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Preview: Burb's Buck & Buntline Inn

Burb's Buck & Buntline Inn

MsBurb's virtual bar where today's issues can be digested as well as the virtual drink she just served to you! Visit B3's cousin site "2nd Tate-LaBianca Murders Blog" at> while you're at it!

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 15:40:46 PST


Pre-Christmastime Blather, Coffee Shop Style...

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 14:38:34 PST

 Well, Peoples, TGI one day closer to Jan 1st and normalesque Calgary, Canada drivers...Now, I'm not a scrooge, I adore Christmas and shiny packages under the tree even if no such goodies were on offer to Jesus...but every year, this time of year, I start to smell vehicular desperation, and no, it's not that the cars are desperate per se, more-so the drivers of said cars - changing lanes with less room than a NASCAR driver will allow at Talladega, forgoing all signal lights in favour of emitting ESP mind waves, as the rest of humanity should know where said desperate driver is headed: to credit card debt at the Big Box store, and my personal favourite: driving the wrong way down a One Way, that at any other time of year said desperate driver would never, ever do.Now, in between those life and death moments, rational drivers quietly shake off the Shock & Awe and head to the nearest coffee joint to calm one's nerves over double shots of any-flavour-latte-will-do as long as it's large - or as Robin Williams said in the movie, Good Morning Vietnam: just play anything but play it LOWWD!I'm sitting here over my double shot, trying my best to ignore the perky barista in the Santa hat, wondering where western society went a kid in the '60s & '70s, I remember malls being more hubbubby this time of year but everyone seemed happy. Now, grant you, I was a kid, and my only real stressor was if I could match the right shoes with the right outfit so Barbie could go ice-skating with Ken and not be sneered at by lesser dolls.But even the shiny packages have changed under the genuine real fake Christmas trees that now cost a whopping $400...Everything is techno.Everything has a battery, or a cord, or a jet-pack the likes of which George Jettson would be proud.What's happened to unplugged gifts?Handmade gifts?Snowshoes made out of real wood and animal sinew?Okay, sorry for that last one. The double shot has kicked in.I yearn for a REAL Christmas with heart-warming gifts and heart-warming family (I'd have to rent said family, mine were more the drink-debate-get drunk-fisticuffs-at-midnight kinda gang) gracing the dinner table(a full-on Henredon beauty that costs at least 7 grand or is an embarrassment to upper-class western dining society).Simple things, you know. Just simple times.No Greed is Good mottoes.More Sears Wish Book.(Before Sears plummeted after letting go of Air Miles, and then obviously hired idiotic management that bulldozed them right into the retail crapper...sorry, feeling a wee bit frustrated right now as Barista chick is ignoring the coffee line-up, chatting up instead a trendy guy whose chest size is that of a Ken doll and sporting a scraggly cult-like beard, and the coffee in my cup, and my body's caffeine intake, are reaching Def Con 3 levels).No more desperation.No more stress.No more two hour line-ups at Costco where the guy ahead of you is price-checking a head of broccoli...just for fun.No more cash & dash.No more harried cashiers who seem only one degree away from picking up their pen and driving it into your carotid artery...just for fun.No more "Happy Holidays" greetings which make me wretch in a PC sort of way.No more bashing Nativity Scenes.And, oh my god, no more honking horns and burning rubber, like that'll get you to The Bay Christmas card sale any faster, and who mails Christmas cards anymore anyway?! (As a juicy aside, you shoulda seen the road rage gig that just played out right now in front of this coffee shop!! Holy cow that was funny!!!)No more big SUVs with sissy-sounding car horns.No more Beatles or John Denver Christmas muzak (like they are my Go-Tos when I think of a simpler Christmas, not).No more whiny kids dragged around overheated malls by PMS suffering Moms.No more drone-strike-targeted baby strollers.No more tinsel that isn't even made out of tin.No more sickness, no more aging, no more hunger or sadness or animal torture.No more Trump in the White House, and no more hungry mice in churches…Just snow, and make it WHITE, y[...]

The Haunting of Truman Capote...

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:24:33 PST

One day in the early millennium, I happened upon a library bookshelf where I noticed a worn, frayed and terribly bent paperback copy of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.I had read it decades ago, as had all the world, but having an urge to wander down literary lanes once tread, once more, I checked it out, and within a weekend re-read that engrossing tale. I again experienced Truman's simple but heralding voice, talking to me through those pages, figuratively holding my hand as he walked me through those gruesome mid-November, 1959 Kansas Clutter family murders.The story was still as I had remembered it, so pitifully sad, so disturbing in so many ways, but this time, it wasn't the tale so much as the man who caught me in his web, and not until 7 years later would he let me go.The difference in reading this work, this time: I, myself, was on the verge of becoming a novelist, so now his journey felt like mine. Truman and I, via an ethereal bridge through time and space, had mind-melded, and I was transported from the tale to the teller, and he was in me.Beyond my career in public relations, beyond the corporate pieces I had penned, and beyond the many people who had tried their very best to convince me to take on longer works, it was Truman - a man I had never met, and who never knew I existed - who latched onto me and wouldn't let go until I wrote the final chapter of his life, the one he said he knew I could write, having had a cop for a father who knew crime and criminals, and who happened to have also died from addiction - alcoholism.So, despite every effort to ignore his voice, his life and that Clutter tale washed in and out of my consciousness for over two years, as I began to watch interviews and films and documentaries, everything I could get my hands on, on his life, - memorizing his demeanour, listening ad nauseum to that Gore Vidal ascribed "Brussel sprout" voice, watching the way he walked, talked, sat, the way he held a cocktail glass or a cigarette or how he flashed a smile, what materials he liked best in clothing, what he found funny and what he found sad, or what seemed to frustrate him or un-nerved him - every nuance, witnessed, digested, inhaled, and never exhaled, for two very long, agonizing, going-nowhere years.Then one day, a vision appeared in my mind's eye, that of a singular girl walking a lonely stretch of gravel road dissecting wheat fields somewhere in Kansas - the place, and the girl, a mystery.It obviously was not Truman, as one would assume it should have been if I was supposedly obsessing on the man, but a young girl, who never uttered a word, who had me follow her every step. I never saw her face, my eye was to her back left, as if I were right behind her, maybe hovering just over her shoulder, accompanying her on this unknown journey.Well, that unknown girl and that unknown quest stayed with me as a video clip would stay with you if you hit Play, Stop, Reverse, and hit Play again, the same girl, the same view, the same walking scene and unidentifiable road going nowhere...for SIX LONG MONTHS, inside my head, playing over and over and over again, seeing, hearing, sensing nothing more except for a soft cross-breeze kissing my cheek and a kind of hissing noise snaking through the stands of wheat. I thought I was losing my mind!For the longest time, I assumed that girl was ME. It had to be me, right? Because I'm the one who has Truman talking in my ear from the moment I wake up 'til the moment I fall asleep, every freaking day for these last two years!But it wasn't me. It was never me.The epiphany finally came to me in bed one night, in that semi-conscious state you find yourself just before the sandman takes you away for that temporary death. At that moment, I knew who it was and why she was so important to Truman's finale.And with that realization, the story, my story, of Truman's end was born; and although the entire plot was not yet known to me, the title, well, I think Truman gave it to me himself - No More Blood - was as real and as certain as the ruler straig[...]

When Did Being PC Usurp Being Polite?

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 15:00:36 PST

 I looked at the article for some time…like someone would who could not process what they were seeing, reading; like somehow, part of the brain I needed for comprehension had no past reference to assist in this task.Being polite. We are all human. We are all ladies or gentlemen, despite how we happen to see ourselves in the mirror, are we not?Caitlyn Jenner is a lady, right?George Michael was a gentleman, was he not?If you offer a polite salutation now, somehow, this is offensive?And as far as I know, no matter what we call ourselves or how we identify sexually, we are still human, and to date, can, and should desire to, be civil?Or is our world pushing away all modes of civility to make way for the preferred notion of PCing all of us into unidentifiable robots? Like, somehow, to identify as anything is offensive in and of itself.I am not trying to sound like an asshole here (but to some, I’m sure I do)but from where I’m sitting, society is close to hitting a reasoned tipping point.I get it, to an extent…We gave up gloves.We gave up hats.We gave up dressing for dinner.Heck, we gave up our dining room tables on which to have dinner.But why do we have to stop being polite?Why?And why is every living thing now considered offensive to someone?When, as a species, did we lose our maturity? Our rational thought? Our ability to discern? Our ability to see that not every little thing is about Us, meant to offend Us?I’m seriously void of all understanding on this.I was okay with dropping gloves. You can’t pick up anything with them and all they do is get dirty, and require copious amounts of bleach to return to their day glove-wearing glory.I look hideous in hats so that was a social custom I could easy cast aside.At one point, I did dress for dinner to please my parents, but sadly, they are both gone now, so my dining room table stands silent in a rather vacant room, more often polished to remove dust than finger prints, and more lovingly gazed upon as an archaeological exhibit.But at 53, I am not ready to stop being polite.One world.One human species.Despite all attempts at current scientific experiments, just two sexes, no matter which you choose to view in your mirror.And the societal notion that if such persons are sitting in a commuter train, and not going all Dirty Harry.45 calibre on each other, they are, by definition, Ladies & Gentlemen.~~~I’m sure the time is soon approaching when the younger generations look upon my generation with disgust, that what we grew up thinking was civility, could never pass for said today.But as far as I know, I still have a few years left on Mother Earth, and I’d like to hear once and a while pleasant salutations, just to refine my day so I can assume not all Good is lost in this world in the name of homogeneous nothingness.Can we all just step away from the hysteria bridge long enough not to become jumpers and consider for a moment that regarding others with respect has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation?Can we? Can we just?Please tell me we can.If we cannot, I’m told there’s a banana peel to 6 feet under with my name on it somewhere in the future. I’ll go look for it sooner rather than later. I’m hungry anyways…[...]

Is It Because of Ted Kennedy I Carry An Awl in My Car?...

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 22:08:19 PST

Courtesy RedditI live in land-locked Alberta, Canada, prairies to my east, rolling hills and Rockies to my west…not exactly Lake Country…and sure as Hell not Eastern seaboard Massachusetts.But here I am, some 48 years later, being the proud owner of a solid steel awl, forced into the glove compartments of cars, loved ones and I have owned, for nigh on as long as I can remember.Yes. An awl. A pointy steel tool one can use to break car windshield glass.And I will never know if that would have kept Mary Jo Kopechne alive.It’s tough to stab glass if you’re knocked unconscious and your male escort swims ashore and leaves the scene.And I will never know if Ted fled or tried to save that young woman.You’re thinking, Why bring up Chappaquiddick now? It had nothing to do with you, an event concerning people you never knew.As an aside: my mother refused to let me see the movie Jaws when it first came out, fearing I’d end my love affair with swimming.She forgot about Chappaquiddick.Something about the land yachts my parents generation drove. Something about going off narrow roads, into water, in the dead of night.Something about the impossibility of breaking car glass, and something about how painful drowning is said to be.Makes a rubber shark filmed at Universal Studios seem trite.Those images of Ted’s 1967 Olds Delmont 88.Courtesy Newport BuzzThose TV network video shots of cops on site being interviewed, of the funeral of Mary Jo, of how Kennedy’s seems to be present whenever disaster hits.Joe Jr. —bomber explodes over the English Channel during top secret mission in WWIIRosemary — frontal lobotomy, rest of her life spent in mental hospitalsKathleen — air plane accident with husband over French Riviera in 1948John — assassinatedBobby — assassinatedTeddy — ChappaquiddickAnd that’s just the short list of the Kennedy First Generation. Not a curse, mind, just a recipe: wealth + a sense of invincibility = disasterBack to water…and the need to escape.Someone, unknown to me now, said that the best way to break windshield glass: use an awl.So I carry it in the side pocket of my driver’s side door, you know, just in case I come upon a Kennedy…or water…or both.I know it’s silly.My friends and family roll their eyes and shake their heads, but there my awl sits. Every once in a while I check it for the point going dull, for dirt or rust, in case that hampers glass breaking ability. It, the awl, seems fine.I’m not so sure about me.I could be fearful of stepping on sidewalk cracks. I could go catatonic when an umbrella is opened inside a building. I could be more inclined to cross a street into Hell before I’d walk under a ladder.But no, those things touch me not.I am touched by the drowning of a pretty girl, in a big car, a half century ago.Why do certain events stay with us? Ones in which we have no direct connection.Mary Jo’s body was found in the last place in that car that would have had air to breathe — assumption: she was conscious, all alone, cold and so frightened, clinging to the last bubble of life-giving air, sensing, no doubt, that she was about to drown. I have a 3D kind of mind’s eye, so I can feel her in there, see her fright, taste her salty tears, hear her clawing to get out, pounding on the glass to break free. Then her screaming? Then silence and stillness once the water filled her lungs and death carried away her soul.Do nightmares get any more horrific?Is there a soul-link between humans as we come and go from our bodies and this world?Is it some kind of ethereal defence mechanism against being taken advantage of by domineering, powerful men?Do I carry this awl, now, for Mary Jo? Or is it a simply a tool to stave off one form of death while forgetting a[...]

Following My War…

Sat, 04 Nov 2017 20:14:41 PDT

1939 to 1945, men, too old to enlist, bought maps just like this one to follow the progress of the wars in Europe and the Pacific.They would see the Front Lines — offensive and defensive lines, the Allied armies seen in blue with their various country flags denoting positions held.The Axis, the Enemy lines, shaded in red, not only because red was the main colour in the flags of Germany and Japan, but red meant Bad, it stood for the Enemy and his fiery attacks, and it was seen as a beacon of warning to fight at all cost, and to win.Each night, those same men — while their wives busied themselves in the kitchen, collecting cooking fat and oil, cutting the tops and bottoms out of tin cans, and figuring out tomorrow’s menu on whatever her ration card would allow — would fire up the transistor radio, aka the wireless (it took many minutes, not the mere turn of a dial), pack his pipe full of fresh tobacco, light it and puff away as he gleaned the latest front-line developments, adding his own set of blue and red lines, noting the date of each advancement, sighing as he penned in a needed retreat, or as the War Department buzz-worded it — a “fighting withdrawal”.Yes, the CBS World News, the BBC, and Canada’s own CBC radio would give the day’s blow-by-blow accounts — towns taken, number of enemy captured or killed, and of course, the awful numbers, too, on our side.The house would fall quiet in that evening hour, and if there were young children, they knew well to be seen and not heard.It was war.And it was awful.But those Home Front men and women, who were too old to fight, could keep track of the enemy and feel as if some semblance of order was at hand.~~~Flash forward to 2017…some 70+ years later…There are no maps.There is no identifiable enemy.There is no recognizable uniform and their flags are all made up.There is no one or two bad countries.There’s only an extremist religious ideology, fuelled by jealousy and hate for a cultural far advanced than theirs.And a Front Line? No amount of maps will show.So, in 2017, I’m that man or that woman, and I can instantly fire up my cell phone news app, and I can sip at my energy drink or light up my E cigarette, and no matter how much the radio hosts talk, no lines can I make on a non-existent map.I’m 53. And there is no semblance of order for me. I can fall asleep tonight and in the wee hours, the Front Line will have been moved by a rampaging box truck or a high-tower machine gun, and the counted dead and wounded are civilians, not soldiers, and their numbers are staggering.The captured will be one, and he will most likely be dead, and his end will not move one inch the Front Line in our favour.~~~I want a war map.I want those fold-out pieces of colour-coded paper.I, as a civilian, want a semblance of order to the chaos around me, and knowledge that I know who and where my enemy lies.My war no longer needs those propaganda production posters to encourage me to save my fator crush my tin.Such activities held for those women a sense of purpose and a goal — one more can of fat, another bundle of tin, and I too am fighting the “Hun” and the “Japs”, and as Churchill says, We shall win!~~~What could I have kept and crushed to stop the attacks in Paris, Belgium, Edmonton, Las Vegas and New York?What line on what paper could I have drawn to show where my enemy was in those cities?Where were the uniforms and the soldiers wearing them readied to fight on this Front Line?Courtesy New York TimesAnd what will happen to Us All when the Home Front is that Front Line?[...]

Trump Releases JFK...

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 21:51:04 PDT

Courtesy amazon.comI could end this article right here by saying, “It’s about time.” ~~~This may be the one good thing to come out of Right Wingnut Trump and his three-ring circus Administration.The Initial Thought: At last! The final paper dump will get the CTers — Conspiracy Theorists — to shut the hell up about Dealey and move on to more pressing issues like how DO they get the caramel in the Caramilk bars and if there’s no Santa then how come Man invented chimneys?The Second Thought: Crikey! It won’t matter. The CTers will harp on any redacted lines or accuse the Trump Administration of holding back some airy-fairy crucial pages that, in fact, tell us WHO put the caramel in the Caramilk bars and WHY Santa is a CIA operative.The Third Thought: Hang on! Wait a darn tootin’ sec! Most CTers ARE Right Wingnuts. Trump is the Leader of said Wingnuts. By default, CTers have to believe in their leader! Right?!Is there hope?Is there promise?Is there light at the end of this delusional tunnel?Can the JFK assassination stagnation finally be put to an end?Courtesy JFK LancerCome this Friday, We, who have actually read ALL 26 VOLUMES of the Warren Report (and let me tell you, that We is mighty small), shall we’ve always known. But will the final fling of declassified papers be enough to facilitate silence among the naysayer Peanut Gallery? Will the url link swaps to rumour, innuendo, third party hearsay and junk science finally come to an end? Will the autopsy pics finally be allowed to fade away and can we finally put Jack to rest?Will we all realize that the men under Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren actually did a thorough job in uncovering the truth? Yes, the blow-by-blow, shot-by-shot whole-truth-and-nothing-but that occurred on that sunny November day more than a half century ago.CTers often cite the HSCA — House Select Committee on Assassinations — as conducting a more thorough job than the Warren boys. And after those many entertaining days of testimony, their result of a probable conspiracy was based on 1) a Dallas motorcycle cop’s radio being stuck in the On position, recording what sounded like more than 3 shots, and 2) that due to some FBI mobster eavesdropping, the CIA had blood on its hands.The cop recording has since been debunked.And no mobster alive then, even on their Sicilian-Catholic confessional-inclined deathbeds, coughed up a shooter or a CIA contact.54 years. And no “Ah ha!” moment. Not. A. One.So, I’m counting the minutes until Friday…I’m praying the redacting is nil.I’m readying my black dress and polishing my black heels in preparation for a funeral that should have ended five decades ago.What will happen to these committed CTers once they realize their raison d’etre had no meaning? Will their mouths and their keystrokes finally grow silent? Will they recycle the wads of paper in their basement filing cabinets that in five decades have become jam-packed with tampered photos and erroneous documentation? Will they accept the Lone Wolf result as the only viable result there ever was? And will they finally come to grips with the reality that this was a simple crime committed by a simpleton criminal, who happened to pick as his second target the Leader of the Free World when his first shot at being infamous missed by inches another Right Wingnut, General Edwin Walker ?Courtesy Bottom- kcconfidential.comIn police terms, the JFK murder was a open and shut case. The evidence was overwhelming — hard and circumstantial. Hell, even the Magic Bullet Theory was debunked when the Warren boys and the Tell-All crazies realized the JFK limo back seat was at a far different height and angle than that of the Connally jump-seat.There were no more bullets. There were no more shooters. And if there had been a second shooter on the Grassy Knoll, Zapruder and his secr[...]

Most Frightening Moment of My Wee Life...

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 15:47:57 PDT

Scary For Kids

Age 3, 1967, Orangeville, Ontario

Funeral of my father's brother-in-law's father.
Yes, small towns seek out any entertainment.

My mother holds my hand as we enter this weird place - plush red carpeting, so thick no footsteps could be heard, fake triad candle light fixtures affixed to the dark walnut panelling, the fake flames flickered.

That entryway led to the main room. People, adults, talking in whispers, all in dark suits or formal dresses, hats, gloves, real linen handkerchiefs being blown into...the sobbing between sniffles...

I'm so small. All I really see is legs.
Mom says, "Wait here."
Wait here?! I thought. No way in Candy Land Hell was I going to stand alone in this moving nightmare! I'm only 3 but I know ridiculous when I see it!

I follow my mom, right through the milling crowd.
She ends up at this long wooden box, so big, so shiny. I quick calculate how many Barbie dolls could fit in this brass-handled beauty. Answer: a lot! More fake candles, now on wrought iron stands, holding court at either end, and so many flowers, the scent was choking.

Mom is leaning over into the box.

Heck, whatever my mom does is good enough for me. She has taken care of me this long, my 3 year old gut says to keep the trust.
I go on tip-toe and peek in...



For a coffin's worth of years later, she would try and convince me that Less Hall's father was just very old and very thin.

On that horrific day, I wasn't born yesterday. I was 1095 days old. I had been around the block a few times. I knew better.

After that moment, I trusted my mom. But if she ever looked into a box again, she was on her own.
There's only so much a wee gal can take.

P.S. I write on the process of death now. Thanks mom........

If Not Closure...Peace?

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:45:17 PDT

Courtesy Left -, Right -                             The Ken Burns series, The Vietnam War, is really beyond words.The single take-a-way from this massive documentary is that as in all life, if you are honest with yourself and with others, in war there is no Black vs. White. There is no all Good vs. all Evil. There is only a stretcher-load full of damaged grey.If you take a veteran from each war and plunk them all down in the same room; the expressions, the emotional wounds, the anger, disgust, outrage, the camaraderie, the memories horrific and happy, they are all there and they are all the same. But if you take those same war vets whose country is against that war, another layer of wounds are laid into those men, and society suffers unending hits from the loss of their sons for an errant cause.And while time heals wounds, seen and not, time can't heal all.Ken Burns series comes damn close to achieving real peace within those of us who lived through that time, even if closure is forever a MIA.I was shocked. I was angered. I had disgust.I cried.I laughed.I smiledAnd I cried again.So many bright, handsome, lively young men violently killed on the cusp of living their lives...on all sides.U.S. Army, ARVN, Viet Cong, U.S. & Vietnamese civilians.PinkvilleKent StateSaigon, and on and on...War is not an enclosed activity despite what the leadership and generals may say. Its actions carry ripples and all feel the strain. Guilt can be more deadly than a bullet.Mr. Burns could have picked out any Vietnam soldier's story to document for this film, and the sorrows, the regret, the rage and confusion, it all would have been the same. A just cause leaves damage. An unjust cause unending damages.Maybe Ken Burns planned this documentary to be more for civilian than combatant healing. Maybe through those turbulent times, we who were too young or too old to fight but were forced to watch the fighting had to quick swallow the medicine of Vietnam and forget the warring world was ever that sick. Maybe Ken forcing us to realize that hearts and minds were broken on both sides eliminates some of the ill-placed hatred for the "enemy", and allows a kind of peace without closure.I'm not sure why Mr. chose now to cover this time in history but I think he had an intention. Maybe to quietly say to all of us that in all conflict there are two sides, that with all shots fired there is lasting damage, and that jumping into war to merely prove a country's power should be history in and of itself.But as Islamic extremists hijack trucks and mow down civilians world wide, as the Sharia Law converted grab guns and fire into innocent crowds, as backpacks full of explosives carried by ISIS patriots tear limbs and lives, peace, never mind closure, is now more than ever not at hand.The Vietnam War series may have closed the door on our past but what of our present? A new "enemy", a new ideology, a new era of little peace and more universal hurt. The grey swamps us now as PT boats swamped the Gulf of Tonkin.Thank you, Mr. Burns, for trying to remind us about our past as our present rages on. Peace and closure? Give it another 40 years....[...]

Truth is Militant...

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:16:32 PDT

Before the phrase Politically Correct was coined, how did the world actually work?I remember my mother saying to me, "It's okay to tell White Lies if they keep from hurting someone."At age 7, that kind of made sense, and I took that motto with me all the way through grade school and university and even into my part-time retail job that paid for university, that if a customer the size of an 18 wheeler semi asked me if that horizontal striped shirt looked great on her, I'd smile, jauntily nod, and say, "Nobody can carry that look off like you!"Heck, once my friends started popping out babies, I'd look at each breathing, crying, pooping new born amoeba (all new-borns look like amoebas, okay!), and say, "Yes, he/she is the sweetest thing since sugar!"*Yawn* that's me being nice to not hurt someone's feelings...BANG! ZOOM! It's 2017, and the polite gloves are off and the raised by wolves mentality reigns!Now, not only will we tell you you're ugly and your mother dresses you funny, we will copy and paste a link to you of a paper bag & potato sack company you can use to cover your ugly self so the world's eyes don't have to bleed out at the sight of you. And SOMEONE ONLINE will give us a Like for that!I'm thinking the world has turned upside down in this technological Renaissance.Back in the day:To protect feelings, a White Lie.To protect the world from serious woes, the Truth.Now:To protect feelings, Online Shaming.To protect the world from serious woes, Group Think PC.I go on Twitter, and if I disagree with the norm on a serious issue, however abnormal that norm is, I get a pantheon on hateful tweets for even voicing an opposing opinion. Same with Facebook.I cannot discuss the future of the writing industry, what I think about the American obsession with race or debunk any so-called Conspiracy Theory without the Groupies coming out in swarms to smother me in their own brand of Group Think PC. It's like being the only person on a bridge trying to save a jumper and all the people in the cars on that bridge screeching to a stop to pull me away from doing, saying, what is reasonable, natural, normal.To answer the above:I don't think there should be Affirmative Action applied to any profession for any group. You should be offered entrance on ability alone. Period. And that goes doubly for the writing industry. Americans have got to STOP THINKING ABOUT RACE for bloody once in their 200+ year life and start thinking people, just plain people, who happen to be American. Simply, human beings breathing air. Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK, and he did it alone. I read all 26 volumes of the Warren Report, have you? We went to the Moon in '69. Those reflecting squares didn't fly there on their own! 9/11 was not a bloody inside job. For cryin' out loud! And the Newtown murders of wee children actually happened. I'm so very sorry, but they did. Truth is ugly. It's base and often it's boring. But it's real. And believing in it, or not, doesn't alter that fact.Before you Group Think Groupies go off on an uttered Truth, sit back, use the brain God gave you, and consider that there might just be truth to that Truth, and in doing so, you might learn something...hopefully, to not be a PC Groupie.[...]

Image - A Death-knell to Your Future Goals...

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 18:25:24 PDT

Lethargy.Procrastination.The lack of personal success.Society begs for over-productivity in the workforce, but once we come home from work, we secretly dream of wanting more for ourselves, but end up doing less to nothing about it.Is this a universal truth? Time and culturally tested?Or is this a by-product of an over-stressed populous?We rush to get through work.We rush on the freeways to get home.We rush to make dinner for the family and to tidy the house.Only to rush to our easy chairs to do nothing for ourselves but stare into a screen - play station or TV tube.In past decades, when there were less time-saving devices, and when there weren't any home screens at all, somehow there was more time, and here's a twist: more energy to boot!I think the key to all success and failure is an ideal that should have be made into the 8th Deadly Sin eons ago, and that's Image - how we want the world to see us.In past eras, poverty was more the norm rather than the exception. Everybody lived within their means because they had no alternative. They paid by cash for everything they purchased, and if the money wasn't there to participate in some pleasurable past-time, you simply stayed home.Now, the middle class, of which there was none pre World War II, seeks to look like they live the caviar life, dreaming the champagne dreams of the rich and famous...all on a beer budget with a half dozen credit cards to pick up the slack that they can't possibly pay off in two lifetimes.That pay-cheque to pay-cheque existence over time creates stress, and long term stress creates lethargy, procrastination and ultimately depression, none of which give birth to a positive and productive energy flow. You're, in fact, pretending to "live the dream" that will in the end exhaust you to the point that actually achieving that dream will never materialize.If a societal solution is to be found, we must get real with ourselves, live within our means like our grandparents did, and be bloody content with what we have, so a positive energy flow is there to produce better results for us tomorrow.I once knew a couple who in their latter years were multi millionaires, and the wife, when she waxed emotional, always said her and her husband had more joy in their lives when they had orange crates for end tables...think about that!It's not what cars you drive.It's not how big your home is.It's not the clothes you wear...As long as you are content and confident in your own skin.That takes some doing if you are part of the self-conscious majority today, erroneously believing what you possess defines who you are.My advice on how to gain productivity freedom:Get off that useless treadmill and rid yourself of that elusive public Image, and when you do, you may find your free time far more energetic, far more enjoyable, and far more productive.[...]

MsBurb is Baaaaack!

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:58:16 PST

It's not like MsBurb to disappear.Many people would like that, but I'm like a bad penny slathered in Ebola...I might hide inside a monkey for a wee while but, like Jack said, well, kind of, Here's MsBurb!First, my apologies...I went AWOL on both the 2nd Official Tate-LaBianca Murders Blog (aka TLB2) and the Buck & Buntline Inn (aka B3), as for the last number of years I decided to try my hand at longer works, and like chewing gum and walking - and I have no idea how people do that! - I left writing short articles to dive deep and long into novels.In that time, I've written three books...No More Blood - on the last three hours of Truman Capote's life - available right now as an ebook at Amazon.No More Blood, being such a research heavy topic, and my first stab at a long work, took me close to two years to finish; although, Truman had been talking in my ear since '07, I just didn't think I had it in me then to attempt the feat. 18 1/2 - a political thriller where I tell the reader, once and for all, what was on that 18 1/2 minute gap on the Nixon Watergate tape - available on amazon as well.Sessions - a psychological noir - NOT a typical police procedural - is a kind of proverbial  Dodge City at High Noon shoot out between a psychiatrist and a sexually sadistic serial killer who is a 70 year old female...never been caught. As I type this, Sessions is being read by agents in an attempt to get this book traditionally published so as yet not available to the public.All the while I'm spending all-niters writing these works, I was thinking of these blog sites, but I knew my writer's mind could not do justice to two things at once.My writing has been under an evolution of sorts this last decade since I retired from the full-time work-force, and for the better, I like to think. But although I am already in preparation mode for my 4th novel, I feel more skilled to handle both long and short works, so here I am, and this time, I mean to stay.My goal is to blog on Mondays for TLB2 and B3, the rest of the week write on my current novel. I may flounder here and there but I'm determined to stay the course and try my best to get you, my dear readers, back, giving you the attention you deserve.If there are any specific topics you'd like to see me handle on TLB2 or B3, just email me and offer up your ideas. I have posts in the hopper but it's nice to see what the readership would like me to cover, as well.If you click back onto the blogs, you will see a New & Improved look to them both, hopefully set up better, offering more and resembling something one would actually find online in this century. Yes, I went kicking and screaming into the 21st. I have the proverbial psychological bruises to prove it!On TLB2, MsBurb's "Record Player" is back! Email me anytime with '60s songs you'd like me to add to the playlist. And in the near future, I will add a "Slide Show" of the main photos covering these crimes and those times. These new blog themes are Works In Progress so bear with me...On B3, a new look as well, but still in keeping with my two favourite things - drinking and being North Irish-Canadian - this blog enabling me to say what doesn't quite fit on TLB2, past and current issues, social/historical events that have shaped our time in this our shared human experience.I have also begun a third website, entitled,CLICK PIC TO CHECK OUT SITE!Words to Write By...Books by B.J. Thompson (aka WWB), where, as a free-lance editor and writer, I discuss the issues surrounding the craft, will pen some short tales and post excerpts from my books, and make those novels available for sale to the general public. So, pour a coffee or something stronger, drop by, and do a little reading, won't you?So, here we go again, my fellow readers...the Manson and Social Commentary br[...]

The Essence of Elvis...

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 16:31:10 PDT

…is about as hard to grasp as a hunk of cloud out an airplane window… Sure, watching those grainy, Technicolor recordings of his concerts or media/family videos of his time at Graceland look certainly out-dated and hokey, but there was something special in his aura, in the atmosphere he generated, in the man himself, and of course, in the music, wasn’t there? And the more the years roll by, and the older I get, I’m finally seeing the man over the “image” of the man, the imperfect human over the perfect sex idol, the real essence of Elvis Presley over the image of “Elvis”. It’s not that he wasn’t all those things to us girls way back when; it’s just that we locked eyes on those eyes, those cheekbones, those lips and that hair, and we really saw very little else. It was what made Elvis Presley “Elvis” in those days, even now. Today, Elvis would turn 75 if he had lived. Instead, he died three years younger than I am right now, and although I’m no spring chicken myself anymore, dying at 45, or at 42 like “E”, is truly unthinkable to me. Sure, the body isn’t any 21 year old anymore but the mind feels like it’s only beginning when one hits their 40s. But that’s the essence of what “Elvis” was that Elvis Presley would never be. The “image” could never fail, never falter, never grow old in any of our eyes. We, his fans, sentenced him to death well before the talent and the genius that was him had a chance to really bloom. Now, I can so easily envision Elvis in an advisory role to many of the new musicians of today, giving them the gift of his experience and musical intuition, right to his dying day. But that would require us, his fans, allowing him to fail, and falter and grow old…and I guess he thought we’d never allow that.I wonder if he was right? Elvis was only one in a pair of heart-throbs in those days and his counter-part, Tom Jones, managed to surviveour admiration and adoration quite well. Whether by luck or by breeding or by a more realistic view of himself, Tom was able to break free of the idol image and come back down to earth long enough for his fans to accept that he was “sex walking” no matter how old he got.  As it stands though, at 42, in 1977, the lights went out for good in Graceland for her, and for us, for good.We didn’t see the deepening lines, or the thinning, greying hair, our adoration for the man and the voice was and is as strong today as it was in the hay-day of his career,  just as Elvis’ had been. The realities of both men are and were vastly different though. Tom is in great health, his voice deeper and stronger now than in his youth and although some time ago he finally abandoned the silly notion of dying his hair, now sporting his natural snow white mop, his mental/physical/vocal faculties are intact,, no question. Elvis’ physical situation was far worse. Beyond the publicly known prescription pill addiction, Elvis suffered from raging glaucoma, having to take daily eye drops, wearing those signature dark, metal framed sun-glasses, really as a medical necessity over a strictly fashionable one. Some in the know claimed that he would have been legally blind in no time. His terrific mane of hair was seriously thinning and it was said that “E” had a small bald spot on the top of his head that his hair-dresser, Larry Geller, would spray-paint black to match his dyed black (naturally sandy blond) hair. The weight gain was, of course, a constant battle for “E” as well, a more than likely inherited trait from his Mother and not helped one bit by a constant diet of fat-rich southern home cooking. At one point, his entourage, “The Memphis Mafia”, lead by Joe Esposito, kept him drugged up for close to two weeks[...]

The Russian Martians Are Coming!

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:54:23 PDT

Thursday August 8, 1974.A beautiful, calm, late summer, early evening day in Lake Country, Haliburton, Ontario.My memory doesn't hold what I or my family did up at the cottage that day but there is no doubt what we did when we came in for the evening.The adults were seated around the dining room table - it must be a farmer-thing to sit at a table - I, not having been a farm girl, always thought that habit strange when perfectly good, comfy chairs and couches were on offer in a room constructed for the purpose of living – the Living room.With that personal logic firmly in place, then as now, I took my preferred seat in an antique rocking chair which sat opposite and catty-corner the portable TV and the picture window looking out on to Maple Lake. I remember the leaves were already turning but the grass was still very green, no real summer heat to speak of at this setting-sun hour unless one meant the white-hot heat coming from the picture tube which projected out to us all the Washington DC announcement being aired, live, on the CBC channel. We were lucky to tune in any TV station in those days, for aerials on roof-tops were the only technological innovation available to dial in a decent picture.Luckily, or unluckily, for me, that Thursday was a clear TV viewing day and the image of a slate-blue backdrop curtain, a nondescript desk and a Brylcremed-hair man in a dark blue suit, well familiar to us all, filled the screen;“Good evening. This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made ...” he began.This televised speech was not unexpected by most but for me, at age nine, what you expect and how you react to that expectation were two different things.The worst time of life to have any traumatic event must be at the age of nine. You're old enough to understand what is said and are able to see with your own eyes events which are unfolding but not old enough to properly digest nor appreciate nor truly comprehend the Big Picture. What adults witnessed that night they knew would eventually be overcome. An imaginative child like me saw this Thursday at 9:01pm, as the end of the world;“Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow....”My ears tuned out after that sentence. If I had been an adult, I would have known the Vice President would have had the seamless transfer of power, that oft unheard, unseen, quiet, sedate, level-headed soul, the former Congressman from the Warren Commission, Mr. Bland himself, known by all as Gerald Ford. And knowing all that, I would have realized that the big chair in the Oval Office would have been well occupied, surely preventing my wild speculation, “We're going to be invaded by Martians or Russians,                       or Russian Martians! Nobody is minding the store!”My Mom had joined me in the Living room when Nixon got well into his speech, sitting, she did, to my left, on the couch, while the rest of the adults were still holding court at the Dining Room table, talking in low tones, solemn, serious. I looked left and right in a rather controlled panic to see if anyone else in the cottage was as frightened as me and although no adult was panicking, none were jumping for joy either. They all had that look parents have when their kiddies have done something wrong – that look of disappointment. I knew Nixon must have been very bad.Admittedly, I long ago knew he had been very bad. I, like the rest of North America had been glued to the TV all those months before, watching the Ervin Senate Hearings but somehow I couldn't, or wouldn't, connect the wrong-doing stated there, with Nixon.[...]

Our Beloved D-Day Generation…

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:54:56 PDT

Most of us weren’t even born then, or if we were, were small toddlers, but the adults who fought in World War II, who braved the fearsome Nazi foe, were a very brave breed indeed.Long before D-Day, the men on the battle-fields and the family members left behind sacrificed in ways we will never quite appreciate. Many of us kids have made fun of our parents and grandparents when they would scrimp and save, keeping cans of used fat, darning old socks, eating left-overs and turning off lights, saying to them in frustration, “Why on earth don’t you live a little?”We, our generation, was who they fought for, who they sacrificed for, and once you live without for what seems like a five year warring lifetime, the habit is instilled. Pay by cash, don’t amass debt, don’t abuse nor live in excess, your word and your handshake, your bond.No, all was quiet on the Western Front, or so they thought, in the late-night and wee morning hours, exactly 70 years ago this very minute. North Americans were enjoying their evening papers, while the British slept in their beds, but quietly and with the greatest force of manpower and materiel ever amassed, an entire modern-day Trojan Horse was being assembled on the English Channel, the likes of which had never been seen in human history.Patton had done his bit very successfully, promoting his grand fake army positioned near Folkstone facing Calais. A vast Division of balloon ships, artillery pieces, army jeeps and tanks, fake airplanes and fake radio communications, fooling the Nazis into thinking that when the Allied attack on France did happen, it would surely happen on the beaches of Calais. And for all their intelligence and diligence, the Germans were fooled, no member of the Nazi High Command ever thinking Patton would head anything but a legitimate force. Of course, Patton hated Eisenhower for giving him this order but it was this sneaky strategy which enabled complete tactical surprise on those five beaches in Normandy at dawn on June 6, 1944.By the time Britain's were rising from their beds, padding downstairs to put the kettle on for yet another of many such tea brews which sustained them through the war years and those awful Blitzkrieg air attacks, from the Messerschmitt's to the V1 & V2’s, a floating armada of Allied battleships and troop carriers, an advance party of paratroopers and glider pilots, all quietly fought the turbulent Channel winds to land on French soil and begin what would be the eventual ending of that horrible Nazi Regime.My Mother was only 18 years old on June 6th, June 4th being her birthday, working for the Medical Division of the Canadian National Railway in Winnipeg. My Father was 30, defending our Canadian soil as a Constable in the RCMP. Their Generation smoking cigarettes, reading newspapers, listening to the radio and living on food rations, scrimping and saving wherever and whenever they could.These people are dying now by the hundreds and with this 70th anniversary the last World War as a living memory will become a thing of the past, only read in history books and talked about dispassionately, for the heart and the soul of that last, great fight, is dying with those people who made it happen.The world holds court now with the children and grand-children of those brave men and women and we have assumed their gift of freedom as a birth-right, something which will never be at risk again. We celebrate this so-called “fact” by buying everything on credit, amassing great personal debt, buying material objects which are well beyond our means and not caring, really, if what we are doing and how we are living, flies in the face of what was so precious to the  Greatest Generation who fought[...]