29 December 2009
22 December 2009
10 December 2009
08 December 2009
07 December 2009
03 December 2009
He's finally at Peace, but not on Earth.
19 November 2009
13 October 2009
|Dear Brad: |
I'm sending copies of this letter to a variety of contacts and friends..
Your column and the accompanying article which appeared today in the Jackson Citizen Patriot regarding the future of the Jackson County Fairgrounds was timely, lively, and clearly puts forth the issues regarding this important tradition. I was gratified to see that you included my suggestion about relocating the State Fair to Jackson. Thank YOU!!
Here's my view. Mr. Treacher is an administrator, and I hope he continues to be a good one. But the Fair needs an Events Coordinator, I believe, and this task alone is a full-bore, full time job. Problem? Paying such an expert's salary. Well, I have a solution to THAT to propose to you and the Fair Board.
I will offer my services to fill such a role, if it is made official, for $1 a year. Just as it was in the Depression, times call for experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the business world to step forward to serve their country and community where they can, and because I have been a Jackson County fair goer and resident for 58 years and have experience for over forty of those years in the entertainment business, I WANT THE JOB.
Mr. Treacher is good with money. The Fair needs ideas and promotion and a slam-bang selling job to revive. I am willing to help. I would also encourage any professionals also willing to step up to the plate to serve on an advisory committee for the Southern Michigan State Fair, which is what I propose the new venue be named.
I am planning to attend the Fair Board meeting on Monday, if they let me in!!
Thanks again, Brad. I always enjoy your column and I think you, too, are a professional.
Michael Serafin-St. John
339 Oak Grove Ave Apt Q
Jackson, MI 49203
21 September 2009
In modern politics, or in olden politics, for that matter, "handlers" of the candidates try, sometimes desperately, to mold the image of an office seeker to fit what they think is some sort of ideal of electability. This is what is known as "packaging". The same thing that is done with bread, beer, corn chips, and lunchmeat... the four food groups.
16 September 2009
|(When Ann Landers, the advice columnist, passed on, the job passed on too, and the column is now "Dear Annie". I wrote this the other day after reading a particular letter.)|
After reading the letter of "Disheartened in Louisiana" I feel I need to comment.
This lady, a widow, says "all the men she meets" want just sex, not a relationship. One or both of two things have to be happening here. One is, she is approaching men with the wrong signals. Or two, with the wrong attitude.
I've searched for a companion for thirty years, not just seven, and I have to say I have a lot of discouragement myself over the fact that the women I meet almost invariably believe the outrageous falsehood "Disheartened" seems to believe as well.. that "all men" are sexual creeps out to get only one thing. We are not. We are human beings, we are individuals, and we absolutely do not deserve to be collectively punished in this manner.
I have a strong suspicion that what "Disheartened" finds is what she WANTS to find, and what she sees she wants to see, to back up her prophecies about "all men."
If we men did not show a healthy interest in sex (which she mentions prominently) what would be the case for her then? Aha oho, we'd be instantly rejected! (And labeled.) You cannot vary your rules to suit yourself. This is contradictory and if you operate that way, always testing and holding our behavior up to a changing impossible light, OF COURSE we will not wish to have a long-term relationship. There is no trust or loyalty or openheartedness in such a woman and we will definitely go elsewhere if we have any dignity at all.
Signing off with much more to say but no time...
Much maligned in Michigan
14 September 2009
October is National Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Month.
This is a photograph of some graffiti in some ruins in Syracuse, NY. It represents what it feels like to be sexually or physically abused by someone you love (or don't).
12 September 2009
I'm 3/4 of the way through the first rough draft of a children's chapter book. It's keeping me very busy--and you?
11 September 2009
And pierced the breast of Ireland to prise it from the ground
He lift his eyes to heaven and he cried out sad and clear:
"Oh Lourd, why take Belinda and her Spirit from us here?"
"Ah, Lourd," prayed sturdy Paddy, "ye have giv'n us this Earth
And all which grows upon it and beneath, for what it's worth
But why did ye see fit to give us poor Belinda May
If only as a flower seven years and snatched away?"
"What did she in her little life not holy in your Sight?
What sin had she committed? None! so what gave you the right
To take her back untimely? Well, for taking her away
I take this stand...I'll be hell-damned if I won't make You pay!"
"Belinda's Price from You, oh Lourd, is lasting Peace on Earth
My price for her removal is redemption from our curse!
You may not wish to pay this price, but I say all the same
My name is Paddy Donnell, and by God I make the claim!"
The blessed Moon, in crescent, like a silver scimitar
Slid sideways through a smoky sky and left behind a scar
A Star shone through that rifted cloud of midnight in the mist
And took a fair position over Paddy's outflung fist.
And Lo! a Voice, a Rumble, like a thousand raining stones
In tumble down a mountainside in mashing, crashing moans
As if from many miles away, yet to one ears are borne
Such came the Voice of God to Paddy, answering his scorn:
"I hear ye, brother Paddy, oh ye simple, foolish man...
I hear ye as ye bellow badly, questioning my Plan
Such arrogance as you display deserves no recompense
But as I am a gracious God, to PEACE I will consent."
And from that moment all the people, land to burning land
Cast off from war and fighting, and instead began again
To take this World and make it in the Image of Above
And drown all hate in charity, in hope, and faith, and love.
And children gathered flowers, woven in a grateful garland
And in Belinda's memory they danced the fields of Ireland
And Irish mothers smiled on them, and knew, forevermore
Their sons would be no sacrifice to foolishness of war.
By Paddy's sons' and brothers' toil a monument was raised
A "Statue of Belinda", carved and placed above her grave.
And every morn about it were a thousand petals flung!
And everywhere those blossoms fell, a thousand seedlings sprung.
But what of Paddy, father, left to ponder what God wrought?
Well, after many months had passed, with Peace at long last bought
He pined for poor Belinda, and her blessed presence lost
And in the end he muttered, "Lourd, it wasn't worth the cost."
Original Poetry by M. Serafin (2003) Reprinted by permission (2009) All rights reserved.
Leaflady Gail has been in California for a couple years now, and she often visits the nearby beaches at Arcata near Eureka, which for those of you who are geographically challenged is on the coast north of San Francisco.. quite a ways north, actually.
Gail says the climate there is not what you'd expect. I looked on the weather and saw that while they had 100 degree temperatures recently near Los Angeles, Eureka had temps in the low sixties. And Gail says that's typical.. YEAR 'ROUND.
This explains the misty fog and Gail's attire.
I miss having Gail here in Michigan as much as she misses the wide variation of weather we enjoy (and sometimes complain about), but fate separates us.
If you see this, dear LL, remember me and smile, OK?
01 September 2009
One too many clubs in your bag at Barclays? Sorry, guy, it'll cost you.. penalty strokes for each hole played in non-compliance.
It cost Jim Furyk 14 places in the standings (from sixth down to twentieth) and a cool ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS in prize money.
That's a lot of brewskis.
28 August 2009
Well, you'll have to get the book and read what happens at the end...
Perhaps yet another sign of endtimes.. but women as beautiful as Ms. Gosselin not only populate TV but also our own humdrum lives. There is, for one example, a 30-year-old girl who visits the pool at my apartment complex (whose name is Sarah, by the way) who is fully as beauteous as Kate and is much more proximate to my situation than any TV screen. She suns herself in a barely legal bikini and enjoys intense male attention.
Sarah tells me she had a guy living with her for several months until she determined that he was already married to another woman.. a woman who began a stalking campaign to get her man back. Apparently this was a success, for he went back home to her, but Sarah shrugged the whole thing off.
"I don't go in for dating these days," says sexy Sarah. "I met him at a bar, and bar things never seem to work out."
Being 58 and 28 years beyond Sarah in life experience I'm a bit too old to pursue any sort of relationship with her, but take my word, SOMEBODY will.. it's a simple matter of time and who she picks next.
Women are the gatekeepers and are the ones to say when (and thus have no restrictions) but men have to self-govern themselves to maintain their integrity when faced with a "come-hither" from dangerous beauties. I'm not assigning blame or anything, but facts are facts and if a man does not take responsibility for himself, look out.
27 August 2009
26 August 2009
For Labor Day weekend (hopefully the Sunday thereof) I've invited family and friends over to the apartment complex where I have taken up residence, Canterbury House Apartments.
Canterbury has over two hundred (!) units in it, organized into Buildings, each with a number, and one-, two-, and three-bedroom townhouse-style units in each, with letters running from A to S.
Got all that? Well, I'm in Building 339, Apartment Q, and this is near the end of the building, with a porch letting out into a resident parking lot.
A few steps away, off the back of the complex property, is a woods. There is a place I can dig for earthworms to go fishing with, and a clear area where, if the weather cooperates, I will set up a luau-style party outside for my guests. Planned: pork loins (catered by a local downtown bistro famous for them--Darryl's Downtown in Jackson), fresh sliced pineapple, rice and sweet potato casseroles (individual ones--classy and freezeable), and, of all goes well, a special French-bread spicy garlic bread of my own invention. Cool, huh? And not as expensive as all that sounds since Darryl's promised to help out with the thing a bit for the advertising, as it were. You know, where did THIS come from? And you tell everybody if they like it where to get more.
Anyhow, the regional office of the company which owns Canterbury was consulted and they said, "WHOA! absolutely NO open pit fires or bonfires!!" Consequently I had to come up with an alternative to the traditional luau format.
For $2.50 (closeout at CVS Pharmacy) I picked up a bamboo hawaian torch, and then I designed a barbecue setup (pictured above) to be made from found materials. My brother Bob supplied the empty oil drum (he's had two of them dating back to the eighties when we had an oil company) and I found an electric sheet metal cutter for $10 at a garage sale, and I plan on making my grill in time for the party.
Back in the '70's we threw a Labor Day yard party for the staff of Portage Lake State Park where I worked as a Park Ranger, and then we took an empty drum and sliced it in half length-wise to make two grills. This is different, but the new design should work as well and be transportable back to the complex garage area by dolly, so there you go!
Are you good with names and faces? Hmmm? Well, here's the slight difficulty I have with this new theory about testing for dementia using this method. I remember conversations really well, almost like a tape recorder, but I have trouble remembering the full lyrics to songs, even ones I write myself. I can remember faces from YEARS ago, but screw up the names associated with those faces. I can remember all sorts of historical trivia and I have a good brain for quotations BUT knowing WHO said what.. and when? Ring the gong, I'm toast.
Dates are an especially irrelevant thing with me. Just not important. I don't TRY to capture that info and hold it so I never can feed it back. When did I eat last? who knows. What year was the Magna Carta signed? go ask somebody who cares. In what year was I born? AHH! I can answer that. (Exceptions to every rule, kiddies.. people DEMAND that info from me so I'm FORCED to spew it back.)
I like it when people remember my date of birth and wish me well but if it wasn't for intensive interrogation over the years I probably wouldn't give a darn about THAT date either.
Memory, according to Einstein, is finite, and he disregarded a lot of things for fear of clogging up his mind with things that weren't relevant to more important things. But I kind of disagree with that. Memory is one thing but I look on TIME as the most finite thing there is, and that it is a tragedy to waste ANY of it..
..like the time wasted trying to remember where I put my keys.......
25 August 2009
- Elvis is not dead.. he's running for President of the American Medical Association following his discovery of a blanket cure for heart disease.. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
- George W. Bush has just been appointed Prime Minister of Lithuania.
- Madonna Cicone has received the Pope's blessing and proceedings are underway to nominate her for sainthood. (And she IS a virgin, but doesn't feel like one.)
- Pete Rose is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Alice Cooper is Mayor of Detroit, his home town, following a landside vote that enjoyed the full support of the Archbishop of Detroit, the head curator of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and St. Madonna Cicone.
- Superman has athlete's foot.
- Batman is portrayed by Jack Nicholson in the latest installment of the movie series, opposed by Joker, portrayed by Rachel Ray, who wields poisoned pumpkin pies.
- There is, and always has been, Peace on Earth.
22 August 2009
Well, I'm sorry, but this here dude disagrees. Ms. Hilton may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but she knows style. Anybody saying otherwise is just attempting to draw attention to their own snarkiness. (Meow! Hiss! Spat! Splat!) Photo by Campos/X17 Online
20 August 2009
Color is so great, ain't it? It somewhat irks me that logos stick to old-fashioned drab one, two or three-color effects simply to save printing costs. With today's computer printers and digital work there's no reason to do that anymore.
17 August 2009
Good to hear from you. What is up with the eyesight? I hope this something that can be corrected.
The music gig sounds like fun. Let us know when and where you are playing and maybe we can make one of the performances. Around here (Lansing) several of the popular open mike nights and places that featured local talent have closed apparently due to the poor economy.
I trust all is well with Cousin Ron and Vickie. The last we saw them they did not know what was in the future with Chrysler and employment. Retirement was the back-up plan. I know they had an interest in moving back in to Jackson. I don't know why. I don't see Ron as ever retiring.
Take care.......................Cousin John
Dear John and Karen:
I think that you MUST take whatever opportunities that arise and aggressively pursue creative alternatives, and Ron has never been known for that. He will have to switch to tactics he's never had to use before.
Talked to Bob last nite and we think that a get-together on September 5th (Sunday) would be cool. He said he's been trying to engineer a way to get Joe up from Tecumseh for bike-hiking on the Falling Waters railtrail and we would ALL like to eat, drink and be merry playing cards and music.
If I act fast to reserve it, the clubhouse where I live, Canterbury is available.
The greatroom holds about forty people and is equipped with a full kitchen and would be ideal for a party. I think we should take advantage while we can. I definitely want to have a Christmas Eve dinner party here since that was Dad's birthday and we ALWAYS had a party for him that day in the past. But in the meantime, all I can do is offer that alternative.
Do me a favor and call Bob and get the lowdown from him on this whole thing and let me know what you guys decide is best to do.
I see Cousin Timmy twice or three times a week because we are in a group called "Twist of Dylan" and are doing rehearsals quite a bit.
Another incarnation of the same four guys plays christian folk-rock called "The Holy Jean Band" . We are willing to go play anywhere that will cover our expenses, because it is a ministry thing.
The leader of the group, Harvey Zook, writes our songs, researches the Dylan material, and gives the group(s) their identity. Timmy and I are the experienced "old hands" who supply the backing.
13 August 2009
08 August 2009
Nico got home from the hospital in San Francisco last night. So far all is going well. He was checked by local pediatrican this morning. She said he seems to be doing fine, but warned them that any sort of respiratory ailment during the first month might send him back to the hospital! So they plan to have few visitors, avoid taking him to public places, etc.
The twins are doing fine with him SO FAR ........
Again thanks to everyone for your support during the scary time we went through. And I promise to start paying more attention to what's going on in YOUR lives, instead of deluging you with what's going on in mine!
One of the bands that will appear is the Holy Jean ensemble, consisting of Harvey Zook, Peter Rogers, and Mike and Ted Serafin... I'm playing bass, Harvey plays acoustic guitar, Pete plays harmonicas, and Ted (Timmy to the family) plays drums and assorted other stuff like the recorder, xylophone, pots and pans, tambourine, congas, blocks, bells & whistles.
We have fun. We just designed a "covered wagon" to haul our stuff, and when it isn't stuffed with our stuff it's going to be used to haul recyling loads hither and yon. (Mostly yon.)
Whether and when on the Bandwagon is, as most such things, a Matter of Moola. Scratch. Dinero. Long Green. Payola. Lettuce. Monetary Considerations.
When we go around the world with our little trailer we aim to attract the sort of people for an audience that, had they been born about eighty years earlier, would have followed the circus (which is Latin for "traveling show", by the way) to the field outside town and gone under the BigTop to see the Greatest Show on Earth.
True, we would have been in the "FreakShow" area, not center ring, but so what!!!
27 July 2009
07 July 2009
09 June 2009
Sometimes you get a photo that is pretty impressive but just too dense, kinda like a really overdressed movie idol who can't spell.
06 June 2009
05 June 2009
31 May 2009
COOL! I said to myself, and saved the result. I cropped her face tight and applied sharpening, film grain and messed with virtually all the other effects to get what you see. Note that I definitely altered the color temperature... this allows a lot of surprising color effects to pop out when a picture has been sharpened (which increases contrast and depletes the number of discrete pixels... kind of an Andy Warhol effect.)
Every image is a combination of two things... shape (or form) and color. A photograph is not a single image but thousands of individual images (call these pixels if you want) arranged in some organized way. Our eye captures this organization and our brain compares it with previous experience stored in memory. That's seeing.
Is seeing believing? Maybe, maybe not... but when you see something that strikes a deep chord within you (in the case above: beauty, life, joy) it translates to emotion. You are either attracted or repelled by striking photowork. You are never bored!!
23 May 2009
Siri made a visit to Gail's place (grandma Gail often looks after Gemma and Siri) and Gail took a couple shots to let me see with my own nearsighted half-retinal eyes how big a hit Sesame Street's Grover had been. "She wouldn't let go when she left," Gail informs me. "They're probably fighting over him right now."