Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Smoking Gun

Amelia Earhart
I was pleased to learn today that a fragment of Amelia Earhart's lost aircraft has been identified to a high degree of certainty for the first time since her plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

The fragment was found by the search group, TIGHAR (The Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) an organization that I have supported for several years, confidant that their hypothesis was correct and it was only a matter of time before they were vindicated.

I'm personally pleased that my "instincts" are still pretty sharp as well.

Fragment from Earhart's Plane
 I've posted this video here before, but in case you missed it, here is the story I did about TIGHAR and Amelia Earhart a few years ago, in July of 2011.  At that time, I felt that the only thing still missing from the final resolution of the 77 year old mystery was the "smoking gun."

I believe that has finally been confirmed.

If you have a few minutes to spare, I think you'll enjoy the show we did for Fairfax Cable in Fairfax, Virginia.

-Ed    .

Tom King (Pt 1) "Search For Amelia"- Out of the Past - 2011 from Chuck Langdon on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things You've Never Heard

A Woman say:

Damnit, don’t stop for directions, I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out how to get there.
That was fun! When will all of your friends be over to watch football again? 
You’re so sexy when you’re hungover. 
I love it when you play golf on Sunday’s, I just wish you had time to play on Saturday too.
 No, No, I’ll take the car to have the oil changed. 
 I’d rather watch football and drink beer with you than go shopping. 

Things NOBODY ever said:

Tell me about your hernia operation again.

I love it when you chew with your mouth open!

Kanye West actually seems like a nice guy.

You look great with that spray tan.

Starbucks coffee isn't sufficiently burnt.

Things NO  Newspaper Ever Wrote
"There are a number of complaints about voting machines that when a citizen tries to vote for a Democrat, it actually registers as a vote for a REPUBLICAN."
(Think about that.)
Any mention of ANYONE ever arrested for voter fraud.

 (Warning: In spite of the pre-election polls, keep in mind that the two political parties are not playing by the same rules.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ah So

Is it just me, or do you also remember the time and place you first enjoyed certain foods?

Waldorf Salad
I love Waldorf salad. Every time it's on this 78 year old's plate, my thoughts go back to that day I first tasted it in the Elizabeth school cafeteria.

My favorite sandwich is still ham salad on white toast which I first experienced in the Johnson Building's soda shop with my Dad when I was about 7 years old.  My food memories don't all date back to my childhood though.  The first time I tasted Vichyssoise
was in 1961 at a rather formal dinner in Washington and I remember thinking that the cook forgot to warm the soup. But fortunately I kept my mouth shut and by the time I had finished I figured that
Vichyssoise (cold potato and leek) soup
must have been the way it was supposed to be since it tasted so good. Since then it's been my very favorite soup.

I opened a can of Chicken Chow Mein last night. It was delicious. My Daddy used to bring home cans of those from the A and P on 7th Street next to Stanleys Drug Store.   That was sometime in the '40's, shortly after WW2.  We were sure it was authentic Chinese food not just because of its name, Chun King, but because the can was just about always bent and beat up, obviously a result of the long long trip. In addition,Those clever Chinese sold cans of Chop Suey as well, which were almost as good.

They also came in bent cans.

I don't remember how old I was when I finally learned about Santa Claus, but I was in my middle 20's before I discovered that authentic Chinese cooks never heard of Chicken Chow mein or Chop Suey; and Chun King was only a name made up by Jeno Paulucci an American from Duluth, Minnesota whose phony concoctions in contrived travel weary cans were the beginning of his enormous fortune of over 150 million dollars.

Paulucci went on to found over 70 companies and become the first Chairman of the R.J. Reynolds Food Company.

I don't know if anyone every confronted him about those bent cans, but I kinda enjoyed being fooled.
 (He reverted to his old ways again later in his journey up the corporate ladder when an ammonia spill in a cooler stained the skins on 18 cases of bananas without damaging the fruit, Paulucci labeled them "exotic Argentine imports" -- and sold them at a premium of 4 cents a pound.

As the "Number One overall entrepreneur in the world," the son of Italian immigrants had his share of detractors as well as adoring fans. He was as tempestuous as he was generous and plainspoken, never forgeting his impoverished roots.

They say his temper was legendary.  He once gave a tongue lashing so severe to an employee that the
Jeno Paulucci
poor worker fainted, after which Paulucci revived him...and continued the tirade.

Then there was the a newspaper reporter who wrote something that so offended him that he couldn't wait for the postal service to deliver his fiery response  He was so irate in fact the ordered his pilot to fly the company plane 300 miles to where the reporter lived and deliver the letter in person. The 5 page missive was signed, "Cordially Yours."

On the other hand, he provided several million dollars of inducements to lure businesses to Duluth,  and is credited with an important role in bringing a civic center, airport terminal and sky way system there.

The story is told of the time he offered a particular company a sweetheart deal to purchase Chun King at only 40 million dollars, which was 23 million dollars less than it was actually worth at the time  -- until that company's legal beagles, replete with what Jeno called "their watch fobs and fancy degrees," managed to offend him.
"They were treating me like a peon, saying things to each other like, 'I'm Harvard '36' or 'I'm Yale '42,"   Paulucci who dropped out of Hibbing Junior College as a freshman for lack of money. finally told them,  "Well, I'm Hibbing High School '35, and you can take your $40 million and shove it.'"

Paulucci lived to be 93 years old, passing away only 4 days after his 86 year old wife of 64 years died in 2011.

  Those delicious cans of Chicken Chow Mein are still around and look very much the same.....except for the name; they are now called LA CHOY, which frankly sounds Chinese to me.  The food inside tastes the same as it did in the 1940's...but it's not nearly as much fun.

The cans are no longer bent, darn it.

 RIP Jeno.


(My thanks to Al Gore's amazing internet for many of the details of  Mr. Paulucci's career.  Like many of us, he was a combination of "good" and "bad."   But in his case, perhaps more so.  In 1945  Paulucci got drunk and chased a man down the streets of Duluth, Minn. with two butcher knives. After spending a night in jail he decided to straighten up–and help others do the same. 
 Shortly afterward, he began staffing his companies with many people with troubles.  It's estimated that before he retired, he had hired over 10,000 of those folks.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Broccoli Rights!

"You don't have a memory problem; You have a "retrieval" problem."

You nailed it, Doc!  Although it wasn't a doctor who told me that. It was a friend of mine who made that diagnosis based on the fact that he has the same problem.
I'm positive the words and thoughts are still up there in my brain somewhere tying their shoes or something...because they eventually show up.

It's possible (and I'm the first person to make this connection)... that this is caused by eating salads!

Waiting to be slaughtered
If you don't follow the news much, you may not be aware that plants know when they are being eaten, and don't like it worth a damm! (That's according to  the latest study, no doubt paid for by our Uncle Sucker,...who may eventually get around to doing some research on  the Ebola virus ...)

Now, it doesn't take a genius to make the connection that plants, being a lot more aware and smarter than we thought they were are going to look for revenge!  And what's more logical than clogging up a few of the highways leading from our brains to our mouth!  They're up there anyway, so why not?

Prove me wrong.


(Obviously, this calls for another Government research grant.  The average cost of one of those is $450,000 thousand dollars. It just so happens that the CHS54 research department is having a half price sale this week. Contracting officers can reach our official grants department between the hours of 10 til 10:45am and 4:40 and 5:05pm weekdays.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

and then he told me...

Talk about a book that makes “history come alive;” I've got one that I mentioned on this website before but other than that, and perhaps the 12 or 15 people who purchased it, nobody else ever read it. It's by a man named Sidney Morris Davis, who was a Yankee cavalryman in the Civil war whose first brush with death happened about a mile from my house in Falls Church, VA when a Confederate sharpshooter's bullet barely missed his head as he rode in formation along highway 29.

His description of the landscape pinpointed exactly where the spot was.

I drive past it almost everyday.

Sidney Davis' experiences were almost unbelievable. He learned, quite accidentally during a brief furlough from the War, that he had been an indentured servant to the farmer he and his father had been living and working with outside Pittsburgh.

At the same time, discovered that his alcoholic mother, whom he never knew, had sold him for $35.

Before his experience as a COMMON SOLDIER was over he had been held as a prisoner of war by the Confederates and upon release, tried to return to his Yankee Unit, which he discovered had been disbanded. Having no way to prove his incarceration by the Confederates, he spent 6 more months in a Union prison charged with desertion.

Oh, and Sidney Davis was my wife's Great Grandfather. There may be a few more “greats” in there, but who's counting.

I remember one of my teachers at Central told the class one day about the joy of reading a book by a great man. She said it's just like he's there in the room talking to you!
Davis called himself a common soldier, which is the name of his book.

Davis was no "great man" by anyone's standards, but as I read Davis' words, the voice I hear is anything but common!

He was captured by the Rebels during the battle of Gettysburg and thus began the long march South. At New Market, Virginia the prisoners were crowded on train cars for the long ride to Richmond and their eventual destination Belle Isle prison.

"I do not think I shall forget that ride to Richmond during my existence in this life. The train
Sidney Davis
moved, as far as I can judge, at the rate of about 10 miles per hour.  The sun was fairly blazing in a cloudless sky. For the first few miles the novelty of the ride stirred up our spirits; but the journey soon became a monotonous one, and the utter impossibility of one's resting oneself when tired of standing added to one's agony.

Stoppages were so frequent that the expressed doubt as to our reaching Richmond before the month was ended seemed not to be so extravagant after all.

The men began to suffer from want of water, and , although we ran along the mountain side and saw the clear crystal streams come dashing down almost within reach of our hands, we could not quench our consuming thirst.  The harvesters were busy in the meadows; the farm houses in the distance reminded me of the contented days of "auld lang syne," the cattle in the fields raised their heads to look at the supremely bunches of flies, and as I looked on in my despairing soul, it seemed as if we were to be forever isolated from all this happy world.

The ride from Gordonsville to Richmond was devoid of interest. I remember that it grew dark soon after we left the former town, and that there seemed to be an endless monotony of pine forests and lonely fields.

But few words were spoken that night. I managed to secure a seat on the end of a car beside one of the guards...a tall, lean, lank man, forty-five or fifty years of age, with long reddish hair and whiskers...and as comfortable as circumstances would permit. 

About midnight I felt the guard lean heavily upon me, and from his hand slipped the dreaded musket.  As it fell I seized it, and thus prevented its loss. The man was sound asleep.

My first impulse, now that I had an enemy in my power, was to push him off suddenly between the cars, and have him crushed to death; but it occurred to me that such an act would simply constitute a cowardly murder; then the vision of a family in tears rose vividly before me.

I awakened him, gave him his gun, and cautioned him playfully as to his duty as a soldier.

He seemed very grateful, and said he was completely worn out from fatigue.  For a few moments he sat up, and then settled back again...sound asleep, and I once more caught the gun as it fell.

I allowed him to sleep until we reached Richmond, just before dawn, when I aroused him."

Common Soldier?

No way!  But he sure got the "uncommon war" part right!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Take two, and call me in the Morning.

When the "muse" simply refuses to visit me down here in the Bat Cave, where I like to write little stories that amuse me, and, hopefully, you as well, it's usually because of an overload of bad news about the incompetence of our once trusted government.

I pray that the next two years doesn't drive us completely off the cliff and we survive this regime and begin to recover.

Meanwhile, I take a couple of what I call "optical tranquilizers" and feel better almost immediately!

Here are two of my favorites. See if they work for you!

Feel better now?

I thought you would.

-Dr. Myers

Monday, October 20, 2014

What's This Young Generation coming to? !

That's not really a question. It's a statement; and it's probably been made by every adult generation since mankind crawled out of the caves.

I think it's mandatory; it's in our genes, much like the "Flight or Fight Syndrome."  When a person reaches a certain age, the words just automatically blurt out one day, much like grey hair and wrinkles.

It was even said about US!  OUR generation!

 But then, there were some of us including me who were actually "wild."  I confess! I was one of those "going to Hell in a hand basket" boys who....occasionally "talked in class," smoked a cigarette or two, drove over the speed limit sometimes, "scratched off" in front of my girlfriend's house, sported a "duck tail" haircut and pegged pants, and even "sassed my elders" once or twice! 


Then, a strange thing happened; we grew up.

That will happen with this generation too.


 It should.

I think.

Good Lord, I HOPE so!

Monday, October 13, 2014

LDL 10/14/14

This may seem like Monday, after yesterday's holiday, but it's Tuesday and time for this month's LDL!

Unfortunately, your handsome, lovable, and modest, webmaster is way up here in Virginia, right outside Washington (Disneyland East) and have never had the pleasure of attending any of those "jumping and jiving" LDL's.

But I hear that the conversations and witty retorts rival those of the celebrated Algonquin Round Table group of New York City writers, critics, actors and wits. Gathering initially as part of a practical joke they met for lunch each day at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919 until roughly 1929. At these luncheons they engaged in wisecracks, wordplay and witticisms that, through the newspaper columns of Round Table members, were disseminated across the country.
The Oak Room (Round Table Room)

The story is told that one afternoon, Round Table member Edna Ferber arrived at The Algonquin in a new suit similar to the one Noel Coward was wearing. “You look almost like a man,” Coward said as he greeted her. “So do you,” replied Ferber.

I think some of the best quotes that survived were by Dorothy Parker:

Dorothy Parker
Answering her boss on not turning up to work:

"Tell him that someone was using my pencil."

"The first thing I do every morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

And. of course, probably her most famous was her tombstone request:

"Pardon my Dust."

The Algonquin Hotel is still there at 59 West 44th Street in Manhattan and, I believe, is now owned by Marriott.  The Round Table group never called themselves by that name.  They called themselves the Vicious Circle.

But that was then, and this is now and there's not a sharp tongue within a 100 mile radius of our LDL lunches!  Only, fine Southern Manners and class and old and new friends reminding us of our almost unequalled blessings!

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.

This is your personal invitation to join us. Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, BRING someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

It used to be called Columbus Day, but Seattle, Washington has officially  renamed it Indigenous Peoples Day.
Soon, I predict our brilliant government "leaders" will make it official nationwide.
We're doomed.  Insanity rules.
This is just a small thing, but it's the latest example of  the real anti common sense bizarre behavior that has become so prevalent in our culture. How in the world did we, as a people become so stupid?
Is it the schools?  TV?  College?  Boredom? Permissiveness?
What the Hell has turned the once greatest (and smartest) nation on earth into a collective babbling idiot?
The only answer that makes sense to me is:
It's the DOPE, stupid.

People in their right minds don't act like this.

Prove me wrong.

PS...Just because Ebola and every other incurable disease imaginable is beginning to spread like wildfire into this country...if you think our leaders will do something as logical as closing down airline flights from Western Africa or securing our southern border, you are going to be very disappointed...and in fact may get yourself put on a list for "re-education camp."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

My old radio and TV station, WTOP and WTOP-TV in Washington, DC held it's annual reunion luncheon in Thurmont Maryland this week. It was the 27th year that those of us who worked there in the 1940's, '50's and 60's have gathered in the little town about an hour north of Washington where Camp David, the Presidential retreat, is located. The fact a lot of the station's engineers spent many hours there is one reason that location was chosen for our luncheons.

They had discovered something that very few people other than all our Presidents since Roosevelt knew. It wasn't a state secret, but you have to have visited Thurmont Maryland to have discovered it.

The secret was: The Cozy Inn!

Thurmont, MD

The real reason Thurmont was chosen had nothing to do with the fact that Winston Churchill once had President Roosevelt stop his limousine so he could go into the Cozy and see that new fangled invention called the Juke Box.

Why we chose the Cozy had nothing to do with the Jukebox of course, but the FOOD!

I think the Cozy has been such a secret all these years is
because you have to have a reason to go to Thurmont, and
frankly, there's not a whole lot there to see.

"Let's visit Thurmont on our vacation next year!" number three on my list of "things that have never been said."

Number two is, "Yes Dear, I think your butt looks fat in that dress."

For lunch, the Cozy featured one great big buffet which in my opinion featured everything anyone could ever want and was as delicious as anything any one's mother and grandmother together could possibly have concocted!  And they never let us down, year after year, for 26 years.

Now admittedly my mind may be in a slightly altered state when inhaling cool clean mountain air in the presence of old friends talking about our brilliant accomplishments when we were young and beautiful. They say that everyone who falls "in love" is a little bit insane, at least for the first few months. I think the same thing can be said about "reunions."

So forgive me if I'm a little "over the top" as I write this.

But this was the 27th anniversary of our annual event, and unfortunately the Cozy had closed it's doors forever earlier this year. The Restaurant was founded in 1929 and upon the original owner's death the son took over and carried on the tradition. But his kids weren't interested in jumping through hoops the State of Maryland would put them through to meet some new never ending standards and requirements. So, they closed it down earlier this year.

Chalk up one more victory for the bureaucrats.  One more loss for everybody else.

We held our meeting at another nearby eatery. But it wasn't the same.

Last of the WTOP Thurmont Luncheon Group

Undoubtedly, for our little group that had once numbered 100 or more Dear Souls every year, there was a certain poetic symmetry.

Only 18 of us showed up.

 So, we voted to close down too.


A few of WTOP's famous alumni: John Charles Daly,  
Walter Cronkite, Eric Severied, Roger Mudd, Arthur Godfrey, Sam Donaldson, Bill Diehl

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Tuesday is LDL !

I watched a TED lecture the other night by a young fellow who for the last 10  years or so has been taking one minute of random video of  each and every day of his life. He said it serves to help him remember everything.

Maybe it does, but who in the world would want that? 

Typical LDL at Jimmies

Somebody a lot smarter then me once said, "One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” 
I think our brains automatically take care of those things we all are better off forgetting. 

And.........that leaves space for MORE GOOD MEMORIES!

Jerry Gaudet reminds us of  a great place to find them!

This month's "LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 11:30 AM
at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.
This is your personal invitation to join us. Spread the word! Invite other classmates to come! Even better, BRING someone with you! Be sure YOU, come!

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and...

Global Hand washing Day.

 October 15th is the day, and millions all over the world are already lining up to finally wash their hands.

Just kidding, just kidding!

I think.  (At least about millions lining up. Global Hand Washing Day is for real.)

For those of us who grew up in middle class America, washing your hands seems almost as natural as...breathing.  What's the big deal?

Well, according to survey by the American Society for Microbiology done four years ago, one third of Americans skipped washing their hands after visiting the restroom.

They recently repeated the survey and found that almost 50 percent skipped washing.

Now, these surveys were taken at public restrooms in New York, so that may have skewed it a bit, but clearly, there is room for improvement.

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis
Actually history shows that the washing of hands is not the natural instinct of humanity.

In fact, the Father of hand washing, Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, had one Hell of a time trying to convince the medical community of 1847 to wash their hands when operating on patients.

He proved his theory by reducing the deaths in his clinic from 10% to 1%.

His theory that the results were all the product of Cleanliness were extreme at the time (this was before the germ theory was confirmed by Louis Pasteur.)   He later widened his theory, according to the article I saw on the Internet "... to include all instruments coming in contact with patients."
Semmelweis was ridiculed, rejected, ignored, and finally dismissed from the hospital.
His contemporaries, including his wife thought he was losing his mind and shortly afterward committed to an asylum where he was beaten to death by the guards.

Talk about "No good deed going unpunished!"

So perhaps GLOBAL HAND WASHING DAY  is not a bad idea. It's sponsored by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing with Soap  (PPPHW) a  coalition of international stakeholders (like soap manufacturers, etc) whose focus is hand washing and child health.

October 15th is the day, and it is directed toward Children, perhaps if the message sinks in,the day will come when the government and the States will be able to save some money by not posting as many wordy
signs in bathrooms like the ones we see now.

Of course, waiting for that to happen make take more time than I personally have, so fortunately, I've  mastered the art of opening restroom doors with my elbow.

I think that TV reporter Don Farmer also has a good idea.  He thinks that all the "Wash your hands" signs could be shortened, and even more effective with one simple sign that reads:



Thursday, October 02, 2014

Sermon for Today

I found these powerful photos on the internet. They are by

a Texas photographer named Tom Hussy: