Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

I Am In A Video

I mentioned that it was a plan this year to try to make a little more effort to publicize this blog.  As an attempt to do so, I sent my last post about guns to .

They are a very good site if you look at things from the perspective that we do here at the Bellbottom Blog.

Almost immediately after sending the post, they contacted me and asked if I would make a 30 second video for a series they have called BLUNT.  They compile the contributions and create a video.

You and I know we don’t do technology here, so I was a little reticent to try anything for them. But as they explained how simple it was, I found myself running out of excuses.

(Point your phone at your face, talk for 30 sec. send it to us.)

Of course, it isn’t all that simple.  I haven’t attempted anything like that since Communications class during my senior year of high school.  39 years ago. We studied newspapers, radio, and television.  No internet back then.

I remembered enough to scribble a script out on paper torn from the shopping list, went over it a few times, and started to make the video.  And the 30 second part is hard as well.  Thanks to Twitter, I have learned to be concise.

It took three attempts.  When you film yourself with a phone it is not easy to make sure you are centered in the frame.

Finally, it was done.  I sent it in on Friday and waited for the finished product to be completed.

Monday afternoon, it was.

I was a nervous wreck as I started the video.  It is a shade over 10 minutes long.  If I did this right you can view it below this post.

I am extremely proud to be a part of this.  The editing is outstanding. And the visual that was placed over the last few words that I contributed took my breath away.

I think it is an important message whether or not I was in the video.

My thanks go to @GottaLaff who is one of the two women who run and is the person who talked me into contributing.  I can’t thank her enough for the opportunity.

You should check out their site.  Bookmark it.  Go to it often.

And as we always say here




We Are Still Talking About Guns

The President came out today with 23 executive orders aimed at trying to move the needle on this debate about guns.

I have written about it a few times.

On Fox News, they had a package ready to go showing how these orders wouldn’t make any difference.

They started with a gun shop owner. His task was to show that there was no difference between a 30 shot clip and three 10 shot clips. He put an empty clip in the gun, pressed the trigger to let off ten imaginary shots and then pulled the empty clip out, fumbled around a bit putting in the new one, fired off ten more, pulled the clip, tried to put the clip in backwards, turned it in the right direction, put it in and fired off ten more shots.

He then said, “See. It’s the same.”

Except, of course, it wasn’t.

So, let’s say for the sake of argument, he was a real shooter in a small room. In the scenario where the victims can rush the shooter, obviously there was a bit of time to move while he was fumbling around between clips.  A hail of thirty consecutive bullets would probably not leave anyone able to attempt to tackle him.

Let’s take the other scenario where people in the room are also armed.  While he is fumbling around, there would be a possibility for the good guys to shoot at him, maybe rendering him unable to reload his next 10 round clip.

We are assuming in the last example that the good guys can shoot straight.  That is, I contend, a very big leap of faith.

The rest of the segment turned into the usual “How dare Obama (They can not call him the President. It must be in their style book) try to run the government through executive order”.

I am not sure where they were when the last President would use signing statements to get around provisions in bills that he would sign.

This debate just wears me out.  I think that is the NRA’s strategy.  Keep changing the argument while continuing to grease the palms of Congress.

I will bring this up here from time to time.  The kids in Newtown, Chicago and anywhere else in this country deserve better from us.

Just as an example, in 1982 7 people died from poisoning due to someone tampering with Tylenol bottles.

SEVEN people

For the last 30 years, the packaging has been changed by the drug companies to try to prevent that from happening again.

SEVEN people and an entire industry reacted with a solution.

An average weekend in Chicago can see that many shootings yet the gun folks and Congress sit on their hands.

We have got to do better.


Making More Of An Effort

In the last post, I talked about promoting this space a little more aggressively.

To do that though, it means I have to write another post, even though I just wrote one Friday.

There is a wonderful author named Rachel Thompson who has written three books, two of which I have read and the third I eagerly anticipate reading.  She goes by RachelInTheOC on Twitter.

She has started a hashtag called #MondayBlogs .  If I tweet about today’s effort using that hashtag……well, I don’t know what happens.  I guess we will find out together.

On to today’s post….

sj who goes by popqueenie on Twitter is stuck in #MovingHell (her hashtag, not mine) and it reminded me of some painful moving memories of my own.

To start with when I was single, there must have been a sign on my forehead which said, “He isn’t married. He must have free time.”

I helped a lot of people move in my twenties.

My most hated piece of furniture became the sleeper sofa.  You know, the sofa that folds out into a bed.  Two pieces of furniture in one.  They weigh a metric ton.  You need more than two people to move one and the best part is the move almost always involves a staircase. Preferably one with a turn in it.  The person who owns it is always confident it will fit through the space they desire it to go through.  Logic eludes this person when you point out that after carefully taken measurements it will NEVER go through.  NEVER.

So, you have to take it up the stairs, wedge it into the turn, showing the person that you were right and while you wait for the forthcoming apology, you hear instead, ” Oh, ok.  Just bring it back to the living room”.

When a few guys , lured in by promises of pizza and beer, are doing the moving, it is the most “guy” thing ever.  Sizing up the available space in the truck. Arguing over just how to fill said truck.  Finding just the right sized piece to fill an empty space.  Sort of a reverse Jenga.  The loading is so important because you want the unloading to go fast because …I did mention the pizza and beer, right?  Only a rookie would ever let the amateur moving crew touch a beer before everything is safely placed at the new residence.

Sometimes, as when I helped my parents move several years ago, it is necessary to ask at least one of the owners to go ahead to the new address (Sorry, Mom. You were holding up the show.)

I have a fond memory of helping a friend move during a snowstorm.  He was moving from an upstairs apartment to the converted garage on the same property.  It was a pain until we got to the refrigerator.  The fridge was an old Norge. You have seen them.  They have a rounded off top and sides. When we finally wrestled it downstairs and got it to the front yard.  We had it on its side, looked at each other, smiled and shoved the thing across the yard like two bobsled racers, yelling and laughing.

I strongly advocate the use of gloves when you are a mover.  The second you think it will be alright to take one off, blood will be spilled. And the bandages will have already been packed.

I am proud that in the dozen or so moves I took part in, nothing was broken.

Now by contrast, we have had two different moving companies move our stuff.  Each time things were broken.

It’s funny how when you are going through the process of moving, you forget about the reasons why you are moving.  The reality of it is so overwhelming.  But eventually everything gets to the new place.  Then you have the dilemma of what to do with all the empty boxes and all the packing material.  And THEN….you are home.  The bad memories and scars fade.  As with most things, the funny stories survive.

Well, it is time to go babysit my grandson.

Thanks for reading.

And as always,




One Year Anniversary Of The Bellbottom Blog

That’s right.  One year.  Actually, Jan. 6 was the anniversary date but in keeping with the laid back, bellbottom approach, we are celebrating today.

A year ago I had just gotten to 100 followers on Twitter and decided to finally make an attempt at writing a blog.

Ken and Lisa helped with a name.

We were off and running.

According to WordPress, we have had about 1900 views in the last year. Not bad considering I don’t promote this blog very much. Maybe 3 mentions on Twitter each time I write something.

I have been pleasantly surprised to have gone a whole year without any negative comments.  Not ONE.  Even when I wrote about politics.

In the last year, I have written 76 posts.  I took off the last part of the year while my wife was home recovering from shoulder surgery with the exception of a few posts.  It was a nice opportunity to spend time together. (Except for the whole surgery and therapy part)

I wrote about family, Scooter Store, childhood memories, music, and , yes, bellbottoms.

I tried to have a regular Friday Potpourri post which met with mixed success.

I wrote a serialized story about my wife and I and our first year of being together.  Of all the stuff I have written, that is the one I am happiest about.

So….what does the future bring, you ask? I think there will be more regular posts this year.  I do have to decide how to promote this space a little better.  I treasure everyone of you who have commented or helped spread the word on Twitter. I really do.

I think it is time for me to make a little more effort.  Maybe add pics or videos or links. That is a BIG maybe.  Technology is not my friend.

In any event, I hope it is interesting enough to earn your continued support.

Thanks for the last year and as we go forward,


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