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Criminals, Courtesans, and Constables – $3.99
Notable for unnamed protagonist, two lines of dialogue, taking place everywhere from throne rooms to death row.
The Regular Guys – $3.99
Lenny and Larry, two comedians with careers going nowhere, team up to become the biggest act in show business.
Backstairs at the Monte Carlo: A Vegas Memoir – $3.99
Join the graveyard crew of the Monte Carlo Security Department on the Las Vegas Strip. To get any closer to the action, you’d have to clock in and go to work yourself.
We The People: Making America America Again – $2.99
Gaylon, a past Libertarian nominee for the United States Senate and House, shows there is nothing wrong with our country that cannot be solved by concerned and conscientious citizens.


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The Daily Dose/Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Daily Dose/July 20, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
50 years ago today man landed and walked on the moon for the first time. Regardless of whatever else we accomplish, Apollo 11 will always be one of our species landmark achievements. 

Like most days times in our nation’s history, July 20, 1969 was a chaotic time. The 1960’s had seen two Kennedy brothers had been assassinated, blacks, and others, were demanding things whites weren’t prepared to give and we were mired in the battle about whether or not to fight the Vietnam War. Postage was six cents, gas was 35 cents a gallon and the average American made about $8,500 a year, roughly 42 cents, $2.43 and 58,000 in today’s money.

Apollo 11 is our earliest memory. I was three-and-a-half and still living with my parents, in an apartment in Downey, California. Like more or less everyone else, we had an old black and white TV for whom I was the remote control. If you remember Apollo 11 you are in the minority, because only about 21% of Americans can. 

Two members of Apollo 11 are still alive, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, and of the twelve men who have walked on the moon, only four are still alive. Aldrin, at 89, is the oldest. Charles Duke, 83, is the youngest. 

NASA, of course, had a dozen astronauts capable of riding on Apollo 11, but we’ve always felt Deke Slayton made three good choices for the crew of man’s first lunar landing. 

Though a former Navy pilot, Neil Armstrong was a civilian when he commanded Apollo 11. He once said he would have been happy doing whatever NASA wanted him to do, but we’re pretty well read on Armstrong and we would not die of shock had he felt he was the best man for the job. Content with his place in history, and a bit dull and reticent besides, Armstrong was content to let his mission’s accomplishment speak for itself. 

Buzz Aldrin’s sheer genius at docking and other aspects of space travel made him an ideal member of the crew.  Someone, perhaps Armstrong, though we can’t remember anymore, once said Aldrin appeared to be more peeved at not being the first man to walk on the moon than he was happy to have been the second. His book Return to Earth chronicles his post-Apollo depression and alcohol battles and is a good read. 

Michael Collins, the command module pilot who stayed in orbit around the moon, isn’t going to lie to you: he said he did not have the best seat on Apollo 11, but he also admits he is completely satisfied and pleased with his role, adding he turned down an opportunity to return to and walk on the moon. His book Carrying the Fire was a good read. 

Fifty years after Apollo 11 America cannot even put humans into space anymore and it is hard to tell how History, decades and centuries down the line, will look at this. That’s an argument for other people at another time, though. Regardless of History’s  judgment, July 20, 1969, will always be remembered as a – perhaps the – landmark day in our human experience.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow has a slow day at the VSO, and his stomach is still sending mixed signals. 

My stomach is still a bit tender from my Calzone gorge-fest last Monday…I came home from work rather hungry because I didn’t bring a lunch and I had a couple of sandwiches, one chicken and one peanut butter and peach jam and my stomach started objecting shortly thereafter…I don’t know why…I mean, I’ve been feeding it two sandwiches at a time since I was in diapers…It’s accustomed to it…But it was rebelling anyway.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1969 – Man reaches another heavenly body for the first time as Apollo 11 lands on the moon. The landing was fraught with some peril. At about 30,000 feet above the lunar surface, the lunar module’s computer kept announcing it was overworked and the mission only continued because someone at mission control knew what they were doing and said it was OK to continue. The LM did not have unlimited fuel, either, and Eagle landed just a few seconds before what was known as the ‘bingo call”, when they would have 20 seconds to land or abort. Six-and-a-half hours later Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon and 20 minutes later Buzz Aldrin became the second. Neither found moving on the moon difficult, though both reported they found it useful to plan their movements a few steps ahead. The two spent two-and-a-half hours walking on the moon and all told spent 21 hours on the lunar surface. The landing happened 2,983 days after President Kennedy had called for the United States to land on the moon. 

In 1973 – Wilbur Wood of the Chicago White Sox starts both games of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees. Wood wasn’t a puzzle in either game, losing both as the Yankees swept 12-2 and 7-0, dropping Wood’s record to 18-14 for the season. Wood finished the year 24-20 and is one of ten major league pitchers since 1900 to both win and lose 20 games in a season and he remains the last major league pitcher to start both games a doubleheader. 

In 1969 – Perhaps appropriately, Zager and Evans are at #1 when man first lands on the moon, one day into the second week of their six-week reign at the top with In The Year 2525. It would be the only chart appearance for Zager and Evans, making them one of the Hot 100’s ultimate one-hit wonders: an act whose only chart single went to #1. They achieved this feat in Great Britain as well, the only act to do so in both countries.

Quotebook
We copy you down, Eagle.
Charlie Duke
Mission Control, Houston, second
s before:

Houston…Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.
Neil Armstrong
Commander, Apollo 11
July 20, 1969

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
519 women competed at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Olympics.

Today’s Stumper
Who was the last major league pitcher to both win and lose 20 games in the same season? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/July 19

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Friday, July 19
I spent part of the morning at the veteran service office (VSO) following up on what I was working on Wednesday, trying to help a veteran get appointments with a civilian doctor scheduled by another contractor than the one who is making them now…Recall the current contractor does not have a doctor in town and the second one does and the veteran is too frail to travel to the big city. 

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The Daily Dose/July 19, 2019

The Daily Dose/July 19, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Leading Off will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodyThe Sparrows hire a maid to help clean the house and later go out to dinner in the next county. Today’s Diary.

This reminded me of the time I actually broke down and hired a maid…This was back in the bachelor days in Sin City and interest and opportunity had coincided and a chick was coming over and it had been a while since a chick had come over and I seemed to recall having a clean pad would be mission-critical to scoring…The pad was my usual pigsty and it took two professional cleaners several hours – no small amount of which was spent in the bathroom – to get it even remotely presentable.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1963 – Joe Walker, a NASA test pilot, flies the hypersonic, rocket powered X-15 aircraft to an altitude of 347,800 feet, well high enough to qualify as human spaceflight, making Walker, a former US Air Force pilot, the first civilian in space. The flight took place over southern California and lasted 12 minutes. Walker would duplicate the feat the following year becoming the first human to reach space twice and he died in 1965 in a midair collision. 

In 1952 – The Games of the 15th Summer Olympics begin in Helsinki, Finland. 69 nations sent 4,955 athletes who competed in 17 sports. Among other feats, Bob Mathias of the United States became the first athlete to defend his decathlon title and the US basketball team defeated the Soviet Union, making their first Olympic appearance, 36-25 in the gold medal game. Helsinki had originally been awarded the 1940 Summer Games, replacing Tokyo, which were ultimately canceled due to World War II, and remains the northern-most city to host the Summer Games. 

In 1980 – Billy Joel is at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first of two consecutive weeks with It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me. The song was Joel’s 13th chart single, his 11th Top 40 hit, his 4th Top 10 hit and his first #1. The song also went to #1 in Canada and was Billboard’s 9th biggest hit of 1980. To date, Joel has had two other #1 songs on the Hot 100:  Tell Her About It (1983) and We Didn’t Start the Fire (1989).  

Quotebook
Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.
Queen Victoria

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Nadia Comaneci won the following gold medals at the 1976 Montreal Olympics: individual all-around, uneven bars and balance beam.

Today’s Stumper
How many women competed at the 1952 Helsinki Summer Games? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/July 18

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Thursday, July 18
Long-time readers of this crap know I am fond of saying that our lawn is an eclectic mix of grasses, weeds and whole grains, but this year fungi must be added to the list because we have more than the usual amount of mushrooms…We usually get them under the big tree near the front door, which we never use, but now they’re in the back near the alley, just up from the big tree near the front door, which we never use, near Main Street, underneath the tree near the heart garden that faces Main Street, and in the back corner, near the shed…I’m pro-mushroom, but even this is an awful lot and I’ll be honest, I just mow over them. 

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The Daily Dose/Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Daily Dose/July 18, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
We are in the middle of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. They launched two days ago and on July 20th, 1969 and landed on the moon on the 20th, with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first humans to walk on someplace other than Earth. 

It’s an accomplishment deserving of celebrating. Regular readers of my crap know that we believe the Apollo 11 moon landing is mankind’s finest hour. And it’s not particularly close, either, Apollo 11 providing a line of demarcation from everything that came before to everything that followed like few other events. The birth of Christ, the invention of gun powder, the Beatles, provide similar lines of demarcation, but none close to Apollo 11. 

Today, 50 years later,  it would not be unreasonable to expect us humans to be looking back on America having sent men to Mars and back. In fact, we’ve long thought America could have put people on Mars in the 1980s had we really want to. We didn’t really want to, though. As far as the public was concerned, the remaining five moon missions were anticlimactic and there wasn’t a dynamic president to champion a Mars trip like there was President Kennedy to champion a manned lunar landing. Fresh off Vietnam and still knee-deep in Watergate, there wasn’t even a national will to go the moon anymore, as three following Apollo missions were canceled, officially for lack of funding, but really because of lack of national interest. 

All of this is our loss. For better or worse, it’s in our DNA to explore. It’s why early man crossed rivers and mountains and, later, oceans. It’s why the Wright brothers took to the air and why we went to the moon and it’s why we should have gone to Mars. Today, America cannot even send anyone into space anymore, a national tragedy that should have all of standing in the corner in shame. 

Our complete and utter lack of advancement in manned space flight is our loss. Who knows what technical advancements we’ve missed out on? The biggest advancement we’ve missed out on, though, is having someone standing on Mars and telling us what it’s like to be there. 

We are the lesser for it.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow refuses to haggle with a guest at the hotel, plus it’s a pretty slow day at the VSO. Today’s Diary. 

Then an office manager with a local doctor called, wondering how her office could get on the VA’s approved vendor list…I really don’t know and I can’t do it myself, of course, so I gave her the number to the main switchboard at the hospital south of here…I hated to do that, to introduce a civilian to the living hell that can be the VA phone system, but it was really the best option because it will be good training for when she is obliged to deal with the VA bureaucracy…

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1984 – James Huberty opens fire at a McDonalds restaurant in San Ysidro, California, on the Mexican border, south of San Diego, killing 20 and injuring 19. The incident began a little before 4pm and ended at 5:17pm when Huberty was shot by a police sniper. Huberty had been fired from his job as a security officer the week before and the day before the shooting Huberty had called a mental health clinic requesting an appointment, but he sounded so calm they regarded his call not particularly urgent. Earlier on the day of the shooting Huberty had told his wife he was “going hunting…hunting for humans”. Though the deadliest mass shooting in American history at the time, it only ranks as the seventh biggest now. Though quickly renovated, the McDonalds was ultimately torn down. 

In 1976 – At the Montreal Summer Olympics, Nadia Comaneci of Romania becomes the first gymnast in history to score a perfect 10, doing so on the uneven bars in the team compulsory portion of the competition. Comaneci would earn six other perfect scores at the Montreal Games, and would win three gold medals. The feat was believed to be so unattainable the scoreboard was not able to display a score of 10.0, instead showing a mark of 1.00  The gymnastics international governing body changed their scoring methods in 2006, and there is no longer a consistent perfect score. 

In 1960- Brenda Lee is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of three consecutive weeks with I’m Sorry, the first of two #1s for Lee.  The song also peaked at #4 on Billboard’s soul chart and was a country radio staple even though it was never released as a country single. At 15, Lee was the youngest artist to hit #1, a record that was later broken by Little Peggy March and Stevie Wonder and is now held by Michael Jackson. Lee remains the only woman inducted into both the Country Music and Rock and Roll halls of fame. 

Quotebook
Man never really knows his own truth.
Mao Zedong

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Joe DiMaggio had 34 one-hot games during his 56-game hitting streak.

Today’s Stumper
What events did Nadia Comaneci win gold medals in at the Montreal Olympics? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/July 17

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Wednesday, July 17
About midnight two guys came in looking for a room and based on the way they were dressed – more or less in their jammies – their story about their condo flooding was believable…We had plenty of rooms available and I quoted them a rate of $129, plus tax, not too bad and a full $30 off what the system was asking…That wasn’t good enuff, tho, for the dude who was paying. 

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The Daily Dose/Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Daily Dose/July 17, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Leading Off will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow has both the phone and the Internet go out a the hotel, and he is back in the gym following Monday’s overeating session. Today’s Diary.

You know, on the one hand, today’s workout was just one of many I’ll do this month and really wasn’t all that important…On the other hand, following Monday’s calzone gorgefest, it was supremely important because without it the next thing you know a bad day eating has turned into a bad week eating before you can say “extra cheese” most of the gains you’ve made in the gym the past couple of months are gone and you are darn near back to square one. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1955 – Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California, for the media, invited guests and a live TV audience. It wasn’t a complete success. Workers were still finishing their work and the TV broadcast was rife with miscues. Walt Disney had gotten the idea for an amusement park while watching his family ride the merry-go-round at Los Angeles’ Griffith park, and got further inspiration after visiting amusement parks around the world. Construction had begun a year and a day earlier and Disneyland cost $17 million to build, about $161 million in today’s money. Disneyland opened to the general public the following day and has hosted well over 700 million guests over the years. 

In 1941 – Joe DiMaggio’s major league record 56-game hitting streak comes to an end, as he goes 0-for-3 with a walk as the Yankees defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-3. The streak had started on May 15 with a 1-for-4 effort against the Chicago Cubs and DiMaggio batted .408 during the streak with 15 home runs 55 RBIs. The following day DiMaggio started a 15-game hitting streak.

In 1976 – Something He Can Feel by Aretha Franklin is at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Hot Soul Singles chart – for the fourth and final week. It was Franklin’s 15th of a soul chart record 20 #1 songs (a record she shares with Stevie Wonder) and her 31st Top 40 pop hit. The song also peaked at #28 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and returned to the top of the soul chart in 1992 with a version done by En Vogue.

Quotebook
It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.
Mabel Newcomber

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The backup crew for Apollo 11 was James Lovell, William Anders, and Fred Haise.

Today’s Stumper
Hw many games with one hit did Joe DiMaggio have during his 56-game hitting streak? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/July 16

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Tuesday, July 16
Boy, both phone service and front desk Internet were down at various points tonight…When I reported for duty Mark reported he hadn’t received an incoming call in hours and, it turned out, phone service was down all over the place…Maybe cell service was down too, but who knew…It was all rather confusing – the newspaper even had a headline online that said “Landline service disrupted, use landline to call 911″ – so I don’t think anybody knew what the heck was going on.

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The Daily Dose/Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Daily Dose/July 16, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
We were reading an article on Novak Djokovic’s apparently thrilling five-set, tie-breaker victory over Roger Federer in the men’s Wimbledon final when we came across a quote from Federer. It came in response to a question about the new fifth set tiebreak, which goes into effect when the fifth set is tied 12-12. It’s a new rule at the Championships, designed to cut to the chase and prevent matches from lasting three days. It was the first Wimbledon final to utilize the 12-12, fifth set tiebreaker, probably a good thing because without it they might still be playing. Federer said: 

I respect whatever the rule is. 

Imagine that, a professional athlete, any athlete, publicly declaring respect for a rule. What a refreshing point of view, especially nowadays when respect for anything, rules, authority, oneself is a vanishing commodity.

We see it on a daily basis. We saw it last week when a minor league pitching coach got thrown out of an Atlantic League game for arguing balls and strikes called by an electronic pitch-calling program. This is where we are at right now: arguing decisions not even made by a human!

Now, in fairness to the coach – former major league pitcher Frank Viola – he wasn’t actually arguing with a computer program, he was arguing with the plate umpire who declined to exercise his prerogative to overrule the electronic umpire, something you probably won’t see unless a pitch that ends up in the nickel seats is called a strike. Viola completely lost his mind, something we are seeing more and more of in sports, and elsewhere, nowadays. Lighten up, Frank. You are arguing, in essence, with an experimental technology that your league is the petri dish for. There was no reason to take to DefCon 1. 

And, of course, there are the daily examples provided by our president, Donal Trump, who every day continues to ignore the rules of protocol and civilized discourse. In fact, the only rule Trump seems to follow is the rule – usually adhered to only by first-graders – of drawing as much attention to yourself as possible. 

We continue to tolerate it, though. We are tolerating the blather and the venom and the racism and friends when we ignore our leader(s) ignoring these rules we are ignoring them ourselves. There are no two ways about it. 

We deserve better than this. We deserve an America that has some sort of dignity and respect for decorum, for others, and for ourselves. We are not going to get the America we deserve though, until we start demanding it, both individually and collectively.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodyThere was an inspection at the hotel, Sparrow goes out to lunch and has the latest on the nesting robins at The Shire. Today’s Diary.

We used to always get reamed on these inspections at the timeshare I used to work at…Good gravy, the Son of Man could have been running the place and there would still have been five pages of discrepancies…I was a supervisor and I’d get called into the office and get beaten upside the head and I’m thinking damn, guests (owners, actually, and boy, they are exponentially more tedious to deal with than hotel guests) are being treated cordially and the phone is getting answered and I’m Satan incarnate because some BS forms aren’t filled out or desk clerks are being friendly and personable instead of reciting the lousy, corporate-scripts we’re given.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1969 – Man’s greatest adventure begins when, at 9:32am EDT, Apollo 11 lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east cost. Commanded by Neil Armstrong and manned by lunar module pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and command module pilot Michael Collins, Apollo 11 would enter Earth orbit twelve minutes later and after an orbit-and-a-half began the three-day trek to the moon. The crew had been woken at 4am and were served the traditional pre-flight meal of steak and eggs. They began their trek to launch pad 39 at 6:30 – about the time fueling of the Saturn V rocket commenced – and began entering the command module a bit before 7am. 

In 1950 – Uruguay wins their second World Cup, defeating host Brazil 2-1 in the final game of the championship round robin. Trailing 1-0, Uruguay got goals in the 66th and 79th minute, to win a game most everybody, especially the Brazillians, thought Brazil would win. The 1950 World Cup remains the only one where the title was not determined in a championship game that followed a single-elimination stage and remains the last World Cup title match featuring two teams from South America. The crowd 199,584 remains the largest crowd to see a sports event that was not an auto or a horse race. 

In 1977 – The Commodores are at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Hot Soul Singles chart – for their only week with Easy. It was the third of seven #1 songs on the soul chart for the group, and their fifth of 13 Top 10 soul hits. The song also peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100, their biggest pop hit until Three Times a Lady hit #1 the following year. The Commodores last hit the Hot 100 in 1985 when Nightshift went to #5. 

Quotebook
If I should die it would only be a sign that my star has run its course.
Adolf Hiter

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The Philadelphia Phillies have lost the most games in major league history, 10,964.

Today’s Stumper
Who was the backup crew for Apollo 11? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/July 15

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Monday, July 15
It turns out we had an inspection from the home office while I was on my days off…It happened Thursday and I saw the report in the back office and we did really good…Our lowest score was 93.00 and we even got a hundred on a couple of things…The only thing found wrong at the front desk had to do with the home office’s human rights policy…I forget exactly what the policy entails, but I seem to recall it being rather silly for a hotel to have a human rights policy and I don’t think it involved anything more than reading a form that said the parent company supports human rights for all people, whether they work here or not…I’ve been working front desks a long time and I’ve yet to run into a human rights issue, but ol’ Sparrow is certainly on board with it…The problem, the report said, was that our human rights training wasn’t properly documented.

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