Archive for August, 2010

Samoan Hair-itage

Sometimes I feel as though I’m competing with “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”. This young Samoan gentleman, Troy Polamalu, feels so strongly about preserving his cultural “hair-itage” that he has insured his three foot long tresses for a cool million with Lloyds of London. (Thanks to “Head and Shoulders Shampoo”)

Lloyds likes to insure body parts of the stars: Tina Turner’s and Michael Flatley’s (Riverdance) legs; Keith Richard’s fingers (shoulda been his circulatory system); Jimmy Durante’s nose; Celine Dion’s vocal chords. Guess what Jayne Mansfield had insured. Meanwhile, poor Lindsay Lohan probably can’t even get car insurance.

I’m sure it’s absolutely coincidental that Mr Polamalu was awarded a handsome endorsement deal for “Head and Shoulders”, and will surely be seen ad nauseum in their commercials during the football season. Maybe he’ll dye his do platinum for the Superbowl commercial.

This in no way diminishes the fact that Mr. Polamalu is a heckuva football player. I have enjoyed his exploits with the Steelers over the last few years and I wish him the best of luck this season (he missed quite a few games with injuries last year). Unless, of course, we (San Francisco 49ers) meet up with him in the playoffs, in which case I hope Vernon Davis yanks him bald-headed.


Famous Flucks of The UK, #1

I’ve never been a platinum blonde fan, but as I have said so many times before, I am sometimes at the mercy of random forces far beyond my control. I work in mysterious ways, not unlike a certain deity.

So without further adieu, let me introduce to you, Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe, star of “Unholy Wife”, “There’s A Girl In My Soup”, “Baby Love”, and “Berserk”, (drum roll), Diana Mary Fluck (bass sax goes waah-waah) Name doesn’t ring a bell? Well unless you hail from the UK and are at least 50 years old, telling you her screen name, Diana Dors, may not bring back a flood of nostalgic images either.

Her major distinction (in my considerably warped opinion) is her inclusion with the distinguished ranks of iconic individuals that grace the cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” , an All Star Team if their ever is one.

She hooked up for a time with Richard Dawson, the kissy, grumpy host of the abominably popular game show, “Family Feud”. He also starred with Governator Schwartzenegger in “The Running Man”, in the role of an irascible, murderous, game show host. “Made for it! Three snaps!”

I thought she was beautiful, though, when I was twelve. As years went by we both put on a lot of weight. Fortunately for me, this was not such a big deal in my line of work. There are oodles of high quality, fat teachers. But it can play hell with your career if you’re a platinum bombshell.


This is Anson Mount. He’s an actor. I think I  first noticed him in a movie my wife was watching called “In Her Shoes”. His name caught my eye and jogged something loose in my mental archive. I knew someone from the past with that name. After much pen chewing and other memory-enhancing strategies I recalled that there was an Anson Mount whose writing I had followed during his long time stint as sports editor for “Playboy” (see, I don’t just look at the pictures).  And guess what, we all went to The University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. I’m a few years older than Anson, the elder sports writer, who passed away a while back at the much too young age of 60. I graduated in 1966. The younger Anson in 1995. Both of us were active in drama while at Sewanee. He probably even got to be in plays with girls. The college didn’t go coed till many years after I left. I was in Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros”, Mankewitz “Bespoke Overcoat”, and “Julius Caesar” (member of the crowd, with 2 lines). He went on to be a hunky, successful actor. I went on to be a hunky, successful Early Childhood Educator. Currently I am an old geezer trying to write and draw his way into your heart. Are you feelin’ me?

I make mention of Anson in another blog in which I discuss my affinity for things Wild Western. I hyped his new TV show on AMC, “Hell On Wheels”, which happens to be excellent, a gritty retelling of how honkies forged their way West as they laid the rails for the dreaded “iron horse”. It is gritty (a la “Deadwood”, realistic, with finely drawn characters and epic action scenes. I just finished the first season on Netflix.

Here’s a link to the other blog.

When I first started TAH back in July, I said that selections would be made from national, international, and extremely local stages.

Here in the vacation wonderland that makes up the lower Russian River, we have no high-falutin’ superheroes, no Spiderman or Superman or Batman. What we do have is Bax-man. And if you’re suffering a heart attack, drowning in flood waters, just ran into a redwood, or are in danger of burning up in a house fire, his is the face you will probably see first. He’s been our emergency Johnny-on-the-spot ever since I’ve been here (1972) and since he looks to be a few years younger than me, I think we can count on him for a while longer. Frankly, I don’t know how he does it, but I’m thankful he does. His official title is Russian River Fire Chief, but that doesn’t begin to cover all the things he does. If you have an Amazing Human like this in your neighborhood, I hope you’ll take the time to thank him/her too. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a nice guy in a red truck. It’s Bax-man.

Update: While reading the Santa Rosa Press Democrat today (9/3/2010) I came upon this article which may give you a glimpse into a day in the life of Steve Baxman.

Naked man injured in jump from rock at Goat Rock beach


Published: Friday, September 3, 2010 at 8:50 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 3, 2010 at 8:50 a.m.

A naked man who climbed to the top of a towering rock at Goat Rock state beach near Jenner and then jumped off to the shock of onlookers suffered severe fractures and other injuries Thursday evening, emergency medical personnel said.


It appeared the man was under the influence of a drug, and it wasn’t clear how much pain he felt despite having compound fractures, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman said.

“He would scream every once in a while, and then when we moved his leg he would say, ‘That feels better,’ “ Baxman said. “He was conscious, but he wasn’t really all there.”

Supervising State Beach Ranger Damien Jones said the man claimed he had taken the hallucinogen LSD and also had been drinking.

Witnesses described seeing him crawl naked up the rock and then jump off around 7:50 p.m., Jones and Baxman said.

“It was probably a 100-foot fall,” said Sonoma County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Thompson, who was at the scene as part of the crew of Henry 1, the office’s helicopter.

The witnesses saw him hit a rock shelf about a third of the way down, before tumbling the rest of the way to the beach, Jones said.

“He didn’t fall,” Baxman said. “He wasn’t pushed. People said they watched him jump. Maybe he thought he could fly. I don’t know. It’s still a mystery.”

Authorities were unable to find the patient’s car, his clothes or any identification, and he apparently was not cogent enough to identify himself.

Emergency personnel thought he was about 20 years old, Baxman said.

Rangers were intending to head back out to the beach on Friday to see if could track down anything he had left behind, Jones said.

Though dispatched to the coast for a rescue operation, the sheriff’s crew helped stabilized the man and loaded him into a REACH helicopter for transport to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Happy Birthday, Mother Teresa, Happy Birthday To You.

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday to you.

Happy Birthday, Mother Teresa.

Happy Birthday to you.

You would have been 100 today.

Peace begins with a smile.

Crafty, opportunistic and corrupt, maybe. But not stupid.

“I like Americans, but they are somewhat monocellular.”, remarked Japanese Democratic Party senior member and former President, Ichiro Ozawa, at a recent political seminar. The powerful politician, dubbed the “Shadow Shogun” for his backroom wheeling and dealing, continued, “when I talk to Americans I often wonder why they are so simple-minded.” Does this include the approximately 1,500,000 Japanese Americans currently residing in the U.S.? Or is it just the honkies bringing the I.Q. level down? He did not elaborate further, so this is unclear.

When it comes to scandal and corruption it appears that Japanese and American governments are on more equal footing. In May of 2009 Ozawa chose to resign from his position as party President when it was revealed that his Secretary General was taking a taste of the contributions from a large construction company. Although he has not yet been directly implicated in criminal wrong-doing, , there have been at least two prior occasions when he has resigned a position in the midst of allegations of serious hanky-panky (a stupid American word for illegal activity).

Perhaps feeling the need to dole out some praise along with his general demeaning of American’s intelligence, he opined further, “I don’t think Americans are very smart, but I give extremely high credit for democracy and choices by its people. They chose a black president for the first time in U.S. history.”

A virtual trifecta of the absurd, if I ever did see one, by golly. That’s what happened to me and all my other personalities on what I thought to be a routine trip to Santa Rosa for provisions.

My Dr. Weird, Tracer of Lost Camp, personality had to make a U-turn in big city traffic to pursue an automotive icon, The Batmobile. See corroborative evidence below.

I told you not to call me when I'm working!

Next, while perusing baked goods in a Sebastopol market, my Primo Papparazzi personality spots notorious songster/actor, Tom Waits. Quickly entering stealth mode I beat an inconspicuous retreat to the car (more later on her) to retrieve my flipcam. Stalking the elusive Waits with the tenacity of a National Geographic wildlife photog, I manage to secure only this feeble glimpse of the target’s retreating backside at 50 yards distance.

I coulda nailed him with a better zoom.

On the way home, in a very inconvenient, uphill moving, narrow country road, with only one possible pull-off option, on the opposite side of the road, the clutch of Ballena Azul, my 20 year old Toyota Previa, goes kaflooie.

Chock-fulla Weirdness, eh?