Summer

June Gloom in July
“Late night and early morning low clouds and fog along the coast, clearing by noon.” The weatherman hasn’t changed the forecast for this time of year in Southern California since I was a kid.

We start with May gray, move into June gloom and, even though the foggy conditions continue into July, we still don’t have a catchy term for it.  Any suggestions?

Anyway, we took dad to the beach yesterday and the only people not wearing beach cover-ups or sweatshirts were the tourists. I just checked the current ocean temp off the San Diego coast and it’s a teeth chattering 64°F (18C).

While we wait for the sun to appear, enjoy Katy Perry singing about California Gurls:

Photo by Scott Randall

Cali Costco Carries Mexican Coke

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The Real Coca-Cola is Back
The recipe for Coca Cola was invented in 1886 by Colonel John Pemberton of the Confederate Army. When he was severely wounded in battle, Pemberton was given morphine for the pain and like so many other soldiers, he became addicted to the drug. Being a pharmacist by trade, the Colonel was determined to create a medicine to counteract his addiction.

Using cola nuts and Damiana – what we know today as “black mamba”, Pemberton created his signature French Wine Coca drink. When the temperance movement began, the alcohol had to be replaced with something else, so after some trial and error the syrup was mixed with carbonated water creating the perfect fountain drink and, as they say, the rest is history.

In the 1980’s I stopped drinking Coke because the taste changed. At the time I didn’t know the bottling companies here in the U.S. had replaced the cane sugar with high fructose corn syrup – a result of high tariffs on imported sugar and government subsidies for U.S. corn growers.

Recently we’ve been able to get Coke made with cane sugar in local Mexican restaurants. Then last week, I was at Costco and they were selling Mexican Coke in bottles, by the case! Yep, I put a case in the cart right next to my case of diet iced tea!

After consuming all that sugar and caffeine we’ll all be bouncing around like Justice Crew.
Enjoy the boys from Oz performing Boom Boom:

Spies

Woodstock

The Woodstock Typewriter
Between WWI and the end of the second world war, many people believed world communism was the only way to put and end to war. Not all the proponents of communism in the US were refugees from the ghettos of Russia. Americans who wanted to bring the United States into a global form of government were eager to spy for the “mother country”.

Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers were both Americans who believed in a one-world government and became members of the communist party and both became spies for the Soviet Union.

During the second war, when Stalin could no longer hide reports of the millions of Russians he murdered, the majority of utopian idealists woke up and broke from the party. Many of those who worked as spies and tried to break free were assassinated.

Chambers became disillusioned with communism but Hiss did not. Hiss worked in FDR’s Justice Department, State Department and became close friends with the Roosevelts. The President was told many times that Hiss was a soviet agent but FDR would always turn a deaf ear. In fact, Franklin Roosevelt’s administration was filled with communists including Harry Dexter White who was assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Harry Hopkins, FDR’s closest advisor.

Hiss was with the President when he met with Stalin and Churchill at Yalta in 1945 to discuss post-war policies. He was instrumental in convincing FDR to hand over Eastern Europe to Stalin and to give the Soviet Union the majority of influence in the United Nations.

Hiss wrote the Charter for the United Nations and became its first acting secretary-general, and eventually went on to become president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In 1948 the House on Un-American Activities called Whittaker Chambers to testify against his friend Hiss, who denied being a communist. During the hearings Chambers provided proof that Hiss was part of a large group who were working in the Federal Government and sending sensitive information to Stalin. That’s where the Woodstock typewriter came in to play. Chambers produced evidence of Hiss’s espionage with four handwritten notes in Alger Hiss’s handwriting, five strips of microfilm and sixty-five typewritten copies of State Department documents typed on Woodstock typewriter number 230099. Although Hiss wasn’t charged with espionage because the statute of limitations had expired, he was found guilty on two counts of perjury and served three years of two five-year sentences.

After the Soviet Union fell in 1991 and the Russian archives were opened and the US released the Venona transcripts, the final proof was revealed that Hiss was, in fact, an agent for Soviet military intelligence (GRU).

Crosby Stills Nash & Young – Woodstock:

Banking Mafia Steals Cypriots Money

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What Would Tony Soprano Do?
If Tony Soprano had his money in a Cyprus bank and found out the banking cartel had stolen 10% of it without telling him, what do you think Tony would do?

Poor little bankers needed other people’s money to pay off their gambling debts(derivatives). They couldn’t borrow the money so they just took it from people who were dumb enough to think their money was safe in a government sanctioned bank.

Now, if you’ve ever watched The Sopranos, you know that any thugs who tried to steal from Tony Soprano paid a price for their crime. Sometimes they had their knee caps broken with a baseball bat, and sometimes they ended up  at the bottom of the Hudson River wearing cement shoes. Justice, Soprano style.

Alas, Tony Sopranos is only a fictional TV character. The real gangsters/banksters will simply continue to sit on their yachts drinking champagne while trying to figure out how to get ALL of the people’s money. So much for justice.

Enjoy the opening theme of The Sopranos – Woke Up This Morning by Alabama 3:

Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous

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Palaces, Planes and Yachts! Oh my!
There’s no doubt about it. Vladimir Putin is a workaholic. When he’s not flying fighter jets or putting out brush fires the leader of Russia is busy cutting oil deals, fighting the war on terror and dealing with Pussy Riot.

Next year’s Winter Olympics will take place in Sochi, a resort on the Black Sea where Mr Putin has a vacation home. Overseeing the creation of the Olympic village is taking up much of the President’s time since the sheer scale of the project is staggering. The village has to be built from scratch with a new highway, new railway, a renovated airport and new hotels.

Let’s face it, there is little time for the 60-year-old to pamper himself. Or is there? Apparently, there is.

A 32-page report released by former deputy prime minister, Boris Nemtsov, has given us a glimpse into some of the perks of being President of Russia. There are Presidential palaces, a fleet of aircraft and luxury yachts at his disposal.

Although we don’t see outward signs of personal wealth, rumor has it that Mr. Putin is one of the richest men in the world – made possible by his investments in oil.

We have noticed that Mr. Putin does enjoy a few of the finer things in life – like the time pieces he wears on his wrist.

The Russian President wears some of the most expensive watches in the world. We’ve seen  many photos of Putin wearing a Patek Philippe from his collection and some say they’ve seen Mr. Putin wearing a $500,000 German Tourbograph.

Anyway, I’m certain, as President, Mr. Putin is always assured a front-row seat at any of his favorite concerts.

Enjoy the Scorpions performing with the Presidential Orchestra of the Russian Federation in red square 2003 – Send Me An Angel:

Old Rockers

StevenTyler

Stopping the Paparazzi in Hawaii
The state of Hawaii is proposing the ‘Steven Tyler Act’ to protect visiting celebrities from the paparazzi.

Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler recently bought a new home in Maui and would like a little privacy. From the photo above, you can see why.

Anyway, the bill would give celebrities the power to sue over unwanted beach photos and other snapshots on the islands.

Even though Mr. Tyler isn’t the pin-up boy for 24 Hour Fitness, he is one of the all-time great rockers.
Enjoy Aerosmith – Walk This Way:

In the Garden

in the garden

Greenhouse Gases
Carbon dioxide is one of the essential ingredients in green plant growth and more home gardeners are buying CO2 generators for their greenhouses than ever before. CO2 is now considered the nutrient of the new millennium.

When you increase the CO2 level in your greenhouse, plants produce more sugars and carbohydrates. The result is plants flower earlier, you get higher fruit yields, and plant are stronger. The benefits of supplementing carbon dioxide in gardens has been well understood by scientists and growers for many years.

Why have Al Gore and the United Nations pushed so hard to make us think carbon dioxide is bad? Simple. Money. Carbon trading is just another Wall Street scam. They’ve run out of ways to get your money so they now want to tax the air with carbon offsets.

So who are you going to believe? Al Gore, who made tens of millions when he sold his share of the Chicago Climate Exchange, or a farmer who works hard to get the best yield from his crops?

Enjoy the great Tommy Emmanuel ‪- Classical Gas‬: