Well, Well, Well… #socs

Today’s prompt is “well,” and I can think of two things I can write about.

Wellbutrin (bupropion) (source)

One of them is bupropion, the generic version of the antidepressant Wellbutrin. I’ve been taking it for over ten years, even before I had the stroke. In fact, I was in the process of changing over from bupropion to fluoxetine (Prozac) when I had the stroke, and they switched me back. My depression was getting worse a few years ago and my doctor doubled my dose, where I take it twice a day rather than once, and I felt better. So I guess it’s working.

The other thing is a series of cartoons called Out Of The Inkwell, starring Koko the Clown, or as he was named originally, Ko-Ko. Koko was the invention of Max Fleischer, who needed a cartoon to demonstrate his new invention, the Rotoscope, which allows the cartoonist to base his drawings on live action. Koko was based on Max’s brother Dave, who put on a clown costume and performed for the camera. Max then did his drawings and the rest was history. Here’s one from 1924 called “A Trip To Mars.” Yes, it’s a silent…

Fleischer’s cartoons (besides Koko, there was Betty Boop, Popeye, and Bimbo, Betty’s dog/boyfriend) were not for kids, and some of the early Betty Boop cartoons were rather risqué and banned for various reasons. An example is “HA! HA! HA!” She shares the bill with Koko, and the two of them get high together on laughing gas…

They revived Koko in the late Fifties and made 100 new cartoons, in color, with sound, in 1960-61. When WFLD in Chicago started showing cartoons in the afternoon, they showed the new Kokos, because WGN had all the good cartoons.

Fleischer was a genius, and his Rotoscope is still being used, albeit in a more modern form. Ralph Bakshi used it in many of his productions, it was used by the animators of the Peanuts classic It’s The Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown, and it’s been used a lot since then.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about Folger’s Instant Coffee. Tastes like fresh-perked!


My Attempt At Yeggery #socs

Mary told me a story this week about a woman who couldn’t get into the safe at work, so she called the local prison and had them find someone who was a safecracker and bring him over to break into the safe. I’m not sure if she didn’t know the combination, or if the person who had the combination was out of pocket or what, but that was unimportant: they got into the safe, and the world was, once again, made of donuts.

Mmmmmmm…. donuts… (source:Pixabay)

Did you know a safecracker is called a yegg? Mark that down; it might come in handy someday, like it did here for me.

We lived in an apartment that had a safe in the master bedroom closet. Dad pointed it out, and it became my mission to break into it. Of course, I was six at the time, and had no earthly idea how to get into it. Dad said that maybe I could use a stethoscope and listen to the tumblers as they fell. My Uncle Dick was doing his residency at the time, and we asked if we could borrow his. He was nice enough to come over with it, but it didn’t do much good, because I couldn’t hear anything, and even if I did, I wouldn’t know whether what I heard was a tumbler or something else.

Dad could tell I was getting frustrated, so he suggested we write a letter to the safe company, give them the serial number of the safe, and ask them if, pretty please, we could have the combination. I gave him the required information, and he dashed off a letter to the Melink Safe Company of Toledo, Ohio with our request.

A few days later we received a several-pages-long response from them, basically telling us they didn’t keep information like that, and even if they did the person who had installed the safe had probably changed it, blah blah blah, your guess is as good as ours, rotsa ruck, kid, love, the Melink Safe Company, Toledo, Ohio.

Finally, we had an idea: Since the apartment was a rental, there was a better-than-average chance that the landlord, Mr. Gilbert Delahunty, had it installed, and he might know what the combination was. Thing was, we only saw Mr. Delahunty when he came around to collect the rent, and even then, he rarely stayed around to talk. This time, I would wait with Mom and ask him. Unfortunately, Mr. Delahunty remembered that I was the kid who had set the back porch on fire, and his answer was something that rhymed with “duck cough.”

Maybe we should have called Cook County Jail and had them send over a safecracker.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Joey, from Joeyfully Stated provided today’s prompt, and we thank her for that. Now a word from Mister Donut.

Do Dew Due Doo Doo #socs

“Heartbreaker,” by the Rolling Stones, from Goat’s Head Soup.

It was the first thing I thought of when I saw the prompt. You know me.

Due to the trouble I’m having with my knees, I’ve been staying upstairs in my office a lot. Not the ideal situation (I’d rather be downstairs with Mary, though I’m sure she appreciates the time off from me), but one must make do in situations like this one. I’m anxious to start the physical therapy that, God willing, will strengthen my legs enough to where dealing with stairs is no longer an issue. I contacted Speedo about the pool shoes, and they said that their standard sizes have enough stretch that I shouldn’t have any problem with them. They recommended a size, and I chose to order a couple of pairs in the next size up. They’re due some time next week (at the latest, the following Monday), so if they fit I’ll be able to call and get myself on the schedule with the physical therapist. Pray that I’m able to get on her list

In the meantime, I’ve been reading blog posts and commenting, I’ve listened to more baseball the last few nights than I have all season (which ends this Sunday, at least for the hometown boys and the White Sox), and I’m giving Spotify another chance. They’ve made some definite improvements to the user interface, and made it much easier to work with, so I’m kind of enjoying it. Not enough to pay the exorbitant fee for commercial-free and all the other goodies, but still enjoying it. Today I’m listening to the “80’s SophistiPop” station and hearing a few bands I was familiar with then (The Thompson Twins, Swing Out Sister, Level 42) and a whole lot of music that’s new to me.

I’ve also been playing with YouTube. For a person who thinks TV was better before cable, when all you had was the broadcast channels, it’s a gold mine. There are users that have whole videos of entire evenings of TV on one network, minus the actual programs, so what you end up with are the commercials, bumpers, station breaks, news updates, and anything else that was on, even portions of newscasts. You’d be surprised at how relaxing it is, and what a kick it is to take a look back at what was au courant back then. Kind of weird to see commercials for pantyhose again. I mean, do women even still wear them?

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now here’s Joyce Dewitt for Undie L’eggs pantyhose.

You just knew I would do something like that, didn’t you?

Heat? Or Cold? Yes? #socs

As part of my coping with a pair of arthritic knees, I’ve wondered whether hot compresses or cold ones are the best to take the pain out of them. From what I gather from the things I’ve read online, the answer is “yes.” Apparently it’s a matter of doing both at different times.

Cold is no problem: I’ve been using Biofreeze, which Mary learned about when she was in massage therapy school. It seems to really work well, albeit temporarily, but it’s better than anything else, and doesn’t smell too bad, either. Compared to something like Ben-Gay, it’s almost pleasant, and the best thing is, it wears off pretty well after a while. The question isw, should I buy myself a heating pad, or just go with washcloths soaked in hot water to give myself the heat therapy?

I did speak with a physical therapist, who suggested aquatic therapy, i.e. exercising in a pool. Several of you suggested this as well, and I had been thinking this way for a while. The problem is that I need to find pool shoes, shoes that I can wear in the pool while I work on a treadmill. You would think it wouldn’t be hard to find them, except I have these huge feet, size 10 ½ 6E, and so far I haven’t been able to find any that big. I mean, they must be available, because I’m sure athletes, particularly football players, have huge feet and need to take advantage of aquatic therapy for some of the injuries they sustain, but trying to find them has been more difficult than I anticipated. Sure, pool shoes are available, but not in the width I need, so I think I need to start asking people who might know. Luckily, my orthopedics guy was team doctor at the local high school and university. I guess I’ll ask him.

Wish me luck.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from our sponsors.

What A Revoltin’ Development This Is… #socs

A classic TV show I haven’t seen in a while is The Life Of Riley. It was originally a 1949 movie starring William Bendix and a 1949 TV series that starred Jackie Gleason that ran for two seasons, but what most people think of when they hear the name is the TV series starring Bendix that ran from 1953 to 1958. At some point during each of those shows (usually toward the end), Chester Riley (Bendix) would face the camera and say “What a revoltin’ development this is!”

Fortunately, some kind soul has put many of the shows on YouTube. Here’s the first, where he tries to help his daughter Babs become freshman class president.

“A revoltin’ development” is how some might describe the latest mess caused by Atlanta-based Equifax, one of three credit-reporting bureaus in the United States (the other two are Experian and TransUnion). When you apply for a credit card, home loan, mortgage, anything involving your credit, the creditor checks your credit-worthiness with one of the three bureaus (sometimes all three) before lending you money. Sometimes companies will check your credit score before offering you a job, and I would bet that more than a few people considering marriage run a credit check on their partner before popping or answering the question. I mean, it’s a huge business, and you have no choice but to play the game. Whether or not you consider yourself one of Equifax’s clients, they have all of your information: name, current and past addresses, phone numbers, date of birth and taxpayer identification (i.e. Social Security) number. Anyone getting their hands on that information can “steal your identity,” i.e. impersonate you, obtaining loans you don’t know about and that they have no intention of paying.

So, you would expect that a company with that kind of sensitive information at its fingertips would be very careful about guarding it, wouldn’t you?

Well, evidently Equifax discovered that the records of 143 million or so individuals (mostly in the US and Canada) were taken by a clever hacker exploiting a security flaw in their servers. They made this discovery at the end of July, but didn’t choose to inform people that their records might have been taken until last week. During the six weeks between making this discovery and letting people know about it, several officers of the company sold their stock, leading many to believe that they knew about it but kept up appearances so they didn’t lose too much.

This has me quite upset. Number one, 143 million is an estimate, and likely a low one, but it represents close to half the population of the United States. Number two, I have friends that worked for Equifax. Emphasis on worked: about fifteen years ago, Equifax outsourced their IT department by selling to a new company and transferring its IT staff to the new company, so even though they were still working at Equifax, they no longer worked for them. And number three, the people who stole the information got a six-week head start while Equifax management were covering their asses to keep the stock price high so they wouldn’t lose too much money.

Pardon my French for just a minute: I’m really pissed off about this. This is a massive fuck-up on their part, and I don’t think they’re taking it seriously enough. The people who sold their stock took advantage of their insider knowledge to avoid personal losses. Hell, Martha Stewart spent time in jail for insider trading that’s peanuts compared to this. And we’re the ones who are on the hook. It’s our identities that have been compromised, and now our responsibility to ensure (as best we can) that we don’t get hurt by this.

Revoltin’ development, indeed…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now, here’s Mike Wallace with a word about Fluffo!