Tuesday, February 11, 2014

1957 Classics

Lots of classics came out of the year 1957!

57 Bel Air

1957 Classics: Chevrolet Bel Air.  I like big muscles…


1957 Classics:  Chateau Lafite—Rothschild.  I’ve never had any.  Wouldn’t somebody like to buy me a bottle?  It’s only $1,682….


1957 Classics: First Boeing 707's delivered in 1957. Others are bigger, others are faster, most are more fuel efficient and all are a whole lot quieter--but this is the most beautiful airliner ever designed. A study in grace, balance, and proportion.


1957 Classics: In Philadelphia, a young local TV guy started a show for teens to review current songs and dance. "We're going hopping! We're going hopping today, where things are popping! The Philadelphia way, we're gonna drop in on all the music they play at the Bandstand (Bandstand!)....(now, those of you "of a certain age" will have that song stuck all day...you're welcome! Don't worry, though, the next 57 Classic will have you whistling a different tune--then the next or so.


1957 Classics: My very favorite Cadillac of the 50's, the '57. This is the Fleetwood 60 Special in "Mountain Laurel".


1957 Classics: "Bridge On the River Kwai"--1957 film, in 1958 winner of Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Cinematography, Best Scoring, Best Music. Nominated: Best Supporting Actor.

One of the great opening scenes of all time….


1957 Classics: The Music Man opened on Broadway, with Robert Preston in the title role. All together now, "Seventy-six trombones led the big parade!..."

1957 Monsanto House of the Future

1957 Classics: The Monsanto House of the Future opened at Disneyland. In the immortal line from a movie 10 years later, "Plastics!"


1957 Classics: Speaking of Disneyland---Disneyland Lunchbox, complete with thermos. (No, it's not mine. I had a "Munsters" one.).


1957 Classics: Wagon Train set out from Missouri, headed for California. It was a good show and a classic Western. Lots of big-name guest stars.

Cool theme music too; thanks Larry Scott for finding this.

1957 Imperial Ad-06

1957 Classics: Can't leave out the amazing Imperial LeBaron Crown Coupe. Outrageously longer, lower, and wider, it sported a 392 Hemi and would corner flat at speed--astonishing for an almost 6,000 lb car on bias-belted tires. The height of Virgil Exner's "Forward Look" styling (Harley Earl's Cadillac crest was '59).

I’m in love (uh) I’m all shook up!

1957 Classics: #1 on the Billboard Top 100 for 1957 (it's a good song, good beat, you can dance to it, I'll give 95).


1957 Classics: Henry Fonda gave one of the most riveting performances of his career in this movie, which was a classic, directed in suffocating fashion by Sidney Lumet. It was nominated for a slew of Academy Awards, but had the misfortune to be up against the epic Bridge on the River Kwai.


1957 books

1957 Classics: 25 Top books from 1957 (What's surprising to me is the number of these I've read; most of them)

Famous people born in 1957

1957 Classics: People


1957: Next to last. This picture is dated "Feb 57", so it was literally the day they brought me home (it took a week to get the film back...). Everybody got a turn in the rocker holding the baby, but you know, gotta have Mom....


'57 model, 57 years. If it ends tonight, it's been a good ride. Hopefully a few more years left to go. Thank you to all my wonderful friends who have wished me a happy birthday today. It was a fairly mundane day at work (conference calls, screaming--the usual), and it was cold and rainy--but your kind thoughts, good wishes, and friendship made the day great. I hope you enjoyed my little trip back to 1957 today as much as I enjoyed doing it.


I posted this stuff all day on facebook and had a blast doing it.  I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.  Tomorrow:  the stuff that I didn’t post on facebook and some commentary.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

An Open Letter to AT&T

Dear Ma Bell,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you by the name I grew up using.  My Mother started working for you in 1948, at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in Dallas, Texas.swbt1939During Korea, she transferred to Southern Bell in Columbia, South Carolina, but when that conflict was over, you allowed her to move back to Dallas. 

Mother met her lifelong best friends working for you.  I called them my “Aunts” and still do.  They all retired after long, successful careers with you.  I grew up a “Telephone kid”; I always had play telephones and my 13th birthday present from Mother was an extension (Western Electric 500 set, green) in my own room.


“Telephone boy” in 1959

In college, I got my first Long Distance account from Southwestern Bell/AT&T.  I was a Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, NYNEX, South Central Bell, and US West customer for all those years, finally coming “home” to Southwestern Bell.  I stuck with AT&T for Long Distance all through the “telephone wars”.

When the time came for cell phones, I got my first from a small local outfit in Little Rock that was quickly gobbled up—by Southwestern Bell.  I had Southwestern Bell, then Cingular, and now AT&T.  My current wireless provider is AT&T, and my internet service provider is U-VERSE.

In short, in one way or another, I have been a loyal AT&T customer for almost 57 years as of this writing.


Like most of the rest of the civilized world, I am horrified by the events unfolding in Russia, Uganda (well, most of Africa) and other places regarding the oppression of gay people.  Russia is ONE STEP away from Stalin-era tactics (and may be employing them now, for all we know).  Vladimir Putin can say whatever he likes about the laws being only “to protect children”, but make no mistake—the Pogrom is on in Russia.  With a population of 144,000,000, and using Kinsey’s 10%, one can conservatively estimate that 14,400,000 people in Russia are in mortal danger.  At the very least, their civil liberties are gone; at the worst, they can be hunted, killed, imprisoned, maimed, and all with tacit—if not outright—approval of the Russian government, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian people.

I fear for them.

The Sochi Olympics are an affront and offensive, considering the evil that the Russian government is promulgating.  I feel sorry for all the men and women who have spent their lives training for this Olympic event, only to have it marred by this nasty, wicked crime against humanity in a country that clearly tried democracy and threw it out the window.  The “Good Russian People?”  Bullshit. You’re hearing it here, folks!: Ronald Reagan was right; they ARE the Evil Empire.

The Human Rights Campaign (of which I am a proud, card-carrying, financially supporting member) has roundly condemned the actions that are taking place in Russia.  They have called upon corporate sponsors to condemn the Russian Government for their heinous actions.

Which corporate sponsor has responded?  Which bravely stepped forward?  Which answered the call?


That’s you, Ma Bell.

I am reproducing AT&T’s post in its entirety, along with the link.

All that said, I believe it’s time to change my status with you, Ma Bell.  Instead of being “Lifelong Customer”, implying “the past”, I’m changing my status with you to “Customer for Life”, implying past, present, and future.

Thank you, Ma Bell.  You’ve always been there for me.


Nick Jones

Proud AT&T Customer-for-life

P.S.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the actions of our President, Barack HUSSEIN Obama.  Instead of knuckling under to pressure from Russia, and the (hateful) IOC, and from the people on my side calling for an American boycott (which would have accomplished little), he handled this situation masterfully.  By declining to send any “major” US officials (as is customary), and by sending instead a star-studded cast of GAY former superstars, Olympians (including multi-gold-medal-recipients), and others, he is sending a powerful message to Putin:  we’re sending some of our best and brightest—and they’re queer.    Further, we’re not sending our highest elected officials—so put that in your pipe and smoke it, Vlad. (In gayspeak:  The O’s throwing some serious shade!  Eat it, bitch).

(Personal from Nick to Vladimir:  Put your shirt back on.  You ain’t all that.)


AT&T blog post:  (No copyright infringement intended; if this is problematic, notify me and I will modify immediately).

A Time for Pride and Equality



February 04, 2014

On Friday night, many of us will be tuned in to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony.

It’s an event that symbolizes peace and unity amongst nations. It’s also a moment for us to express our pride in America and everything for which it stands.

AT&T has stood proudly with Team USA at every Olympic opening ceremony since 1984 in Los Angeles. As a Proud Partner of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team for the past 30 years, we’ve showcased American athletes and celebrated their diversity all around the world. For these games, we’re shining a light on some of the hard work and dedication that goes into training for the Olympics, and asking fans to showcase their American pride by uploading U-S-A chants through our free #ItsOurTime app.

The Olympic Games in Sochi also allow us to shine a light on a subject that’s important to all Americans: equality. As you may know, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community around the world is protesting a Russian anti-LGBT law that bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” To raise awareness of the issue, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has called on International Olympic Committee (IOC) sponsors to take action and stand up for LGBT equality.

AT&T is not an IOC sponsor, so we did not receive the HRC request. However, we are a long-standing sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), we support HRC’s principles and we stand against Russia’s anti-LGBT law.

AT&T has a long and proud history of support for the LGBT community in the United States and everywhere around the world where we do business. We support LGBT equality globally and we condemn violence, discrimination and harassment targeted against LGBT individuals everywhere. Russia’s law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it’s harmful to a diverse society.

We celebrate the diversity of all Olympic athletes, their fans, Russian residents and all people the world over – including and, especially, our employees and their loved ones. 

As the games begin, we’re here to support and inspire American athletes who’ve worked hard and sacrificed much to achieve their dreams. We also want to be on record with our support for the LGBT community, and we hope that others involved with the Olympic Games will do the same.

Go Team USA! #ItsOurTime.

- See more at: http://blogs.att.net/consumerblog/story/a7793998#__utma=149406063.705766389.1391559895.1391559895.1391561884.2&__utmb=149406063.4.10.1391561884&__utmc=149406063&__utmx=-&__utmz=149406063.1391561884.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=238909952

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Supa Bow: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ok, yes, it’s been a while.  Nobody reads this anyway… Winking smile

Enjoyed the Supa Bow last night. 

The Good:

The Bad:

  • The Broncos.  Are you kidding me???  Well, unlike the Cowboys, Texans, and Saints, they were actually IN THE BUILDING.  At least guys who LOOKED like the Broncos were in the building….
  • The NJ Transit Authority thinking they could get that many people to and from the games on the train.  REALLY?  REALLY?

The Ugly:

  • All the Xenophobic, homophobic HATE that is spewing forth from all the usual suspects.  I always try to keep this blog a-political, but not this time.

General Mills:

The Cheerios family was insufferably adorable. As in all commercials, you have a handsome Dad, a lovely Mom, and an adorable moppet. Like my friend Jim Harrington over at Good Counsel, I'm a bit surprised that ad is "brave" and "daring" on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

But wait--I'm not surprised. I live in the south (a liberal part of it, as that goes, but the south nonetheless). I also admit, I had seen the first ad (they've done this family before), and I had to watch it twice to figure out what was "wrong" with it...then I had to watch it again just to be sure. It literally didn't register....ok, let’s see, you’ve got Mom, Dad, and a kid.  Ok?  Umm….yeah, so?

The bigots are out in force opposing it. 

Coke: I take it all back. I was a bit offended by their "homophobic coke can" Sochi ad (was big in Africa...Coke made the Africans take it down when they realized it existed). Coca-Cola and Pepsi have both been in the forefront of LGBT rights. Not sure what the conservatives will have left to drink. Maybe water is homophobic?

I loved "I'd like to teach the world to sing". Still do (click the link). I loved this current ad, too. I love living in Houston, which is a melting pot if ever there was one. I've frequently said, when I walk into my friendly local H-E-B (grocery store), to get from the front of the store to the back, you hear Ebonics, Farsi, Mandarin, Hindi, English and of course Espanol (along with a goodly selection of "Spanglish"--the nice man who does my yard effectively speaks "Spanglish"--his college-student son sounds like every other teenager in Houston...Javier and I (same age) just stand there wisely, shaking our heads, while he talks to his budz in that language all the teens seem to speak these days....

One of my favorite things circulating facebook right now is the one about the irate caller demanding that the other person speak like a "real American!" She tells him, "I am, sir. I am speaking Navajo." How quickly the Prescotts, the O'Briens, the Olsons, the Beauchamps, the Schmidt's, and the Gonzalez's forget that their ancestors were once the "foreigners" here....

One more thing about “America the Beautiful”—it was written by Katherine Lee Bates.  Bates’ sexuality is basically not discussed, but she lived for many years with her “close friend”, another woman.  It is widely believed that they were a lesbian couple.  So, conservatives, stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it!

Favorite quote about the Supa Bow:  “There won’t be an ounce of “grass” left in Seattle!”


Personal note:  Yes, I am boycotting the Sochi Olympics.  I know it won’t make any difference, but it does to me.  F-you, Putin.