Yearly Archives: 2011

Hindu New Year is April 15 this year, so I’m a little early.  But here are my resolutions:

• Stop talking back to the TV, even (and especially) when Dr. Phil is on.

• Better yet, walk out of the room when Dr. Phil is on.

• Make a more concerted effort to get together with friends, past and present.

• Take some damn lessons finally so I can play some golf without losing a half-dozen balls.

• Pick up the camera now and again, walk around town and shoot, then have some lunch.  It might make me feel like an artist.

• Make a meaningful contribution to NPR.

• Lose 12 pounds in 2012 as a prelude to losing another 13 pounds in 2013.  The idea is to stay healthy, so as to fully enjoy and engage in what our world has to offer.

• Fix that creaking floor next to the closet.  They say that every time you eliminate one of life’s little annoyances, an angel gets its wings.

• Devote more time to good books and cut my losses with bad books.  I have a tendency to slog through bad books as if there were some kind of prize at the end.

• I will give my wife more kisses than last year.

• I will vote for Obama no matter what I think of his accomplishments or lack of them, because I know the alternatives are worse and I cannot be slave to principle.

• Whenever I write a new post for this blog, I resolve to consider: will someone enjoy reading this?  And then I will go ahead and post it anyway.

As Yoko said, let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.

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By now, you must have read the recent reports that Cheetah the Chimp, star of various “Tarzan” films in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, died Christmas Eve in a sanctuary in Florida, at the age of 80.  This would indeed be sad news, if it were true.

But you see, it can’t be true, because I am Cheetah.

Here I am, at left, crouching between my Dad and my Mom, flashing my classic smile.  They loved me and I loved them back.  We lived a happy life on the jungle set.  Many sticks to throw and vines to climb.  They are gone now, but Cheetah not gone.  Cheetah remember.

Of course, I can already sense the first question that comes to your mind: how can I be Cheetah, since I am not 80 years old?  I can explain, but first let me finish grooming myself.  OK.  There.  That one too.

One day, when I was about seven, I was watching cartoons after school.  It was the same show I usually watched: “Paul Shannon’s Adventure Time.”  The last thing I remembered was Paul lowering his magic sword… and the next thing I knew, I had been transported backwards in time 20 years.  As you might guess, the process of going back in time had a regressive effect on my physical development — I now had hair over my entire body and I could only speak in screams and oogles.

I still had my endearing smile, though, and I figured I could use it to get by.  But it was still pretty hard making a living as a 3-foot-tall waiter.  Eventually I renamed myself Cheetah and headed for Hollywood, California, where I would be accepted for who I was.

It was a happy time, making the “Tarzan” films.  I learned how to act and how to provoke elephant stampedes.  I had all the bananas I could eat.  They were sort of constipating, so I had to scrounge for crickets and other sources of fiber when I wasn’t needed on the set.  Nowadays, trainers know better.

So, just to let you know, Cheetah is not dead but in his late 50s, and is living peacefully in the North Carolina mountains.  When I’m not writing my blog, I make art.  Fingerpaints.  Stop by and have a banana daiquiri with me.

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Not long after I posted “Making Wall Street Pay“, in which I proposed raising the SEC fee for buying and selling stocks as a way to raise revenues and reduce market volatility, the New York Times discovered my idea and added its substantial heft to it.  Unfortunately for 99-percenters, the Obama administration (by administration I mean Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner) doesn’t care for my idea, according to The Times:

The Obama administration has also been lukewarm, expressing sympathy but saying it would be hard to execute, could drive trading overseas and would hurt pension funds and individual investors in addition to banks.

Oh, it would hurt investors in addition to banks?  Your everyday individual investor (and here I mean investor rather than speculator) would only pay a few extra cents on a trade.  If we were really concerned about the impact of the fee on Mr. or Ms. Ordinary Investor, we could exempt small trades (under $10,000 say) from the new fee.  Clearly, the Obama administration continues to act in a fashion consistent with protecting the very institutions (and the people running them) that brought our country to the brink of economic collapse.

It’s too bad that the Occupy Movement has not (yet) become the progressive alternative to the Tea Party, instead of the rag-tag assemblage of causes and resentments it is today.  There is certainly plenty worthy of protest — no tent required, only a sense of focus.

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