Friday, November 21, 2014

Most over rated artist

This weeks less than thrilling topic comes via - drum roll please - me. Oh well.

It's pretty simple to me - any celebrity that comes from the reality TV world - the duck dumbasses, the real housewives from anywhere and do on are vastly overrated.  Most if the stuff is scripted so it's as fake as the stars.  But the queen of all IMHO is that fabulously bubble-butted bimbo Kim Kardashian.

Her so-called career is based on a homemade porn tape.  For a time she was in competition with an heir to the Hilton fortune  but little Kimmy has pulled away from Paris and the pack.  Much to the chagrin of her sister Khloe and the Queen Mother Kris Jenner and rising hopeful Kendell. What an amazing family.  OJ's ex-lawyer is probably turning over in his grave.

In a somewhat more serious turn, I personally think  the authors of the so-called classics in literature are somewhat over rated. Not for the quality or lack thereof of their work but because of the attitudes of their fandom.  I suspect they ( their fanboys & fangirls) even resent being called fans  since they undoubtedly feel superior to the rest of the reading world.  Those authors spoke to and about their own times and culture. I prefer reading about those more relevant to my time. I'd much rather read about the goings on on the Busted Flush, tooling around Florida in miss Agnes or consulting with Milan Jacovich on good places to eat in Cleveland. And Kate Shugak has great tales of  life in Alaska and Tres Navarre really knows the Texas hill country. Walt Longmire is the best lawman around.  I do confess though to really enjoying a SherlocK Holmes tale or two along with Jules Verne.  See - it's all relative.

On a final note, even a great artist can lay an egg.  Can there be a more pretentious peace of musical crap than Imagine by John Lennon? Well - possibly Hey Jude, written to John's son Julian by hjis erstwhile bandmate Sir Paul..  They both make me cringe when I hear them played for the bazillionth time.

That's a quick shack-take on today's admittedly lightweight topic. Time to see what the others think. It might be interesting.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Todays topic  comes from Ramana. I wonder what his expectations for the topic may be.
Mine? Today has begun as a typical Friday here in Shackland.

Woke up. Got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head, Hm - where have I heard that before? :-) My expectations were simple - let the dog out, make some toast and coffee and sit down at the computer.  Check Ramana's blog for todays topic, ponder said topic for a minute or two and begin writing. Fairly simple, routine stuff. No task too difficult.

Tasks though - those are the things that give expectations some meat. The greater the task the greater the expectation for success or failure. Failing at a dask when expectations of success were very high can be extremely depressing. Expectations often need to be managed - the temptation to be over confident should be resisted at all cost.  Sounds good but we've all suffered at some point when our results have not met our expectations.

My expectations? Of my friends I expect honesty and a degree of loyalty. Of my work? At this point in time I expect nothing more than a paycheck and a fair amount of tsuris. Of life in general?  Since February not much if any.

So that's a quick shack-take on this weeks topic.  Now I'll see what the others have to say.

Friday, November 7, 2014


This weeks topic comes from the sage of Pune, India  - Ramana and Maxi from Florida so it's not my fault if you don't like it.

Blame.  Is it sheer irony that Ramana chose it as the weekly topic the same week as the great American blame game known as a national election? Arms are in agony across this land from waving fingers in disapproval and blame over the state of the nation. Things haven't been this ugly since the days of John Adams. And it is the other guy's fault.  The other party's fault. A collective breath of fresh air known as acceptance of responsibility is long over due. Why are things like this?

Really now people.  Everything in life we do not like simply cannot be the fault of someone else.  How about  the things we do that may not make sense??

To many people it's simply easier to pass the blame than to take responsibility for their actions.Admit it dear reader - you're no saint. Neither am I - I confess to have passed the buck a time or twoo over the years.  That doesn't make it right. Not when doing it right includes - and is especially true - when no one is watching.  Do the right thing - in spite of the influences of others. Right is right. Unless it's wrong.  Ahem.

By now I assume you've figured out the theme of this little ditty. Be tresponsible for your actions. There's always a choice.  The options may not be wholly attractive but there are choices to be made none the less. Make the choice. Don't blame someone or something else for the bad ones and don't give credit where it's not due forthe good ones - you did the work, put forth the effort and made it happen - often with the help and support of others.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm shackman and I approve this message. Check out what the other LBC folk have to say on the matter.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Comedy of errors

Yet another literary influenced topic. I still dislike ol' Wil but so be it.

So what's it like when things go so horribly wrong the situation becomes funny? We've all been there at some point - of that I am certain.  My two years of varsity football in high school certainly qualify. Our sad excuse for a coach took the most talented team in the league to a blazing 1 win 2 ties and the rest losses/  I'm still mad at him - LOL. At least I won lineman ofthe game in the one that we won.

Then there are the political comedy of error incidents.  Can you say John McCain and Sarah Palin?  Michael Dukakis in the tank?  Anyone remember Gary Hart? Then again several administrations have been nothing to write home about either. Would you consider the Watergate candal a comedy of errors?  I sure do.

So what does one do when trapped in a comedy of errors? I suggest pressing on and hoping for a quick result - get it over with,And remember - it's always beer:30 somewhere so relax and move on. Or listen to some [progressive rock - like Scotland's Comedy of Errors

That's this morning's quick shackake on this weeks topic.  Check out what the others have to say ==>

Friday, October 24, 2014

Commitment to the unverifiable

This week's LBC topic comes from an old fossil. It's an interesting topic worthy of thought but as is my style on these matters I will simply shoot from the hip, hopefully straight and true.

FOS loves a good debate, as do I.  Clearly the line has been cast hoping to set the hook on the topic of god.I'll bite.  I am NOT in the camp that believes in god that is the be-all end-all guide to life.  I do not believe in the virgin birth, jesus is the son of god, etc.  Those of you who know me have heard this and I'm sure expect this from me - when it comes to god,

I do not hold those beliefs against anyone and I try to respect all religions though I confess to a growing contempt and distaste for Islam. Beyond that statement, that's a subject for another day.

I also understand that what today is not verifiable one day may well be verified. I have that much faith in science and the abilities of man. it has always seemed strange to me that a god would give man these brains with  unlimited potential and then rail against us for using them.  Why - for example - cannot the theory of evolution be god's way of developing things? And really now - Noah's Ark?   could it be? Right.......

.Now to the best of my knowledge - and I'm sure the media would be all over the story if it has happened - nobody has actually seen and spoken with god -  and if ithappens how would it go? It'd be nice if it went like this

Somehow I do not see the god that needs to be feared having such a casual, meaningful conversation with us. Nothing makes me cringe internally more than someone who states he or she is a god-fearing individual. On the brighter side, the conversation need go no further with that person if they only intend to preach at me. Their world is black and white and clearly I inhabit the black side. To me though there are mostly shades of grey

Yep.  I will survive.  And if I am wrong in thinking the universe is somehow interconnected and there is some sort of spiritual one-ness to it all - well so be it,  At my age the answer is not that far off so I will know soon enough.  Pity I won't be able to share it with all y'all though.  Ya see - that's something we all discover for ourselves  at the end of the line.

That's my quick shack take on this week's topic.  Check out what Fos and the others have to say.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Peek a boo

This weeks topic comes from Ashok, It'll be interesting to see what he comes up with  -

Friday, October 10, 2014


It's all about learning, folks.  Everything.  It's really that simple. If we cannot learn we are doomed to fail.

Central to learning of course is teaching.  If we do not learn how to teach we cannot learn.  Oh sure - some of us are innately curious and will  ponder something and even work it out but the solution is of little or no value if it cannot be effectively shared - taught to others.

Some 1800 or so years ago Roman emperor marcus Aurelius learned from his great grandfather "  to get me good and able teachers at home; and that I ought not to think much, if upon such occasions, I were at excessive charges" - sounds like home schooling was valued even then.  And that public education was not particularly well respected.

Things have not changed much - just listen to George Carlin (if hearing Carlin's strong language is bothersome read the text here )

Today kids have major obstacles to overcome to get educated - not the least of which is the public education system. Our rapidly declining middle class is typically working more hours for le$$ so they have less time to do their part in educating the kids.   And college? My college education cost me  less than $1000 for tuition and fees.  Books probably added another $1000 and it was very easy for me to pay my way through school. And remember - that was spread over 6 years. Today that same degree would cost in excess of $25,000 just in tuition and fees alone.  And thats for a BA in a California State University school.  It assumes of course that a child can meet the educational; requirements to enter the school. I'm not altogether certain a child going through the public school system here in Ft Worth, Texas would be able to demonstrate those skills - based on what I have seen of the education offered my grandchildren here.  I suppose I should rest easy as the politicians in both parties promise to make education their top priority.

What was it that George Carlin said?

That's a quick shack take on education.  Check out what the others in the LBC have to say about this important topic.