may well mark the Point of No Return for our democracy because as you'll realize when you read it there's no longer anyone watching anyone else who doesn't have a dog in the hunt and when the bullet meets the bone and we round up the usual suspects, there are no innocents left at all.

The jails are filled with unindicted co-conspirators. Guilt is beyond discussion but the crime has not yet been determined.
-bill kenny

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mr. Showalter Has Halted

When people say Truman, I'm never sure if they mean Capote, the movie with Jim Carrey or the 33rd President who was opposed to any attempt to air condition food preparation areas.

I'm thinking about the man from Independence, Missouri when I read this from ESPN as the Miami Dolphins begin counting the costs of mistreating Jonathan Martin. Small potatoes. Not for Martin but for everybody else.

I think just having to admit they are/were connected with the Miami Dolphins is punishment and maybe punishment enough, but I've rooted for the Jets (okay in my desultory fashion that masquerades as loyalty) since they were the Titans, so I may be biased.

(Attempted) Humor aside, unless one of those minions sacked is also moonlighting as the head coach, general manager or even the owner, the net isn't wide enough and not enough pain has been inflicted. If that's a little too Old Testament for you, sorry, except I'm just apologizing to be polite; I'm not really sorry but I am angry and you should be as well.

Bear in mind in the context of the universe, all of this is less than a blip on the screen but within the confines of the only life Jonathan Martin and his family and friends will ever know, what went on was huge and inexcusable. Or perhaps inexcusably huge or even inexhugeable (patent pending).

And the Dolphins have decided the guy who hands out the towels, in essence, is one of the culprits. Not sure what the wire diagram of their organization looks like but it must be a work of modern art if they can hold the offensive line coach responsible for what happened but the head coach isn't accountable.

And as I said earlier, if I had any passion as a fan of the Dolphins or the NFL in general, it would be shaken now and I would be crimson with embarrassment. But a heaping helping of comfortably numb is the best I can do and I'm thankful I see the NFL as a multi-billion dollar multi-platform entertainment entity designed to leave 'em laughing when they go.

Except it never leaves, and now, never will. Pro sports is life, many of its loudest apologists tell us. Yeah, I know. I'm thinking that's my problem with it.
-bill kenny

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Return of Unmentionables and the White House

Back in the pre Pre Fab Sprout era was (there's a few reference, and not just you, will not get) a former Democratic Governor of Arkansas ("The Natural State") who in his quest for the Oval Office, used the music still-playing music version of Music Television (MTV) to help him on his (successful despite a dalliance with Gennifer Flowers) journey to two terms in the Oval Office.

He wailed on saxophone thus staking his claim to the bebop hipster doofus vote but contrary to popular memory that musical interlude was actually with Arsenio Hall whereas the Moment of Zen on MTV might well have been this "Inquiring Minds Want to Know" question from Vox Publicum . 

I concede that as questions go, it's better than "if you were to cloud what kind would you be?" that I always expect George Will to ask, and then answer, himself usually followed by a very bizarre baseball sort of trivia question because George loves baseball more than life itself, but like life, understands not so much.

The moment is a landmark in American Presidential politics or was, until Monica Lewinsky's dry cleaning was picked up but in the course of the last decade and a half, decorum has more or less ruled and it's been kinda quiet on the foundation garments front. And thank you, all of you, for that. 

Until this. I can well imagine the "cringeworthy" commando factor Bradley had experiences as, hand on heart, I had experienced my own while reading that report in an online feed. I found it odd to The NY Daily News Ellen would use "Hot Scoop" Degeneres as a source since I suspect she herself would be surprised. 

My concern now, of course, is if we have guests who went 'unten ohne' while visiting the White House (as Angela Merkel might say), just how big a couch is Ellen having on the show to hold them all. I, for one, hope they bring their own sheet music.
-Bill kenny

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Cure for that Irony Deficiency

During these winter months across a not inconsiderable amount of the country we're all bundled up and, depending on the outside temperature, spending a lot more time inside suffering from the seasonal blahs in terms of temperament and frame of mind.

A lot of us non-doctor types describe it as an Iron shortage and leave it at that and usually a couple of extra glasses of milk a week or some Vitamin D supplements will fix us right up.

If you've been suffering through this long, cold, lonely winter, I hope George is right and you feel better soon. I will concede that while I can do NOTHING about your low iron count, I do have something for your irony shortage.

You are welcome. And, sorry Al; I'm thinking sometimes He does stand-up and we're the punch line, just wiggling and hissing.
-bill kenny

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Contains less than the Minimum Daily Allowance of (insert your taboo here)

I keep odd hours, which if you know me is not as surprising as I might like, since I am an odd person. I have a routine, when the weather isn't so goofy that it gets all goobered up involving me hitting my local fitness center (I still think "gym" but I have a hole in my checking account where payments to a fitness center are from) during the oh-bright-early hours, physically punishing myself in the belief that what does not kill me (immediately) makes me strong (eventually) undeterred by any evidence to support any part of that theory.

From the fitness center I head to work, arriving on average about seventy-five minutes before the people for whom I work pay me for that privilege, and then churn and burn until whatever time the stuff that needed to get done is done. But since they stop paying me at three, I tend to take the hint most days and leave around then. It's a quiet life, but pointless. I have discovered to my chagrin I am nearly perfect for it. Finally.

The only problem if that's a good word, is that as a no-longer-a-spring-chicken-staff member, the hours and the routine take a toll on me in terms of stamina and ability to concentrate. At some point, usually mid-morning though there have been days in recent weeks where it was much earlier in the morning and/or also mid-afternoon, I need to recharge in some way other than pouring a cappuccino into my lap.

I've taken to drinking the small 'nips' bottles of energy drinks. They contain about two ounces which supplies the energy 'equivalent to a cup of premium coffee' it says on the side of the container though I've not quite grasped who developed the equivalence chart, the definition of premium coffee or how I feel about it. Perhaps ambivalent?

I'm pretty sure, based on the taste and aroma, the energy drinks are actually JP-40 and paint thinner (for color) with a fake sugar (sorry, artificial sweetener) added for taste (and lack of). They work, from personal experience, as well as you, the consumer, believe they do, but no more and possibly no less.

I noticed yesterday the 'pure as the driven snow' bandwagon of ingredients for random products we mindlessly consume has had to make room for energy drinks as I came across this proud announcement on the sleeve of the packaging at the neck of the itty-bitty bottle.

Why anyone at anytime would ever feel the need to share with me that whatever this stuff is, it's both 'lactose free' and 'gluten free' amazes me. I am reasonably sure if you set it on fire, Red Adair himself would not be able to put it out so the printed assurances about freedoms not covered under the Bill of Rights strikes me as more marketing than medical.

But while we're at it, how about proclaiming how it's also Ibogaine-free or insect body parts-free or "contains absolutely NO rat hair!" Yes sir, buddy! Get that old sales graph jumping like it just had a cup of premium coffee.

Of course we'd need a thicker bottle neck to fit all of the disclaimers on the package wrapper. I'm already tired just thinking about it and you have already guessed what I'm reaching for next.
-bill kenny

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Goal of Education Is Not Knowledge, but Action

I should tell you my father was a teacher his entire adult life. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, his oldest son, but he was very good at what he did and he loved doing it.

I have my appreciation for learning and respect for those who teach as an integral part of my genetic inheritance thanks to him (as well as my visceral dislike of bullies and phonies though my distrust of most people on the face of the earth is my own contribution).

Sydney J. Harris, a columnist for the Chicago Daily News and later the Chicago Sun-Times, noted “the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” 

Saturday, March 1st, we’ll have an opportunity to use those windows as doors and step into a possible future path for the education of our children at a parent-teacher community forum on Common Core State Standards (CCSS) sponsored by the Connecticut Education Association at the Norwich Inn and Spa. It starts at 8:30 and lasts until 2 in the afternoon. Attendance is free but you should make your reservation now at 1-800-852-0355.

You just re-read that sentence and still couldn’t stifle a yawn. Let’s be honest, unless and/or until you have children in the Norwich Public Schools, the only time you pay any attention to education is at municipal budget hearings when we all become experts on costs and expenses, usually with little to no knowledge or expertise.

Talk about lather, rinse and repeat. Every year we look at the Board of Education’s budget submission to the City Council and start saying the word ‘no’ before the first digit in the total figure is even said. 

We have convinced ourselves we can purchase more comprehensive English Language Arts or enhanced competence in math and science as if we were buying chopped meat by the pound. Sorry, no. But cheer up because if you think education is expensive, wait until you calculate the cost of ignorance.

That’s why the development and constant refinement of what is taught and how it’s taught, coupled with effective and meaningful measurement of results and progress achieved is critical to preparing Connecticut’s students for college and careers.  

In much the same way as ‘it’s not your father’s Oldsmobile,” we’d like to believe the school our children attend isn’t all that different from when we went. Of course, if you’ve ever attempted to help your child do homework, after the shock of ‘they’re teaching this in the 4th (or 3rd or 5th grade)?’ you usually have to phone a friend if you’re going to be of any help.

And helping to make a world-class education even better is at the heart of CCSS and the parent-teacher forum is your chance to help that help. Public education is a shared frame of reference, the thread if you will, that joins us to one another in creating the fabric of our country. Each of us has a stake in the successful tomorrow that public education is critical in creating for each school-age child to live and work in. 

When our children succeed, we succeed as a community, a city, a state and a country. In the global marketplace of ideas and opportunities fortune favors the fleet and agile and public education is the key to unlocking the promise of better days. 

Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, captures perfectly the importance and criticality of life-long learning “(T)he illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.” 
-bill kenny

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Scene from the Jack London High School Reunion

I've lived a very large percentage of my life in the Northeast United States where we have all four seasons. I'm as good as the next guy in kvetching about August's heat and humidity and when we get to winter, where we seem to have come to parade rest at the moment, I've accepted while staring through my living room windows that I'm looking at pine and not palm trees.

Having embraced my geography I will acknowledge that, yes, I'm getting a little tired of the snow-at least the parts of it that involve driving in it or shoveling it from my sidewalk and driveway. Shoveling snow is like mowing the lawn or shaving. No matter how well you do it, you will do it again and how well it was previously accomplished will matter not a jot. 

I should tell you I am sporting a week's worth of beard so I concede there is admittedly some work on my theory that has yet to be completed. I still smile watching kids wander the neighborhood with shovels, knocking on doors of houses with snow-covered sidewalks offering to clear them for a consideration. The triumph of American free enterprise! Bet that never gets out sourced to Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, their younger / youngest brothers and sisters hope for a ride in Mom's taxi to the hill at Buckingham or the rolling inclines of the Norwich Golf Course (or the equivalent in your neck of the woods) even as the flurries gather more furiously because we are born with a sense of fun that I fear as we grow older grows cold within us. 

I could not tell you the last time I made a snow angel or threw a snowball (and which my parole officer assures me is the correct answer under any and all circumstances). My supply of top hats and scarves for snowmen (snow persons is probably politically correct) is exhausted, but I still see the fun in all of those activities and if you have the time, we have the snow. Stop by and help yourself. 

But do not bring James Knudsen who is NOT helping my 'shaving is a lot like shoveling' argument very much judging from the picture and is perilously close to forfeiting his membership in the Burl Ives Fan Club.
-bill kenny 

Monday, February 17, 2014

They Say It's Your Birthday

Happy Birthday to all Presidents, from George through Barack, since when we say today is Presidents' Day I'm assuming we mean ALL of them and not just the ones some of us like some of the time. Democracy as a buffet! 

Like any of us would  not  head straight to the dessert cart. Not around here, Skippy, When I buy a ticket you get the whole ride. But I do know if you have today off in observance of the holiday, you (and I) are a part of the Presidents' Day Posse, instead of that  other  posse . And for that alone, I'm thankful and that the November Congressional elections are still a long way off but they are now closer than yesterday.

I understand our national devotion to George Washington-and despite some contentiousness south of the Mason-Dixon line, I think we can acknowledge the importance of Abraham Lincoln but all the other Chief Executives just getting lumped together is an improvement over being completely ignored in what way, if I may ask?

I do not know if Martin Van Buren has been slighted by history or whether William Howard Taft, who required an over-sized bathtub in the the White House because of a personal misfortune was his generation's FDR (judging by his weight, two FDRs) but this is the one-size-fits-all day celebration that all occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue receive. 

And if you decide to join in and party like it's 1845 I may have just the toe-tapper you've been looking for.
-bill kenny

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Careful with that Utensil, John

I'm the perfect person to offer observations on our national political scene because I've not yet (in six plus decades) allowed my lack of knowledge to keep me from having an opinion. Fox News and I would be perfect for one another except we hold ourselves in too high regard to tolerate the other. Rejoice and be glad.

Speaking of rejoicing, there's very little of that going on these days I suspect in the household of Representative John Boehner (R-OH, SPF-75), who assumed his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives when his party became the majority party in 2011. He has discovered, it appears, that when one sups with the devil, you need a long spoon (and separate checks).

Before you were born and nearly before my life started as well, Boehner's party had people such as Millicent Fenwick, Peter Freylinghusen, Clifford Case (all from Jersey, just sayin'), Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, Charles Percy, John Chafee, Edward Brooke, and dozens more (those are just some the East Coast names spoken in my parents' house at the dinner table; blue for a reason).

And now? Pointless polemic and empty rhetoric; in other words, not so much. In fairness (which is where me and Faux Gnus part ways) if you filled the sack with members from the other side of the aisle and smacked it with a bat you'd still be whacking a moron more often than not. What's your pleasure, a 33 or a 34?

Then, in my uneducated opinion, Richard Nixon and his posse decided to focus on winning the Presidency as our country tore itself apart in a national nightmare known as Vietnam, refined Barry Goldwater's Southern Strategy (the failed 1964 GOP presidential candidate was a spiritual precursor to the current crop of Know-Nothings in both the Senate and House with an "R" as a political affiliation) and began a new kind of math where he added electoral votes by subtracting voters he'd never have. First one to 270, wins, even if the nation loses.

Fast forward nearly a half a century and you have a national government, from the office of the President to the most junior member of the House of Representatives who are each, and all, dedicated to winning the next election and could care less about getting anything fixed in this country of ours.

That's the second time in just this space I've used the possessive plural, our, and maybe we all need to use it a lot more when we speak of the nation we profess to love because sometimes the things we do speak so loudly I cannot hear what we are saying and that may be just as well because my brain is having trouble with what my ears are relaying.

For so long, we were the very best hope for everyone else on this planet in terms of political, economic and philosophic freedom. We honored our parents and protected our children. We were consistent and conscientious in how we took care of ourselves, one another and the world in which we lived. And now, look at us and tell me you struggle to not look away.

This may be my favorite moment of American TV.
If I were in charge I would make every single person seeking office, from under-assistant selectman to the President, watch this before offering themselves for public office. And I'd hope to live long enough for the day to dawn when none of us has any idea what a single word, second or frame of video even means. When we listen to our better angels, none of whom are in a political action committee.
-bill kenny  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

All We Are Saying

There are many reasons why we have the greatest armed forces in the history of the planet (how we might do against an Army of the Undead is still open to debate, I'm told, though the fact that there is no such thing never seems to be part of that discussion) and I would attempt to list all of the reasons except I'd inadvertently omit one and then have the Seventh Fleet transporting the 82nd Airborne to my house to yell at me. I just don't need that noise.

If you think a really high up-there reason for being so great is that we have more variations of camouflaged uniforms than Baskin-Robbins has flavors of ice cream, I'd give you that one because both your example and your point are hard to see, which is the ultimate object of that exercise, I suppose.

But now that I have you thinking culinary and edible, how about a new Goodest reason for all that incredibleness (incredibilosity?) being that our armed forces are thisclose to having forever pizza. Even in the field. You think I jest? Pshaw, read this and weep Papa John, Domino, Pizza Hut and DiGiorgno.

Maybe just me, but I'm not sure I'd want to eat lunch in the cafeteria at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center-either out of a vending machine or from the hot serve line. I just assume everything you eat comes with the two folks wearing hairnets clutching clipboards who mutter things like "ribonucleic osmosis' while you're carving up your chicken meatloaf and other culinary cunning stunts.

As a child of the Space Race, I was a huge fan of Tang, not because it was any good or good for me (how would I know? I was a kid) but because the astronauts drank it. And now we're about to have SGT Rock and Easy Company having a slice with one hand while working a street sweeper with a full metal jacket in the other. If the Forces of Evil aren't cowering by now, just wait until we unveil the Stromboli Drone. Remember: if you can conceive it, you will achieve it!
-bill kenny

Friday, February 14, 2014

One Hand Steady on the Wheel

Between and among all the chocolate, roses, mushy poetry and crinkly paper lining pink boxes whose contents often make their recipients blush, it's easy to lose sight of Valentine's Day, today.

But I haven't, at least not yet and I've celebrated thirty-six of them, consecutively as a married man and have gotten each one. At some point today, because I can and the people I work with will just slowly shake their heads as the stuff on their walls bounces and the knick-knacks dance on desks from the bass vibration and a volume that would have to be turned down to be close to 11, I will play what for decades was my favorite Valentine's Day song because it captured my abject and unlovable shlubness perfectly.

The sentiment expressed rings so true it still makes me blink back tears and I love the barrel house piano that signals the verses. After I arrive home, however, sitting in the car in the dark of the garage I'll play on the car stereo the companion piece, from what is my favorite grown-up Bruce Springsteen album whose release in the fall of 1987 followed by only a few months the birth of our daughter Michelle, whose arrival completed our family.

This one always requires me to sit in the garage for more than a moment after it's over, unless I can cook up a great excuse for wearing my aviator shades in the house. I'm never able to come up with one but maybe this time around.

Being a full-time smart aleck is a hard job but I do it well; just ask me. But at least once a year, I'm allowed to drop the mask and remove the body armor to enjoy a moment with the only woman who could ever have me.

Despite my deserved reputation for being jaded and faded, maybe I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time. And am I greedy to hope it stays that way as you grow old along with me? -bill kenny

Thursday, February 13, 2014

You Discover that You'd Just Be One More Person Crying

I have a confession to make. I saw on YouTube the Bob Dylan commercial for Chrysler that was broadcast during Super Bowl Collision of Roman Numerals and loved it. I have no idea if it's a 'good spot' or 'moves tin' off the dealers' lots and before you ask I don't drive a MoPar product.

I just love Dylan and the spot is so weird, the only other guy I can see ever doing it is Neil Young. I'm thinking that contributing to my enjoyment of the commercial even more might be all the while it's on, playing in my mental jukebox is It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) because even though neither of us is, it most certainly is not.

This New Normal where it's frenetic and ruthless all the time, really sucks and makes me sort of happy I'm getting old because if I were younger and thought real hard about the direction in which this world is heading and how much warmer by the minute it's getting in this hand basket, I'd head off the heartbreak at the pass and pin my hopes on reincarnation (it's why my Next Life To Do List is so neatly written in case I have a reading disability).

This time of year, as so many of us are stubby-penciling tax returns or clicking keys on-line, as I do because my brain goes to mush by the time I get to 'Line 47: Depreciation on Dirigibles Used by the Queen's Marines in the Line of Duty When Negotiation Was Disregarded.' You'd be surprised how often that line could be used and disappointed to learn it's not.

But while we're grinding on tax returns-and I can remember my Dad after New Jersey had an income tax, having to fill out forms for Federal, Jersey, NY State and NY City. The latter two couldn't have enough taxable tourists, folks who worked in one place and lived in another. Talk about free money. There are grandchildren on the Lower East Side whose Gramps and Grams finished high school with books my father's city tax returns financed.

But as Oliver Wendall Holmes noted, 'taxes are what we pay to live in a civilized society.' I guess the price per pound on civilized must be stratospheric as I'm thinking we should be getting a chunk of change back from our dollar. Notice he didn't say 'free' and in these times would never say economical.

Especially if you are, or know, one of the tens of millions struggling on or close to earning a minimum wage that's designed to make sure you don't die, but also assures you can't do a lot of living, either. At one point, before 'selfies' was in the dictionary we added 'McJob' to describe those positions we pretended only 'high school kids' were filling. We now have a generation grown and gone who never got rid of the smell of the french fryer from their clothes.

We have fewer people in labor unions than at any time since before the (last) Great Depression and more people at/below the poverty level in the entire history of the Republic. Coincidence? Not likely, especially when it's pretty common knowledge who has the money and how much of it they do have.

We have the incredibly wealthy exclaiming how awful our economy will be if we raise the minimum wage to closer to a living wage. But nothing horrible seems to happen when those at the top of the pyramid give themselves seven figure bonuses for managing expenses, to include the salaries and benefits of the workforce, to the max benefit of their multi-billion dollar Incorporated Citizens.

We're well on the way back to a Third World Nation where decent housing, potable water, safe streets and edible food are all rationed commodities beyond the reach of the 'working poor.' Makes you wonder how long we'll keep building automobiles, especially when we can no longer afford to ever buy them.

I'm impressed (not at all) by the number of the religious, mostly right, who thinks there's a biblical cachet to poverty in much the same way as they believe in bible stories about Adam and Eve but not Adam and Steve.

I wonder if they ever read a story in the New Testament of  Christ driving moneylenders from the temple. I imagine they'd rush to assure me how pleased about He'd be to learn they now own it.
 -bill kenny

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Begin Your Letter

Sometimes “Big Government” in Washington D.C. is so far away as to be on another planet where issues we cannot appreciate are resolved in a manner we do not comprehend and instead of feeling part of something bigger than ourselves we feel abandoned.

For many months we read about the efforts of the United States Postal Service, USPS, to staunch the flow of red ink in their operating budget through a variety of economy measures. While my suggestion of Twofer Tuesday (get a piece of your mail delivered and also get a piece of your neighbor’s mail at no extra charge) never really caught on, a nationwide attempt to shrink the USPS footprint by closing post offices included ours in downtown Norwich.

An effort by local leaders to engage with and persuade postal officials to reconsider their closure decision may have been successful or perhaps the USPS concluded for reasons of their own that the downtown building was a brick and mortar version of The Ransom of Red Chief.

In any event, to the delight of its customers, the downtown post office will remain in operation and a pillar of one of the gateways to Norwich, though it’s a sometimes lonely outpost that’s both a part of and apart from a downtown that’s working to reinvent and reinvigorate itself.

But less than a fortnight ago, in Washington D.C., an idea was floated by Senator Elizabeth Warren that could help redefine the USPS and in some small measure help downtown Norwich take another step towards achieving critical mass. Senator Warren is proposing to remodel the functions of our USPS to more closely resemble the roles that post offices in other countries have in our lives.

All across Europe, millions of postal patrons do business with their post offices for a variety of products and services that go well beyond forever stamps and the mailing of letters to include using the post office as a check-cashing service and a bill payment center.

When I lived in Germany, I had a regular routine whereby I’d pay for our landline telephone as well as one or more of our catalog delivery services at the same post office window where I bought stamps. I was usually in line with many, like myself, who came to the post office more often for those services than to pick up or drop off mail.

It was another piece of the economic development puzzle and an anchor for small businesses, card and gift stores to coffee shops, who’d set themselves up and cast a net into the customer stream to fish out a few for themselves. I don’t think Senator Warren is saying this expansion of products and services will ‘save’ the USPS and its bottom line but let’s face it, it couldn’t hurt.

And the expansion of services and an increase of people in and out of that glorious hunk of neo-classical architecture would be another small boost for a downtown Norwich we all want to succeed. -bill kenny

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Explains Geoffrey's Black Armband

The Scandinavian people in my experience are some of the most polite, thoughtful and considerate fellow-travelers here on Spaceship Earth. Practically Canadian. And yet, as if to help prove that on any given Sunday any team can be—WHAT? Oh, that’s an NFL thing. Sorry. See? That apology is very Scandinavian, too, but over the weekend, this happened, and try as I might I can’t really suggest what I would/could/should have done.

When Sigrid and I lived in Germany we never passed up an opportunity to go to a zoo, and had the good fortune to have a world-class one in Frankfurt not that we didn’t ‘cheat’ and see other animals in other places when we weekended.

As you’ve read in the article, the scientific director of the Copenhagen Zoo received death threats over this chain of events which suggests a degree of passion I thought the Danes reserved only for Danish Dynamite, their national football club. Some things can NOT be unseen; that was one of them.

I concede that reading an account of this in the Grey Lady, The New York Times, may not be the ideal venue or medium because of the resolute striving to NOT take sides that is a hallmark of the paper (though I may ruin your enjoyment of pictures, accounts and descriptions when I tell you that many people don’t fully realize its editorials are usually on the front page). Despite that snarkiness I must also add it’s more Fair and Balanced asleep than Faux Gnus is when wide-awake (in my opinion).

Marius was born and died in captivity, confined for our amusement and entertainment I suppose. Perhaps this is not true for you, but strip away all the veneer of scientific inquiry; when I go to the zoo it’s not to observe the animals. I like looking at them and they make me smile, and laugh.

Actually, in terms of the latter, there’s a Mona monkey somewhere in NYC, I’m thinking the Central Park Zoo, who broke my powers of observation a really long time ago. And it (never figured out he or she) would have broken something else had it been able to reach me.

The article doesn’t make clear to me how Marius was selected (I’m thinking no rocks, paper or scissors were harmed in the making of the lions’ lunch) not that such information would change my disquiet about all of this.

I’m the kind of person who watches the National Geographic Channel and Animal Planet, right up until the moment the shark’s jaws snap shut on the seal, or the tiger catches the wildebeest or the crocodile plays Captain Hook with a zebra. At that very moment, I can’t click away fast enough or far enough.

Maybe I should carry the remote with me everywhere.
-bill kenny

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's All Greek to Me

Does reading about the XXII Winter Olympic Games also count as watching them on television? No? Just as well because I'm not reading about them either in addition to not watching them. It doesn't mean I don't like them; I'm sure they're wonderful but I think the sports offerings needs to be a bit broader. 

I know there's an opening march-in, or it probably has a very fancy title, where all the competitors from all the nations enter the filled-to-overflowing-with-cheering crowds arena to tumultuous cheers and huzzahs while we at home, warm and safe in our living rooms, tsk-tsk the way everyone is dressed.

Why not make the 'national garb grand entrance' an event and have (perhaps) Tim Gunn and the Project Runway judges grade everyone. I'm trying to imagine the last member of the Lesotho luge team turning to look back at Heidi Klum as they parade past and she's holding up a placard with either 9.9 or Go Home (not sure which one is more helpful for ratings so I'll check with the suits of NBC).

And why not combine a few sports? How about Synchronized Downhill Skiing though, I must admit synchronized ski-jumping is not without its appeal, especially if one skier crashes so the other one must unstick the landing to keep the score up.

Combining ice skating with ice hockey has already been done-ask the Nashville Predators-but what about combining the bobsled and high hurdles? Or, even more interesting (to me), why not just pull random people from the crowds who are there to watch the events, and make them compete in the events?

How much more purely amateur can you get than someone who not only is not being sponsored to take part in the luge but who has no idea how to do it? NBC wants must-see TV-this will help create Oh-God-I-Can't-Watch! moments no matter how much tape delay is involved because of the time difference.

All this time we've been distracted by headlines about clogged hotel toilets and have lost sight of the true spirit of the original Olympics which may have had something to do with thick yogurt sales or being a classmate at Ivan Denisovich Vocational-Technical High School with the engineer/technician from the opening ceremony who was responsible for the fifth ring. Go Flying Dissidents!

-bill kenny  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Life in a Northern Town

The symmetry is so perfect I suspect it's not a coincidence though who might be responsible for it is unclear at least to me.

Fifty years, tonight, half a century ago, 18,264 days, 2609 weeks (and a day), 438,312 hours, 26,298,720 minutes, or 1,577,923,200 seconds, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr capped both halves of the Ed Sullivan Show in their first of three appearances on his variety show and reinvented the world.

If you weren't alive to see it/feel it and be a part of it, I realize that sounds insufferably arrogant and it would be except that it is entirely and completely true.

The United States of America on the second Sunday of February 1964, was still a nation in mourning. Our President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been murdered in Dallas Texas just two and a half months previously.

The world as it was to be, with nearly a half million Americans in uniform up to their belt buckles in rice paddies half a world away in places few of us could pronounce and fewer still could locate was still forming.

Civil rights was a bitter dividing line, not an accepted part of our every day lives of American society and we were light years away from expanding the concept of civil rights to the reality of equal rights. A journey that continues to this day.

But when the four lads from Liverpool stood on the stage and the building rocked from the screaming fans, and echoed across every state of the nation, we may not have known what it was called but we knew it had started.

And while you can blow out a candle, you can't blow out a fire and when the Ed Sullivan Show ended fifty years ago tonight, we knew the life we had lived, was ablaze and its flames cast wondrous and terrible shapes against a world whose darkness we could not even begin to imagine.
-bill kenny

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Newspaper Taxis Appear on the Shore

I don't sit up to watch the late night guys (it is all guys, isn't it? There are no late night women. On television I mean. Weird.). I discovered a long time ago when I still taped things and now DVR them (the poor TiVo guys. Did they get screwed in all of this or what? Made money for about an hour, I guess) that I didn't like to watch shows that way because they felt wrong. A time of day thing, more or less, but not sure if it's me or the shows.

But having typed all of that, I find something that happened while Jay Leno and his chin were saying goodbye (again) on NBC, this over on CBS, and it is amazing even though I haven't ever really warmed to the music of either son of  the late John Lennon but I will concede when you surround Sean with The Flaming Lips, he is fine.

The symmetry of the full circle we've now come. A song that Sean's dad always claimed was inspired by his brother Julian's drawing, now offered as the 50th anniversary of the Dad's band performing on CBS (Ed Sullivan to be specific) looms large.

I was hoping they might have encored with my favorite Flaming Lips' song but it's just as well they didn't as my videotape deck is in the repair shop and won't be fixed until it's 1981 again.
-bill kenny

Friday, February 7, 2014

Бу́дет и на на́шей у́лице пра́здник.

If you can't stand the wait for the games of the XXII Olympic Winter Games to begin, you don't have to anymore and can sit down as they started yesterday.

What makes me sad is that (no one's fault it's how we are as a world) not all the sports are created equal so that today will be the opening ceremonies brought to us by corporate conglomerates whose annual earnings is beyond our powers of comprehension, won't pay for every sport to be in prime time all the time so some athletes toil in obscurity (which is a suburb of Sochi I'm told).

I don't really follow the Winter Games-my favorite outdoor winter sport is going back into the warm house but again this Olympics, the IOC said "no" to that idea as a medal sport. Cold-hearted ba$tards (of course).

All of the sports and the accomplishments of all of the athletes are amazing, even curling. I like making fun of curling because it's an easy topic but I remember picking up the slider, or disc, used in it and being surprised at its weight and shape. When I watch it on TV it looks like 'anyone can do that' and that's true but only in how far that goes. Not anyone can do it well.

I am sort of rooting for the USA Women's Bobsled team because Lolo Jones, the hard luck hurdler from the Beijing and London Olympic Games is one of three pushers/brakemen (women?) on the team but with everyone helmeted and star-spangle spandexed I'm not sure who I'm rooting for except maybe a patriotic blur.

I do believe in light of the craziness in the world and the lengths that crazies who have nothing to live for will go to prove they have something to die for (as long as they can make others die for it, too), perhaps an interlude to just enjoy people trying their hardest, though not for a Klondike Bar, should have to suffice. While I'll cheer Team USA, I'll root for Team World and hope you'll do the same.

 -bill kenny

Thursday, February 6, 2014

One Remembers One's Perseverance

Maybe the universe with all due respect to the scientific method is a clock which leads me to assume (if I know what's good for me) I should make sure to capitalize the c in Clockmaker (there's no need to gratuitously antagonize Omnipotent Beings, right? Mom raised crazy children, not stupid ones).

This Sunday is the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and last Monday the surviving members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, a/k/a the greatest rhythm section in the history of rock and roll (I'm sorry, Charlie and Bill) performed at the Grammy Awards with the widows and families of John and George smiling in approval.

I spent, along with most folks on the Eastern Seaboard (a much larger slice than memory would indicate used to do this) a great deal of yesterday digging out from the snow we got in the Northeast. And sometimes to close to no avail as the next storm follows and we begin again.. I can always use the exercise I suppose, though biting people's heads off and jumping to conclusions has kept me young all these years.

Taking a break between snowflakes and wondering why my snow shovel didn't take pity on me and break (we have a snow blower-and it, too, got a workout) I fell across a marvelous quote about life in general and the shifting of the seasons in particular from Yoko Ono that I hope will carry you through the rest of today.

“Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.”

It's sure been a cold, cold winter.
-bill kenny

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Success Is Getting What You Want

The Reid and Hughes Building was already dark when I arrived here in 1991. That empty, abandoned carcass of a memory for so many who grew up here and whose dreams have grown old here has stood silent and sullen, accusing every passer-by of betrayal and worse every day ever since.

In the last two plus decades, any number of initiatives, all well-meant some more half-hearted and/or full-throated than others were launched in the hope of restoring the building but every effort seemed to just miss the mark. The successive disappointments made the next attempt that much harder until in recent years we basically gave up and abandoned the building in place.

Our well-meant intentions helped create a full-blown eyesore (which all of us can see when the Rose of New England chooses to remove its rose-colored glasses and look inward with the same unforgiving gaze we reserve so often for outsiders). Make no mistake, we did this to us and if we fail to plan how to proceed in responding to the two requests for proposal currently under evaluation we are actually planning to fail.

If experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted, we have all the experience we'll ever need to rebuild the Chelsea District and the entire city. Energy and engagement along with a double dollop of hope are essential for any project but none of them, by themselves or together, is a plan and a plan is what has been conspicuous in its absence.

As the professionals working at the Norwich Community Development Corporation (NCDC), the City of Norwich Planning Department as well as the Community Development Agency have demonstrated repeatedly a plan has specific, measurable, achievable, realistic targets-which is why SMART communities have plans and too many others have hope but little else. Sound familiar?

Planning involves candor-we need to be relentlessly honest with one another, to speak in clear, unambiguous language that doesn't need a decoder ring or subtitles), where yes and no are clearly understood. Perhaps most importantly we need to agree that it's okay to disagree without becoming disagreeable-when to evaluate a proposal and not base our feelings about it on the person who offers it.

We should trust one another to create a collaboration that subordinates our individual best efforts in service of a higher communal ideal so we can more effectively and efficiently turn the selected developer's proposal into a shared idea and adopt its implementation as our municipal goal.

We need to allow those tasked with the responsibility to evaluate the proposals to do so in an agenda-free environment using their knowledge and real world experiences to arrive at a recommendation for the City Council’s review.

We live in a world of data-driven decisions and there should be little room and less patience for soft words masking hard truths. Henry Ford who knew a little something about how to build things once offered: Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
-bill kenny

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In Search of the Kosmic Krueller

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. After I discovered The Beatles and rock and roll, not so much, but there's many a cloudless night with a star-filled sky (the great thing about Life in the Sticks is very little light pollution from large cities and the heavens are gorgeous) that I do remember to look up and see.

It's a view I never tire of and a small part of me, that six year old with the space helmet, wonders what down here might look like form a vantage point up there somewhere.

That's why my brain understands what Rhawn Joseph is attempting to do but my heart still thinks he's a crank. But I'm being unkind-there's a surprise, you say (kiss my anti-gravity belt, no lower)-read this and judge for yourself.

I'll be the first to concede I was a skeptic but when I clicked here, he had me at white socks and his poem. I'm not sure if we sue one another more in this day and age than we used to of if it's just more publicized than when our parents and their parents were fussin' and fightin'.

We seem to play the litigation card earlier in the evening than previous generations did though I'm not sure a quick game of Parchesi or Rock, Paper, Scissors would get us any farther. Gore Vidal once noted, "litigation takes the place of sex at middle age."
I have no idea what he's talking about and be careful, Alice. Or it's to the moon....
-bill kenny

Monday, February 3, 2014

Brother of Mine

I'm fortunate to have two brothers and three sisters. I concede as the oldest of the brood lucky was NOT always the first word I would have reached for to describe my condition in terms of my siblings.

As my parents' practice child I had, and have, the smallest heart, slowest brain and the most easily bruised feelings. By the time Joan and Bill Senior's last production model, Adam, whose birthday it is today, rolled off the familial assembly line, they had a set of mighty fine children.

A brother is someone with whom you share both childhood memories as well as grown-up dreams. I've known Adam every day of his whole life and any stories I would tell you, he would know and in the telling of them they would no longer be ours to share but would belong to the world.

I suspect Adam would be fine with that but I know I wouldn't be at all, so I'll save them for us and offer to you instead words from Clara Ortega that read as if she could be a sister we never knew, but she's describing the family, not just her family: "To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters.

"We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time."

As each of us knows, including Adam, that's not really true, but it is a lovely thought especially on your birthday. And he was just able to read that line and wince thanks to me. Happy Birthday Adam!
-bill kenny

Sunday, February 2, 2014

No Bill Murray's Were Harmed in the Making of this Blog

So let me see if I understand this. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow we have six more weeks of football play-offs? There's a lot of folks today who might not object to that but if the winds pick up across the Meadowlands of New Jersey around East Rutherford and Carlstadt not many in MetLife Stadium will be in that number.

Though, this story makes me wonder how The Gipper might feel now that we've made sure the outdoors of the Northeast USA in February barely bubbles up to be a first world problem. That we have this kind of research to sort out the exact amount of money being wasted by advertisers for a football game, vice funding an initiative here in our country to feed the hungry and house the homeless is so homo sapiencentric it makes me want to try to apologize to all the other life forms on the planet.

We have more people paying attention today to whether or not this relative of a rodent in Pennsylvania sees his shadow than to global warming, which no longer amazes me as much as it once did, sadly.

The members of the tin foil tri-corner hat brigade and it can't be coincidence that so many of them are my country right or wrongers (though they'd be surprised at what it meant before they Rush-Becked it) should be right at home today. Most   especially if either Peyton Manning or  Richard Sherman sees his shadow.

Suspect they won't be all that keen to insist on their right to bare arms if the cold arrives as advertised but even if it does, Phil already has a coat. And a good guy with a coat, even a ground hog, can stop a guy with a bad rug. American sports is a serious romance especially since today of all days I love you more than football.
-bill kenny

Saturday, February 1, 2014

When Freedom of Becomes Full Court

I love our Constitution including the Bill of Rights (though the tip is still NOT reflected after all this time), but I'm not sure how we got from Article 2, Section 3, "(h)e shall from time to time," to a night-long talk fest where, at the end, to borrow from Bob Dylan, nothing is revealed.

It's the Father of Our Country who set a precedent, a Presidential Precedent if you will, by taking from 'time to time' to mean annually BUT (emphasis desired) he wrote his more or less as a report, as did all Presidents through William Howard Taft in 1912. The annual gabfest is really the creation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who perhaps had terrible handwriting. In any event, thank you, sir.

I don't watch the addresses anymore and I didn't watch President Obama this past Tuesday night not because I'm a lousy American (I'm not; my blood type is red, white and blue) but because thanks to a thousand sources of information, all exploited by everyone who has something to say, I and you knew what was in it before he opened his mouth.

And in case you wondered because I do know folks who get upset when it's on, it's not that I dislike that 'my regular TV is ruined' not when there's dross like Dads and Sean Saves the World as programming. In those cases, and dozens more, please make a speech, I insist. I'll even wait while you write it.

The parts of all of this for which I see no reason include, but are not limited to: talking heads in the TV studios and beyond them, usually outside in a dark place with the Capitol Dome lit behind them, talking about what the President is going to say.

Then the President says it and we go back to the talking heads who tell me what I just heard him say which is what they had told me earlier he would say. To me, this is sort of like Evel Knieval at Snake River Canyon. We (okay, I) only tune in to see if the President, actually this President, is going to turn around and pull that Orange is the New Speaker Guy over his desk by his suit jacket lapels and thrash him. To my unending disappointment, he never does. Decorum rules. Yawn.

But there's more. As tissue-paper flimsy as the 'constitutional requirement' for all of this is, there's even less reason for the other guys (and gals) to do whatever the heck it is they do immediately afterwards.

Sometimes, between the counter-speech (does it have a more technical name such as the "yeah-but address" since that's pretty well all that comes across during it) and those microphones seeking a reaction from the mouth in the middle of the face of X or Y party stalwart Congressperson/Senator Curtis (or Christine) Goatheart, I wonder if they listened to anything said by anyone at anytime in the course of the evening.

I was told, though I missed it (shucks (and not my first choice of words)) there was a Tea Party Reply, Rebuttal or Rejoinder as well as one by Senator Rand Paul. The latter was, I assume, like the person delivering it, broadcast somewhere above the police calls. How, I wonder, does that tin foil hat he usually wears not set off the metal detectors in the Senate Office Building?

Not sure what to make of the reported behavior of Congressman Michael Grimm, from New York City's Forgotten Borough as reported in, among other places, here, but what a beautiful day in the neighborhood he must have been having. The Congressman apologized later in the week and accepted 'full responsibilities for my actions' which, sir, is what adults are supposed to.

I have been known to make the argument, you asshat, that accepting responsibility is what makes an adult an adult. I'd point that out to Mr. Grimm with little hesitation and even less trepidation as we live in a ground floor apartment and have no balconies whatsoever, "f***ing" or otherwise, from which I might be thrown or hurled like a grey-haired javelin with a bald spot.

Mr. Grimm spent a not inconsiderable part of his earlier years defending this nation and its Constitution so perhaps on the barge ride home he could study the aforementioned Bill of Rights and see how each is designed to complement and enhance the others. Especially the first one, Congressman.
-bill kenny