Friday, May 01, 2009

McPhantom and a Face of Fries to go

Victims suffer through no fault of their own. Victim can't save themselves from harm either, or they wouldn't be victims in the first place. The victim is thus victimized by a powerful force he cannot defend himself against. There oughta be a law. Take the case of a poor and medically challenged drug addict who is compelled by force of circumstances and the law to hold up a drive through in the middle of the night to support his drug-addiction. It's not his fault he's a drug addict. That would be due to the evils of the system that made him seek self-medication to save him from the pain of living in an unjust system. His medication is illegal, who knows why. Thus, driven to drugs, he is then criminalized for it and further driven to crime because the welfare office won't give him enough money to afford his drug habit. He has to steal to get by. Poor fellow.


"Surrey robber doused with boiling oil"

By Staff Reporter, The Province. April 30, 2009

A robber was foiled Wednesday night when a fast-food restaurant employee doused him with boiling oil.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m. a man walked up to the drive-thru at a McDonald's restaurant at 96th Avenue and 160th Street in Surrey with part of his shirt pulled up over his face. He brandished a knife at the attendant and demanded cash.

But, as the suspect reached through the window to grab money from the cash drawer, another staffer threw a litre of boiling oil into the man's face.

He ran away.

Comment April 30, 2009 - 11:12 AM from "RIGHT."

I'm more worried that this robber will live beneath the restaurant in its sewers and play a huge organ. The McPhantom.

Maybe we'll hear McDonald's jingles eerily floating up from the sewer grates. Another tragic story from the half-naked city.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swing Slow, Winged Chariot

Even though many people will not know of Seth Thomas many will have a strong opinion about his most famous and ubiquitous invention: the alarm clock. Thomas's company invented it in 1876; and some claim the world has not had a good night's rest since. Maybe it's a big yawn to some, but to others, those awake and nervous, Seth Thomas is a big deal.

Those who don't follow the history of clock manufacturers won't be at all surprised to learn that the clock at Grand Central Terminal in New York City was manufactured by the Seth Thomas Clock Co. Maybe they're in a hurry and don't have time for this sort of thing.

Seth Thomas (1785 – 1859) was born at Wolcott, Connecticut, and in 1807 went into the clock-making business working for Eli Terry. In 1810 Thomas worked as a carpenter for Eli Terry,obviously learning the cabinet making trade at some point. In 1811 Eli Terry sold the business to Seth Thomas and partner Silas Hoadley. In 1812 Thomas sold out and moved to Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut. There he bought out Herman Clark, a local clock-maker, in December 1813. Clark had made wooden-movement clocks, which Thomas continued until 1842 when his company began using brass movements. Thomas built and operated a brass mill to roll and make wire for his clock factory. Wood-movements were phased out in 1845. In 1853, Thomas officially incorporated the "Seth Thomas Clock Company". When Thomas died in 1859 his sons, Seth Jr., Edward, and Aaron took over the business. Aaron acted as President. As King Canute remarked a thousand years ago, "Time and tide wait for no man." In January 2009 the last iteration of the Seth Thomas Clock Co. closed up shop. The Seth Thomas co. was taken over by the Colibri company, which in turn was taken over in 1971 by Frederick N. Levinger of Providence, R.I. In 2005, Levinger sold the Colibri Group. A commentator at JCKonline suggests that "FREDERICK N LEVINGER was taken by Bernie Madoff." The clocks keep on ticking.

Mr. Thomas was very conservative, and after his death many new styles of clocks were introduced by his sons. Regulator clocks were introduced in 1860. The patterns and machinery for these had been purchased in 1859 from the creditors of bankrupt clockmaker Silas B. Terry. Spring driven clocks were introduced ca. 1855–1860. Perpetual calendar clocks were made from ca. 1863–1917. Some of the most popular later types include walnut kitchen clocks, made from 1884–1909; marble clocks, 1887–ca. 1895; black (Adamantine finish) wood mantel clocks, ca. 1885–1917; black enameled iron cased clocks, 1892–ca. 1895; oak kitchen clocks, 1890–ca. 1915; tambour clocks, introduced in 1904; chime clocks, introduced in 1909; and electric A/C clocks, introduced in 1928.

Many Seth Thomas clocks from 1881 to 1918 have a date code stamped in ink on the case back or bottom. Usually, the year is done in reverse, followed by a letter A–L representing the month. For example, April 1897 would appear as 7981 D.

The Seth Thomas co. made Philadelphia's Independence Hall centennial tower clock. The work was completed on June 24, 1875. The total cost of the clock was $ 20,000. Its bell weighed 13,000 pounds, one thousand pounds for each of the original 13 colonies.

In 1928 the Seth Thomas co. produced the largest single-faced illuminated dial clock in the world for the Colgate Company building in New Jersey. The dial is 50 feet in diameter with hands weighing nearly a ton each. The clock is so large that at night it is visible from all of lower Manhattan Island in New York City.

On a smaller scale, one sure to attract the interest of all automobile drivers, in 1932 the Seth Thomas co. moved into parking meters. You, dear reader, might be pounding a genuine Seth Thomas creation. Please show some respect. It's only a dollar, you know. It can be easily replaced.

More trivia at:

In 1907, jeweler Henry Birks bought the George Trorey jewelery shop at the northeast corner of Granville and Hastings in Vancouver, Canada. Birks kept Trorey's 1905 wooden-movement sidewalk clock, where it stood till 1994. Whether it was made by the Thomas co. I do not know. Probably not, since Thomas's company stopped making wood-movement clocks earlier, but who can tell?

For those interested in learning yet more about the background of Seth Thomas and the early American clock-making business, I recommend this site.

But clocks? Seth Thomas? What has it to do with our reality in such a busy world? Everyone has clocks, and one can buy them for a buck a piece. Now, dear reader, is that totally cool? You can have a clock that will work for the ages, and it'll cost you a buck. You might feel scourged by the sweeping hand, but still, you have order few other can claim. You can measure out your time and be glad of what you have in moments, acutely aware of each you have. You can also look with pleasure on the face of time if you are so fortunate as to own a clock of beauty you know at least a little bit about. Life is good, tick by tock.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Turning and Turning in a Widening Gyre...

There are some events that leave a permanent mark on the man, 9-11 being one for many of us. One needn't have been there, been involved in any physical way, to be marked by the event. Nor does it have to resonate with past experience in any visceral way to have left a mark on the mind for the duration. But imagine you were there, in New York City on the morning of 9-11 when the jihad came back to America is a big way. I was elsewhere that day, but because of the attacks on our nation and our people that day, the horror and the hatred live in my soul as deeply as anything does. Islam on that day and due to that event created at least one eternal enemy. Though I was not there in the city, to this moment the sound of any approaching aeroplane brings back to my mind the murder of our people on 9-11. I will never forget and I will never forgive. I'm likely not the only one. One would guess that many like me still live in New York City right now.

But things have changed in the nation since that transformative day. We have a new president. Some like him. Some will probably think it just right that he portray an image of greatness in the land. Please refer to the story below for more details.

Larrey Anderson, 'Air Force One Photo-op Terrifies New Yorkers," American Thinker. April 27, 2009

The current administration has no shame … and no concern for New Yorkers. Air Force One, accompanied by an F-16 fighter plane, buzzed NYC and the Statue of Liberty because, the White House says, it wanted to update the photo file for Air Force One.

Only problem is, the Obama administration forgot to tell New York’s citizens in advance that Air Force One would be buzzing the city. According to MSNBC:

It wasn't an attack, or even a drill -- it was a government-sponsored photo op.

The Pentagon did tell local authorities about the startling fly-over that sent a Boeing 747 and a F-16 fighter screaming over New York's scarred skyline, but officials said they couldn't share the information with the public. They couldn't even share the information with the mayor.

Mayor Bloomberg said he was "furious" and criticized both the feds and his own administration for failing to issue a simple warning to the public in a city that is still somewhat traumatized by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

An official from the Obama administration said the White House Military Office wanted to update its file photo of the president's plane near the Statue of Liberty.

"[T]he White House Military Office wanted to update its file photo of the president's plane near the Statue of Liberty."

What matters to these people?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Because I do not hope to turn again

When you reach out, maybe your hand will hold. There is always hope.

On the road to buy a lamp I found a lamp on the road; and then I bought shells and rocks for my aquarium with no fish. A lamp on the road on the road to a lamp. A home for fish without fish. There is always hope.

I turned to buy candle holders, silver and shining bright. They were gone when I arrived. Then, as it turns out, someone's grandmother died and a pair of old blue-black flame-holders, tarnished by time, landed in my hands. They are restored. I hold.

I will build me a house upon a hill, and you to come will hold if you reach out. Very common, so I read, glass doorknobs of a dozen facets. I got glass doorknobs this very day. The other day I did not. Today, reaching out, I got them. Common, so it seems.

Glass doorknobs.
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
I will build me a house upon a hill, and you might reach out. If you do, you might hold a common glass doorknob. And enter in.

Amy R. Hughes, "The Beauty of Glass Door Knobs," This Old House magazine.

Glass doorknobs date back to 1826, when the process for pressing molten glass into molds was invented, but they didn't become ubiquitous until after the United States entered World War I, in 1917. Cast brass, bronze, and iron doorknobs, which had dominated the hardware market since the beginning of the Victorian era in 1860, were in short supply because metals were needed for airplanes and ammunition. "But there was still plenty of sand out there to make glass with," says [Brad] Kittel [president of the Antique Doorknob Collectors of America.] And by 1920, the largest hardware makers, including Yale & Towne Manufacturing Co. of Connecticut and Barrows Lock Co. of Illinois, were mass-producing doorknobs of molded and machine-cut glass, and cut crystal to suit various house styles, wallet sizes, and tastes.

During that era, most glass knobs were clear and featured six, eight, or 12 facets [the most common, 12-sided molded-glass knobs.] Their faces were flat so you could peer inside to see star, bullet, and pin-prick designs molded into their bases. Less common were colored-glass knobs in robin's egg and cobalt blues, emerald, amber, violet, white milk, and Vaseline glass (which got its yellow-green color from adding trace amounts of uranium to the mold.) Shapes also varied, from ovals with incised star patterns to crystal globes with tiny bubbles inside — a popular 1920s Art Deco style that works well with modern interiors today.,,1110478,00.html

An old hotel came crashing down to dust and rubbish, it's day done. Among the salvage someone saved my doorknobs. I'm still on the road, and I found them saved. I'll save them, and someday I'll build me a house upon a hill. These glass doorknobs will find a new home. Someone else someday, when my home is not my home, someone else will reach out and turn or not turn. Not turn again.
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again

Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
I.... I haven't found my home again. I'm still on the road. I still find lamps on the road to buy lamps; still find an empty home for fish; still find tarnished candle-holders fallen from the hands of the dead looking for candle-holders fallen from the hands of the dead brought to shine again. The light of candles will light the shine of the glass and the stars within twelve facets, common though they say it is. My house I will build me upon a hill. I reach out.
Although I do not hope to turn again
Although I do not hope
Although I do not hope to turn
T.S. Eliot, "Ash Wednesday"