Sunday Roast: Let’s Go Crazy

The year 2016 has been pretty rough on the music world.  It’s too depressing to make a list of the amazing artists who’ve slipped the mortal coil…

Let’s Go Crazy is my favorite Prince song; it’s just SO perfectly Prince.  Purple Rain is the iconic Prince song, but Let’s Go Crazy — to me — is Prince & friends having a shitload of fun making great music.

Speaking of Purple Rain, Bruce Springsteen opened his most recent show with a tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson.

I truly hope that Prince made arrangements for his unreleased music to come out over the next few years.

This is our daily open thread — Post your fav Prince music, if you can find it!

The Watering Hole, Monday, October 28th, 2013: Bill Maher: “You Cannot Have Both”

This past Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”‘s panel consisted of Michael Moore, a surprisingly quiet Al Sharpton, Valerie Plame, and Richard Dawkins. And while the group had some interesting discussions, the best part of the show came in Bill’s soliloquy at the end of the show. Crooks and Liars has the video, but I have borrowed their transcript, here:

MAHER: “Now, when it comes to raising the minimum wage, conservatives always say it’s a non-starter because it cuts into profits. Well, yeah. Of course. Paying workers is one of those unfortunate expenses of running a business… you know, like taxes, or making a product.

If you want to get rich with a tax-free enterprise that sells nothing, start a church.

You might think that paying people enough to live is so self-evident that even crazy people could understand it, but you would be wrong.

Michele Bachmann is not only against raising the minimum wage, she’s against having one at all. She once said “if we took away the minimum wage… we could virtually wipe out unemployment because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.”

Put that in your brain and smoke it. You could hire everyone if you didn’t have to pay them. And naturally, Ted Cruz agrees. Ted Cruz thinks it’s a good thing that when his Cuban father came to America he was paid $.50 an hour to work as a dishwasher, before becoming Charo.

When did the American dream become this pathway to indentured servitude? This economic death spiral where workers get paid next to nothing, so they can only afford to buy next to nothing, so businesses are forced to sell cheaper and cheaper shit?

Walmart employees can only afford to shop at Walmart. McDonalds workers can only afford to eat at McDonalds. And Hooters waitresses have to wear shirts they grew out of years ago.

Even if you’re not moved by the “don’t be such a heartless prick” argument, consider the fact that most fast food workers, whose average age by the way now is 29, we’re not talking about kids, are on some form of public assistance. Which is not surprising. When even working people can’t make enough to live, they take money from the government in the form of food stamps, school lunches, housing assistance, day care. This is the welfare that conservatives hate.

But they never stop to think, if we raised the minimum wage and forced McDonalds and Walmart to pay their employees enough to eat, we the taxpayers wouldn’t have to pick up the slack.

This is the question the right has to answer. Do you want smaller government with less handouts, or do you want a low minimum wage? Because you cannot have both.

If Col. Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, then Uncle Sam has to, and I for one am getting a little tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers.”

Bravo, Bill – hear, hear!

O/T: Today my mum would have turned 93 – Happy Birthday, Mum, wish you were here.Scan10002

This is our daily open thread, got anything on your mind that you’d like to discuss?

August 28th: “You’re The Birthday Boy or Girl”

In our Sechny/Schneider world of Simpsons-speak, it is traditional for family members to sing a birthday song (sung by a defective animatronic kangaroo) from a particular Simpsons episode: “You’re the birthday, you’re the birthday, you’re the birthday boy or girl!”

Today should have been our nephew Adam’s 27th birthday.

I remember some parts of the day(s) he was born. Wayne’s poor sister Judy was in labor for about 36 hours. At the time, I was still working for the horse insurance company, which had merged with a general insurance agency in Huntington, Long Island. I can easily flash back to the feeling/image of sitting in my office cubicle late at night on August 27th, keeping in sporadic contact with my brother Bobby while catching up on work. At about 10:00 that night I gave up and went back to my apartment. No word during the night.

In the meantime, my parents were on a two-week European tour. The insurance agency where I worked also included a travel agency (the whole company was owned and operated by three generations of the Gundermann family, and one of the daughters ran the travel agency), through which my parents had arranged their tour.

So the next day, when word finally came from Bobby that Judy had, at last given birth to Adam Mark Sechny, Teri Gundermann and I scrambled to get a telegram (hard to believe, nowadays) to my parents. Teri had their itinerary, but, for some reason which I no longer remember, the itinerary had been changed, so Teri had to contact the tour company to find out which country (Italy, it turned out) and city (I’ve forgotten) they were in. My parents were at dinner with their tour group when the telegram was delivered to the head of the tour. Everyone there got to hear the news as the tour guide, after asking my parents to join him as he stood at the front of the dining room, read the telegram aloud, “Mildred and Stephen Sechny, you are now the grandparents of a 10-lb, 12-1/2-ounce grandson, Adam Mark Sechny!” …and there was much rejoicing…

Adam with Grandpa Sechny

Adam with Grandma Sechny and sister Emily

“Beautiful Family”


The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.


If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?



In Memoriam: Walt the Man, 1941 – 2012

Walt the Man, one of the founding critters of The Zoo, passed away on Friday, April 6, 2012. Here are Walt’s first posts at The Zoo:

While W Read a Child’s Book, the Rest of the World Knew

In The Aftermath

NASA Antarctica Satillite Map

Snack Time for a Hawk

Walt’s Favorite Things

I think I’ll leave this Tribute at that last link, Walt’s Favorite Things.

All in all, Walt created over 500 posts for The Zoo. Feel free to peruse the archives and add links to your favorites, or any other comments you would like to add, in the thread below.

Requiem Aeternam, Walt the Man

Adam M. Sechny, August 28, 1985 – March 26, 2012: Tribute

Adam's first computer - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam's first computer - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam and the Lion

Adam and the Lion - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

smilin' through

"smilin' through" - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Father and Son - photo by Jane E. Schneider

Father and Son - photo by Jane E. Schneider

Adam and the Lion that Shrunk

"Adam and the Lion that Shrunk" - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam Plays the Drums for his sister Emily's Graduation

Adam Plays the Drums for his sister Emily's Graduation

Adam's Graduation Picture

Adam's Graduation Picture

Adam at his Apartment - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam's Room - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

A week ago, on Monday morning, March 26th, our 26-year-old nephew Adam Sechny was killed in a head-on collision on Route 22 in Brewster, New York.

Adam was the son of my brother, Bobby, and Wayne’s sister, Judy; therefore Adam was nephew to both of us, and the son that we never had. Adam worked at the same company as Wayne and I for the last several years, and it was there that we really got to know him as an adult person outside of the family venue.

Adam had turned into an intelligent, thoughtful, quick-witted adult, with the acerbic and sardonic sense of humor of both of his parents. His concern for his friends and co-workers was deep and insightful. But what surprised me most about Adam was his constant curiosity about his family: questions about his parents when they were young, questions about his grandparents, and discussions about different aspects of our family were part of our daily routine. I feel now that this interest reflected, just below the sardonic surface, Adam’s deep underlying (but usually unspoken) love for his family.

Adam’s most endearing soft spot was his love of bunnies. In the summer, Adam would often keep ‘bunny-watch’ at the glass door in my department at work, outside of which we would often spot a local bunny from the orchard. Always close to his sister, Emily, his excitement when he knew that he was going to be able to babysit Emily’s bunny, Bijoux, was something to behold from this strapping 6′-2″ young man. He would talk happily about it from the moment he got the word from Emily until well after his bunny-sitting stint ended. It was the last thing that Adam and I talked about at the office on Friday, March 23rd – he came to me brandishing an email with Emily’s schedule for Adam’s upcoming bunny-sitting duties.

A few weeks ago, I had given Adam an early Easter present, a squishy/gummy little bunny toy which, when one tossed it around, would flash with different colored lights. It immediately turned into Adam’s favorite toy – he dubbed it his ‘police bunny’ – and, when his friends at work began collecting things to put into a ‘memento box’ in Adam’s memory, it was the first item designated as part of his memorial.

Wayne and I used to joke with Adam – in fact I did so a few days before his death – that HE was the reason why Wayne and I decided not to have kids. But I’m happy to be able to say that Adam knew that Wayne and I were so very proud of him, and that we dearly loved him as if he was our own son.

Added Note: The attendance at Adam’s memorial wake, held on Friday, March 30th, was an overwhelming tribute, not just to Adam’s esteem in the minds of his friends and co-workers, but to the entire Sechny and Schneider families as a part of the Brewster [aka ‘Southeast’] community. It was a wonderful reminder of how closely interconnected one is to such a large and varied web of people, something which is so often forgotten until such a tragedy occurs to tug back all in that web.

Contributions in his memory may be made to Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam Inc., 540 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591.
This charity is personally meaningful to us: After all that Hospice did for us during our parents’ illnesses, our family feels that the more help that Hospice receives, the more they can help other families like ours.

The Watering Hole: March 16 – Sam Houston

What few Texans refuse to acknowledge is that Sam Houston, the hero of San Jacinta (Jacento?)  in a battle that lasted but 18 minutes, was removed as governor of Texas on this date in 1861 when he refused to join the Confederacy.

Surrender of Santa Anna to a wounded Sam Houston

Bottom line is that not all Texans are traitors or idiots. One can wonder as to when the city of “Houston” will be renamed to “Bush” or a famous quote will be rephrased – “Bush,  Tranquility Base, the Eagle has landed.”

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on this or any other topic.

Open Thread Friday – Anne Frank’s Birthday

Ann Frank was born on June, 12, 1929, she was given a blank diary on her 13th birthday.  The rest is a revelation.
Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Fair use images: link

In light of  what occurred on Wednesday at the US Holocaust Museum, her birthday and the injustice and indignity that she suffered become even more tragic  as she describes what are man’s injustices to man.

Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in early March 1945 (aged 15) of typhus. Her older sister shared her fate.

If you are ever in Amsterdam, be sure to visit the Anne Frank House. If you first read the accounts in her diary, you can understand at least a semblance of her dreadful experiences in occupied Holland.

This is an open thread and as such you are most welcome to comment on any subject here and are also welcome to comment in the threads below.

Open Letter to Stephen Colbert

Dear Mr. Colbert,

I have a suggestion for your show whereby you can honor those conservative leaders who have come to best represent the cause of social and political conservatism with all that that entails.

A trophy, if you will, to the Number One Conservative of the Day, in the shape of a hand, with one digit extended to indicate the Number One status of the recipient. And, since Conservatives are the most important, most respected, indeed the most admired segment of our free society, I suggest that the digit which should be extended be the greatest digit of the four; the digit between the index finger and the ring finger. That way, all who look upon the Trophy for the Number One Conservative of the Day will have an instant appreciation for the magnatude of the recipient’s worth to our society.


A Fan

“American Pie” – The Day The Music Died

Not many realize this, but, “American Pie” was and is a tribute to three pop musicians.

It’s been 50 years, come Monday, since a single-engine plane crashed into a snow-covered Iowa field, instantly killing three men whose names would become enshrined in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.

The passing decades haven’t diminished fascination with that night on Feb. 2, 1959, when 22-year-old Buddy Holly, 28-year-old J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and 17-year-old Ritchie Valens performed in Clear Lake and then boarded the plane for a planned 300-mile flight that lasted only minutes.

For details, read here.

Then listen to the lyrics – all of them.

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