Crayons #1LinerWeds #JusJoJan

Janet and I have gotten on the subject of crayons here on a few occasions. One of her memories was getting a new box of 64 Crayola crayons (with sharpener!) every Christmas when she was younger. Anyway, I was flipping through some old comments to see what inspiration they provided, ran across her comment, and asked myself, “hey, I wonder if they make any boxes bigger than 64?” So, I went to the world’s favorite online department store and discovered that yes, in fact they now make a box with 152 crayons. Actually, a caddy, with a built-in sharpener! You can see it in action here.

Naturally, I went to the product reviews, and found one of the best lines ever in a review by “Leland”:

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. During January, it’s part of Just Jot It January.

Now a word from (naturally) Crayola crayons.

Le Jazz Hot #JusJoJan

Kelli from Forty, c’est fantastique! provided today’s prompt, which is “Paris.” I know just where to take you, so let’s hop in the WABAC machine and set it for Paris, 1933.

You find yourself in the club room of the Hotel Claridge at 37 Rue Francois in the 1er arondissement of Paris, drinking absinthe, smoking a Gaulioses, and listening to the band, which among its members are two guitarists (one with a crippled hand), a flashy violinist, and a young double-bass player. The band is swinging along, and after 45 minutes they take a break and leave the stage. A couple of minutes later, this can be heard from backstage, above the din of the crowd…

Several months later, you’re at another club, and recognize the members of the quintet, four of them whom you had seen that night at the Hotel Claridge, a fifth with a striking resemblance to the guitarist with the crippled hand. They swing from the start of the set…

They swing hard for 45 minutes, finishing with this…

Before they break, they introduce themselves as Le Quintette du Hot Club de France. The guitarist with the crippled hand is Django Reinhardt, the two supporting guitarists are Joseph Reinhardt and Roger Chaput, the violinist is Stephane Grappelli, and the bassist is Louis Vola. And you realize you’ve seen history…

Sixty years later, in 1993, I had the pleasure of seeing Grappelli in concert at Massey Hall in Toronto. By then he was a frail 85-year-old man who had to be helped onto the stage. He was the last of the Quintette alive, his friend Django having died of a stroke 40 years earlier, the other members having gone their separate ways. When he started to play, we were transported to the Hotel Claridge, 1933. He hadn’t lost a step…

Now a word from Viceroy cigarettes. Not too strong, not too light, Viceroy’s got the taste that’s right!

I didn’t know Batgirl smoked…

“Reflections of my Life” #JusJoJan

Janet gave us reflection for today’s prompt, and probably knew what I’d do with it… From 1969, The Marmalade, “Reflections of my Life.”

Courtesy of AZLyrics, here are the words, written by William Campbell and Thomas MacAleese:

The changing of sunlight to moonlight
Reflections of my life
Oh, how they fill my eyes
The greetings of people in trouble
Reflections of my life
Oh, how they fill my eyes

All my sorrow
Sad tomorrow
Take me back to my old home
All my crying (all my crying)
Feel I’m dying, dying
Take me back to my old home

I’m changing, arranging
I’m changing, I’m changing everything
Ah, everything around me
The world is a bad place
A bad place, a terrible place to live
Oh, but I don’t wanna die

All my sorrow
Sad tomorrow
Take me back to my old home
All my crying (all my crying)
Feel I’m dying, dying
Take me back to my old home
All my sorrow (all my sorrow)
Sad tomorrow
Take me back (take me back) to my old home
All my crying (all my crying)
Feel I’m dying…

Hope that puts you in a reflective mood.

And now, here’s Barbara Feldon for Top Brass hair dressing for men by Revlon. Medicated to fight dandruff!

Send More Chuck Berry! #JusJoJan

Today’s prompt, sent to us by Teresa over at The Haunted Wordsmith (hi, Teresa!), is “undiscovered.” Not knowing what to do with it, I went to Pixabay and stuck it in their handy-dandy search engine, and turned up a half-dozen images or so created by a man named John Hain, all of which were variations on this theme:

Click for full-sized image

When I was much younger, I was taught that Earth was the only populated planet in the Universe. The older I get, the more I realize that, in a universe chock-full of stars, all or most of which host solar systems of varying sizes, there’s just gotta be at least one other planet that has sentient beings on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that planet was in our very own solar system and we just haven’t gotten there yet. I wonder if they’re on Uranus, in which case, I wonder what their word for rectum is. Maybe it’s Earth.

I’m not 62, I’m 12 with 50 years of practice.

Seriously, though…

The question on a lot of people’s minds is, “if there are other sentient beings elsewhere in the Universe, why haven’t they made contact?” Those people should consider the Pioneer plaque, our message to civilizations outside the solar system.

Click for full-size image (Source: Wikipedia, public domain)

There was a cartoon years ago that showed a well-dressed man and woman looking at the plaque. The caption was “The people on Earth are a lot like us on Jupiter, except they don’t wear any clothes.”

Maybe, in some quiet corner of the Universe, the Pioneer plaque is hanging on a refrigerator door.

Evidently, the whole idea of a plaque was Carl Sagan’s. It might have made more sense if we had sent him instead.

Saturday Night Live, back in the days when it was actually funny and made sense, did a sketch about a panel show for psychics, one of whom was played by Steve Martin, who, according to his introduction, had correctly predicted every Time Magazine cover since the ’50’s. When they asked him for his prediction, he talked about how the Pioneer craft also carried recordings of sounds from Earth, including people saying “hello” and samples of music, everything from Beethoven symphonies to Chuck Berry, and that another civilization had found it and sent a merssage back to Earth:


And now, here are Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz for Philip Morris cigarettes.

Notice Lucy doesn’t light one herself. Apparently, her brand was Chesterfield, like my mother. The “CALL FOR PHILIP MORRRRR-EE-ISSSSSS!” was provided by Johnny Roventini.

He Who Laughs Last… #socs #JusJoJan

My uncle Jack gave me the advice early on in my career: get whatever experience you can on a job and leave after a couple of years. I wish I had followed his advice rather than working for the same company for 20 years. Actually, the company changed hands a number of times while I was there, but it was a case of “new circus, same clowns” each time.

I finished my career there working for a person I didn’t like working with many years earlier. To give you some idea of how well it went, the day it was announced that he was going to be my manager, he omitted my name from the list of names he sent his introductory email to. I walked in that morning, and everyone wanted to know what had happened and where I was going. Naturally, I was pretty upset by the whole thing and was ready to raise a stink about it, but I checked my email and he had forwarded me the original, with a sorry-not-sorry added to it. The next time I saw him, I introduced myself: “Hello M., I’m John Holton, and unfortunately I work for you.” He laughed it off.

I was lucky that I had a manager between him and me for most of the time I worked for him, but that relationship went away about the time the company had developed a new product, so to speak, and he decided I should be the lead person on it. He then spent a lot of time and effort micromanaging me and basically getting in my face whenever he didn’t like the work I had done. I should have read the writing on the wall right then, but I was too busy to start looking for another job, or so I told myself.

Things came to a head when I was onsite with a client. He called me in my hotel, informed me he would be arriving that night for a meeting with the client in the morning, and he expected me to meet him at his hotel (which was on the other side of town) so that the two of us and the salesperson (who had worked with us before and who’s another story entirely) could “strategize.” He then launched into a lengthy diatribe about how I have a “cavalier attitude” and that I had better watch myself and change my ways.

I wasn’t especially happy when I hung up. The only thing that cheered me up was realizing I was in Cleveland, whose NBA team is, ironically, the Cavaliers. After dinner, I went in search of a Cavaliers hat, but couldn’t find one. I went back to the hotel and waited for his call. By midnight, I decided he wasn’t going to call, and went to bed. The next morning, he arrived at the client site and told me he had gotten in at 10 the night before and decided to go to bed (and obviously not to call me).

Things deteriorated rapidly after that, and by May I was informed that I was being put on probation for 30 days. I asked what would happen if I didn’t want to do that, and he told me to hand in my notice as of the day the 30-day period ended. Mary and I had already discussed what I should do (she had already told me to go ahead and quit several months earlier), so I handed in my notice, Mary asked some friends to watch the cats, and the two of us took off for Tennessee for a mini-vacation.

We spent the next several days wandering around central Tennessee, and one of the things we did was visit antique stores. In one store, Mary came up to me and said, “I found something you should give M.” She took me to a room and pointed at a painting on the wall:

Frans Hals, “The Laughing Cavalier” (source: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

It was a reproduction, of course, but if it hadn’t been a little out of my price range…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. This month, it’s also part of Just Jot It January.

Now here’s Yogi Bear for Kellogg’s OKs cereal. The one with the bear on the box!