Monday, August 15, 2011

top 10 US cities you'll find me if I'm in the Witness protection program.

You watch enough movies, eventually you will see a movie about someone turning states evidence against his boss or other influential person.  Once that person has given up the information, and the state determines that there is substantial risk of reprisal,  the state will put them into witness protection.  This means you get a new name, new social security,  new job, new everything.  You don't get to contact any friends, family or anything again because you will blow your cover and risk being identified by whomever you testified against.  Of course you also get a new City.  It will be a city you don't like to go to, or go in, so these are the cities you would find me in if I were to turn states evidence against someone of some power, and the reasons why.

10.  New Orleans - The Big Sleazy.  I'm not a drinker, but if I were I really don't think I'd like to live in New Orleans.  Of the cities on my list, this one probably has the most specific culture.  I have been there twice and both times I thought the town smelled like humid puke.  I was fairly close to the french quarter, but that doesn't really change my perception.  The only reason to visit is to get drunk or get your fortune told by a pretty cut quality fortune teller.

9.  Toledo Ohio - I worked for a year one summer in Toledo Ohio.  It's not that it's such a horrible city, but rather that there was nobody there.  It's a burnt out shell of it's former glory, whatever that was. It's the home of glass as Owens Corning has substantial interests there.  I got some lovely Christmas Tree glassware there.  Don't forget Tony Paco's!  Oh yeah, unless you watch 'classic' TV and more specifically MASH, you probably won't get that.

8.  Honolulu Hawaii - What?  Paradise on earth?  Who would not want to live there?!?  Me.  I haven't ever visited, but I've never wanted to.  I just can't get my head around the fact that if you are bored with all the sand and beach, you have nowhere to go without paying a pretty hefty plane ticket.  Not that I go too many places.  Probably a nice place to visit, but I would want to make sure I've got a return ticket.  Who knows, maybe if I ever go I'll completely change my mind and pine away for my next trip to Hawaii.

7.  Detroit Michigan -  Motor City.  Well, Burnout City is more like it.  I've been several times and they try really hard to make some nice places, but it's just very industrial and really harsh.  It doesn't help that I've mostly driven foreign cars.  My view may be tainted by the fact that every time I've visited there it's rained horribly and I had to work and it just looks like factories as far as the eye can see.

6.  Green Bay Wisconsin - Sorry either you are a Packers fan or you aren't.  If you are, I'm sure it's a wonderful town.  Living there would be like a party every day.  Otherwise, eeesh.

5.  Alaska - Home of the overall coldest temperatures in the States.  I'm not a huge fan of extreme cold.  There really aren't any cities there that aren't really cold.  Plus I'm really not a 'rough 'n ready'  Nature kind of guy. International Falls Minnesota actually holds the average cold record so I wouldn't want to be there either. 'Nuff Said.

4.  Atlantic City - I'm a gambling fan.  I really like it.  I live close to Las Vegas and I've been a few times.  Friendly people, lots of Casinos with differing rules so each player has lots of choices.  Atlantic City.  Grumpy people, Some casinos, and the rest of the city looks like 1979 Beirut.  On top of that, if you are driving in, you are probably going to take the Toll Way.  I'm already driving in to gamble.  Do you honestly need me to pay driving there and back as well?  Yes you can take the back roads, but it's like they are telling you 'we are gonna gig you at every turn'. 

3.  Pensacola Florida - Another city I've never been to.  I'm basing this 'Don't wanna go' city on the fact that it DOES reside in Florida, home of one of my favorite entertainment spots (Orlando Florida), but it is SO far away, that people that live in that city get excited to go to Orlando because it's really a novelty to them.  Otherwise I'm sure it's a lovely city.

2.  New York , New York - The city so nice they named it twice!  Yeah it's nice...and expensive.  Not the MOST expensive by any means, but the thing I was never a big fan of was the overall attitude that I found there that New York is, in fact, the center of the Universe.  Sure they have many diverse slices of life and it is a really big city, but it's not EVERYTHING.  So the feds would probably plunk me in the middle of it in a little tiny apartment that costs more per month than 3 times my house and taxes are fan-tas-tic.  If I get put there, maybe they will pay off my parking ticket from 1990.

1.  Cleveland Ohio - The only city that I got mugged in.  Granted it was a long time ago.  It wasn't overly violent and the guy said thanks after I gave him my money.  So, for some reason, it kind of tainted my view of the city.  I've been back since.  It's probably not a horrible city.  But not that great in my book.

I'm sure some of you will say 'Hey Mark!  I like (insert city here) !  Go ahead.  There is no problem.  In fact, you'll probably see me in that city, so you can come visit me.  Just don't tell the mob!

Monday, August 1, 2011

10 Ways to be remembered by History

Mortality.  It's ever present shadow on our years start off as an observation but grows in stature and volume until you realize that you are not particularly special on a species wide basis and you will expire at some point.  Usually it's when this realization hits in a large way that we start to think of some way to make our mark in history. The first understanding of this usually marks your first mid-life crisis.  After that it probably varies.

Well, this is my list of ways to keep yourself on peoples minds long past your expiration date.

10.  Commit Big Crime -  Have you ever noticed that when you hear about a criminal, you never really notice the victim?  there are a few exceptions to this, but not many.  Lizzie Bordon?  Who were her parents?  What about Ted Bundy?  Jack the Ripper? That's what I thought.  Anyway, it seems that we have an amazing attention span for the big criminals.  Big criminal's fame will outlast them for 3 lifespans, many times more, but they gotta be BIG.  Pretty impressive.  Not recommended.

9.  Have Kids - Yes, I know, it seems trite, but the only way to continue on past this mortal coil is through your progeny.  You pass your knowledge and experience to a child and they add their own.  No matter how far the years throw your genes, a piece of you will continue on.  Unfortunately, your name will only be known out to maybe the great grandparent (if you are lucky or you have grandchildren that are very OCD about genealogy).  You may also get this effect possibly through organ donation.

8.  write a book! (or a blog) - If you are a really good author, like say Homer.  Your name will be around for a much longer time than the man behind the name.  Take Homer for example.  What kind of guy was he?  Did he like beans and rice?  or was he more of a mutton man?  Who knows.  But we know a lot about Ulysses and lots of other wild stuff.  Stuff that still permeates our creative culture.  Blogs of course may not be as permanent or as widely followed, but they will exist as long as there is electricity powering the storage units.  Obviously I'm putting my historical recognition eggs in this particular basket.

7.  Get elected to public office (large scale) - Well, to be honest, if you are a despotic dictator, you probably have a lot more going for you in the historical annals.  Look at King Herod, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler.  Big names that are instantly recognizable.  If you are lucky enough in politics you will be reincarnated as money.  Look at Benjamin Franklin.  Never a president and yet he graces our c-note.  How's that for immortality?

6.  Draw on a rock - Ok, nobody really knows who you are when you do this, however, if people find it, they may give you a new name and you'll be famous for a long time.  If you happen to die such that your bones can be recovered from some strange site, you'll get a name and probably be shown in a museum for a long time to come.  I'm not sure that it will have the same effect in this modern day, in fact, I think it may be illegal depending on the rock you want to scrawl on.

5.  Invent something nobody can do without. -  Oh yeah?  Who invented the Wheel?  Easy, his name was BC.  He later was featured on a famous comic strip.  But seriously  Thomas Edison?  Albert Einstein?  Issac Newton?  These guys' names will be around for a long long time.  They invented or discovered stuff we use all the time.  Once again, the average person doesn't know much about any of them, but nearly every kid remembers that Albert Einstein didn't do well in school and they cling desperately to this fact.  On the other hand, I really don't know who invented the Clapper.

4.  Predict the future - The worlds greatest fortune tellers have their names etched in histery.  Get it?  Hister?  Histery?  you don't?  well then you aren't watching enough of the History Channel.  Specifically about Nostradamus.  He wrote a bunch of cryptic poems called quatrains that were supposed to predict the future.  The problem is, there is no telling the future with them, only the past.  It seems that people can only match events to the poems and not the other way around.  Doesn't matter.  Prophets of any sort get a pretty long draw in history.  Noah?  Moses?  Pretty big names.  You could say...start your own religion, that works pretty well too.  Those names go on long IF your religion gets popular enough.  Religion is the ultimate fortune teller anyway.  All of them tell you the future results of current actions.  Even extending to beyond the grave.

3.  Compose some really good music - Seems like the classic music is the stuff that hangs around the longest.  But honestly I think classic rock will be around just as long.  People really know the names Bach, Beethoven, Brahms.  Wait a minute, maybe you have to write music and have a name that starts with B.  No, my bad,  Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Mendelssohn.   There are some others.  Mozart of course was so famous he got his own movie.  The rockers?  Ozzy?  How long will that name go on?  pretty long I think.  On the other hand I might just be riding the crazy train. 

2.  Be the first on a planet - Nearly everyone knows Adam.  First guy on the planet and his wife Eve.  First gal on the planet.  Sure it's a little hard for you to do but others have done it.  Look at Niel Armstrong.  Not the same?  well, true, I think you need to also start the populous of the planet.  Not really likely on the moon is it?  So we know it works, but it's probably not available to us.  Maybe this is where the aliens help out.

1.  create a good sized time capsule - Take the essence of your time on this planet and put it in a foot locker.  SEAL IT UP TIGHT.  Water tight and air tight.  You don't want it to get mold or anything else.  I would suggest a thumb drive with your best writings or websites, or maybe just an archive of your emails.  pictures from your kids.  physical pictures of you, your family etc.  maybe some of the crap you got at the last convention you attended for business.  Also some hairs so your DNA is in there as well.  So then it's up to chance to see how long it takes to find this box and open it up.  you make it for a few hundred years and assuming we are still on the planet, history will blip with your name long after you have turned to dust.  If you have the right information on your thumb drive and they have the right technology to extract it (HUGE if's) you could be famous for the Renaissance of technology itself!  WOW!  I'll get right on that.  Maybe next week.  No, wait, I'm busy then.  Well I'm gonna do it some day.

Thanks for tuning in!  All you subscribers are famous to me.  Not enough?  Sorry, it's all I've got.