Ok, I’ve been passing by the bold new sign, in six-foot letters, on a converted factory or something, and after the first couple views, it piqued my curiosity, as a ‘student’ of pedagology since 1954 at least.
What the hell could ‘no-tare‘ mean? For a school?
We all know(?) about ‘tare’. It’s the weight of the dish you sit the chicken in, which you then, one hopes, subtract from the ‘gross’ to arrive at the ‘net’. (Weight before cooking, but that’s not our problem here.)
And so I was laden with heavy expectations, yet light-hearted, when I met last week with the school’s principal during a bit of her down-time.
An attractive 40-something once-dark-haired woman, every bit the ‘career-educator’ in demeanor, Mary-Ellen Meady-Ochre greeted me warmly enough in her office. I wisely banished any thoughts of simply ‘grabbing her without asking’, in part out of a desire to ‘fit in’; (kids under her watch raise their hands respectfully before asking to go pee), and, no less, because I still hope to run for public office someday.
But you are reading this in order to learn, like I did,(fortunately?) what in the world ‘No-Tare’ schooling is all about:

‘Look at these test results’, she tells me, after the initial formalities.
‘These were 7th graders’, she continued, and I could clearly see that more than half (’61 per cent’, she stressed) had colored in Mexico with the red crayon and Canada green.
I did my best to exhibit admiration; after all, I was her guest.
And this ‘computer printout’ from the 12th graders..” she continued, obviously proud of her place in the digital age, ‘… “shows ‘no degradation-over-time‘ of the students’ grasp of geography.” And indeed, total ‘Likes’ for ‘Mexico’ as the US’s ‘southern’ neighbor, contrasted with ‘Share’s for Canada demonstrated ‘internalization’ of the ‘up there’-ness of Canadians…pretty much made her point. A whopping 63% of her graduates had correctly ID-ed the two foreign countries.
Perhaps feeling righteous for my self-control evidenced by not grabbing anything, I pressed her on the obvious question:
“But isn’t the goal of learning, excuse me if I’m old-fashioned, to facilitate a ‘growth’, so to speak, in the child’s grasp of the larger world?”
As it turns out, that innocent query was the perfect catalyst to open the pedagogical flood-gates, and inspired the following:
“Look, what’d you say you name was, we’re not here to corrode the next generation’s delicate self-esteem. As you may or not be aware, a kid with a plain-brown-wrapper I-phone these days can order a lasso from El Paso or Burkina-Fasso in milly-seconds. Who gives a flying fuck what they know, ‘netto’ without the net?”
And, not yet recognizing defeat, that was my cue to bring up the ‘gross’ minus ‘tare’ equals ‘net’ I mentioned at the top of this report:
So they’re not to be required, or expected, to ‘gain weight’ in the 7 years they spend here?” I asked, invoking the ‘chicken’ metaphor. “Their test results, for example, on, say, knowing the planets in our Solar system, are fine if they ID four out of nine, for seven years running?”
“Eight!”, she scolded me, “and no; they can look it up, if it’s important.”
I was by then deep in thought, musing on the recent sights I’d seen with my own nekkid eyes, ‘looking up’ at the skies, sans Google, to behold most of our planets, live, and in person, above my very ‘real-life’ head.
I looked at my watch. Mary-Ellen brushed her hair over her right shoulder, in a move I may one day need to testify as ‘provocative’. Our interview was at a close, yet the business card she offered, along with ‘Be in touch’ seemed to need a penned-in cell-phone number on the ‘obverse’, at the last minute.
I was too busy with mental -math, extracting her net weight from the total including a dish large enough to hold her to ‘grade-point’ her by her own ‘progressive’ standards. Yeah, she was no less an existential threat to ‘culture-as-we-knew-it‘ than she’d likely been 7 years ago.
No-tare. I’m getting used to it.
Wu: Oy, not another PAL. And such a long ‘tail’ for a such a small dog!

Me ‘n Mister Jones

“You walk into a room/
With a pencil in your hand/
Realize you’re naked(!), an’ then you/
…watch where you stand/
There oughta be a law against you/
Walking around,
You should be wearing, at least/
And you know you forgot something/
But ya’ don’t know what it is/
Do You, Mister Solberg?

-Credit to ‘some guy they just last week lassoed into being a noble larriat’-

Ok, Everyone reading this know the feeling: walking into a room and forgetting why you came there. But for me, at 67, 20 times a day, it reminds me that whatever I wanted to have in common with two of my heroes, Terry Pratchett and Robin Williams, it might not necessarily be ‘early-onset-whatever.’
And now I read that, at my age, I don’t even have the sympathy-vote of ‘early-onset’! “Deal wid it, you over-the-hill fossil”, I hear the nurses saying under their breath, while the Management frets about a shortage of beds for the ‘salvageable’.
I’ve dealt with memory-loss before; at least I think so? “Save me, Oh cloud!” I chant, scrolling through ‘previous posts’. I can now feign coherence till my batteries die. My paternal Grandpa, who voiced his last translatable utterance a decade before he went to rest among his ancestors, had no WIFI. Strange to think that that factoid is what distinguishes us from each other.
I compensate with my proudly-engineered work-arounds. Like Zappa said: ‘No one will know if we don’t want to let them know.’

Soo.. what am I doing in the kitchen, ‘shtrunkel’ hanging out, fair game to any nasty woman who’s famous or rich enough not to need to ask permission?
Ah, the pencil; a clue?
Aha, I merely wanted to write down a joke I just heard, and my daily journal (‘What the hell did I do, like, ten minutes ago?’) was on the table there.
‘An Amish kid hears about ‘orgies’, and ask his older brother what it’s all about. The brother says: ‘Simple; ya chust take off yer clothes an’ go to town!’
The next morning the police find him walking alone along the country road to Lancaster, buck nekkid.

What, that’s it?! That’s the excuse for this post?
Yeah, I think so, But if I remember a deeper point I can always ‘Edit’, right?

So, exactly ‘what’ ought a grown man know these days without Google?

The subject came up, not only from recent comments by proven ‘grown men and women’: Duncan with Marcel Marceau and Elanor with Alice’s restaurant, but also from my own experience. The famous-names I (trust me, reluctantly ) sometimes need to drop are more and more un-droppable, at least with any audible bang.

Here in Israel, however, I’m constantly amazed by being able to simply cite ‘Amish’ as my heritage, instead of boringly itemizing: ‘a ‘race’ of farm families, exiled from Switzerland, living in Lancaster County, an area of Pennsylvania, a state among 50 in the United States of America, Western hemisphere, planet Earth, you can look it up.’
Films like ‘The Witness’ and ‘Boys from Brazil’ save me hours of explanatory hoo-hah, for better of for worse.
Yet, as Donald Fagen (the guiding light of Steely Dan, a musical group popular like, before you were born) said in ‘Hey Nineteen’: “She don’t remember…the Queen of Soul”.
Trust me, I sob as I write these lines, the thought of I-phone-ists searching ‘Urethra Franklin’ after ‘R ES P E C T’ slays me.

Justifiably? Aye, there’s the rub.
We are all fighting the expanding borders of the ‘of course you’ve heard of’ . To the point where ‘FCL’ is now a respected acronym for ‘Feigning Cultural Literacy.’ Perhaps no one more than Duncan, (Some Witty Handle), in his sly comments has driven my personal browser traffic to WIKI, in order not to appear to be hopelessly dense on topics a real Renaissance man should master.
And so, I repeat the Title: ‘Exactly ‘what’ ought a grown man know these days?’
We’re all familiar, I assume, with polls which show half of’ Americans’ failing to identify Canada vs Mexico on a map. The Libertarian presidential candidate, ‘Johnson’ somebody,’ recently had a red-faced run-in on TV for asking innocently ‘What’s a ‘Leppo?’ And ‘Donnie Thump’, whatever, is now a viral meme ‘#book reports’, with tweets ‘facetiously, for now, saying ‘So many grapes, so much wrath!’ and similar even funnier parodies. I’m at least relieved to have Ms. Rodham to vote for in a week or so. Sure as I am that she could not, with a straight face, propose a ban on ‘Merchandise from Venice‘.
So yeah, Shakespeare, etc. But what of Aretha? Euclid? Newton? (‘famous back then’)
Not to mention…um… ‘Jsolberg’..

Aha, once again, it was the immortal SWH who called out the existential fear, in a recent post, by its name: ‘the fear of becoming irrelevant’.
To tell the truth, seeking to become a ‘house-hold name’ these days is doomed: ‘So many names, so few houses’ . The effort may be truly a tasteless GMO carrot on a stick, driving us onward toward an eventual and certain slaughterhouse as the curtains fall.

Ok, I can quite easily be dismissed as a ‘past-his-sell-by-date’ ranter on ‘kids these days’. And in fact, to me, Pearl Jam is ‘that gunk that lives between translucent-nail-polished toes’.
But History does repeat itself, and without common(?) Knowledge, it returns… as Tragedy, then Farce, and finally, Trump. (‘He don’t remember/ who said ‘America First!’ first’)
I’m far from recommending a ‘Core-curriculum’ here.

So what, that I could draw a map of the US with all 50 states named and present, freehand. Only on a WIFI-less island these day would that make me King. Any third-grader could download and print a three-color map before I got my pen working nowadays.
Hoping for anyone’s input here/ JS

If Trump were deaf and dumb… or a Mime?

Ok, depending on your usage of ‘deaf‘ or ‘dumb‘, one might easily contend that he’s ‘half-way there’. Of course he’s on record as calling the Academy Award winning actress, Marlee Matlin “retarded“, so only God or the Devil knows how he would react to having been born with speech and hearing challenges most of us will never truly or deeply understand.
One could argue that by simply not (audibly) voicing the evil spewing from that area where ‘lesser men’ cultivate a ‘soul’, he might have had an electoral chance, even against the vocal and eloquent Ms. Rodham. I’m almost certain that at least some of the (apparently cash-strapped) ‘groomers’ who agreed to service his campaign have told him (once only?) to ‘Just shut up!’ He shows every sign of ignoring their advice.
But it’s the ‘Mime’ option I’d like to explore here.
Even before reading him ‘Twat’ “On Day One you’ll see my incrediblly exceptionally fantastic ‘The Art of the Silence’ and be bored with anything that French looser Marcel Marceau ever done!!”

Ok, we’ve seen two (feel free to update me) ‘mimes’ which this most un-funny clown has pulled off. One was the hilarious impression of his opponent who, after braving the crowds in Manhattan for hours and suffering from pneumonia, needed to be helped the last few steps to her waiting vehicle. If I’d laughed my head off, it could only be because I’ve not only never had a day in my life feeling ‘under-the-weather’ but also lack any concept of empathy.
The second was ‘miming’ shooting a gun at someone. I can’t even remember who was the ‘target’: the list is endless. Anyone the ‘Second Amendment people’ are taught to hate by their cheap AM radios blaring through the trailer walls.
So yeah, cross off ‘mime’ as a strategy option. Might have worked for Charlie Chaplin, who without a word, in the day’s before ‘speakies’, grabbed his viewers by the heart. Takes one to mime one, I’ll just say.
So, suggestions?
A shelf full of astute critiques of foreign and domestic policy?
A couple decades of public service, even as a small-town dog-catcher?
A spotless history of marital fidelity?
Military service record?
Women coming out of the woodwork by the thousands to testify how he helped them actualize their dreams?

Nope: we really are left with a version of that long-classic electoral-race put-down, slightly modified:
“A bad man, weighing approximately 200 pounds.”
Yup, for that he gets my vote. NOT!

A Plane crashes on the US-Mexican border. Q: Where do they bury the survivors?

A: No one knows yet, but it’ll be a YUUGE problem.

Most everybody’s heard this joke, where the answer is: “You silly kitten; they don’t bury survivors!”
With the US election pretty much over, simply stepping on that pedal which magically opens the kitchen trash-can lid and tossing in the charred evidence of momentary forgetfulness still leaves the whole house reeking of ‘burnt-toast’ smell. Cool fall weather, and opening all the doors and windows does help some. Dad, Mom, or even a son/daughter ignoring his/her stupid/smart phone for a long 5 minutes will try to figure out why the toaster f*cked-up, then rush out to Best Bye for a replacement. ‘Made in China‘ (both the cause and the solution of life’s problems, as someone once said of alcohol.)
I continue to daily read at least 50 commentaries from every news- outlet-color of the rainbow. And many of the ‘sharpest knives in the drawer’ these days are asking seriously how the Nation can possibly heal the wounds, the ‘rabble-ization of the duped millions, the gutter-ing of speech caused by this historically un-precedented icon-ization of a hopelessly unworthy and toxic creature. Burnt toast will be the least of our worries.
I’ll not add more of my own feeble thoughts, but simply link to a few of yesterday’s articles worth reading:
Michelle Cottle in ‘The Atlantic’:
And Matt Taibbi’s excellent piece in the Rolling Stone:

My thought is that these Pied Piper-led ‘deplorables’ deserve serious and thoughtful attention from the new administration; they have understandable concerns which need to be addressed. Quickly. Right after we get Miss Universe’s BMI back down to Barbie-doll standards. And no shovels will be needed, one hopes.

Ok: ‘Trumping Women’? Tried it; Dunna Wanna Work!

1)….When you’re famous….’ Hey, dat’s me! On that score, there’s almost no where I can show up in my small town without someone calling out ‘Yo, Yonatan, whas happening?!’ I am recognizable, but not for being an ‘A’-list party animal or a host of eat-‘n’run block parties. No, I built half the roofs, porches, decks, and additions here. Single-handed, I might add. (I have incredibly large hands, everyone is sayin’ that.) I erected great great structures, heavy, public, and impressive, without any immigrant workers, using only the fantastic musculature my mom and Dad gave me when I was a child. On top of that, every jogger, dog-walker, and baby-carriage-pusher on my street has learned to greet me with glowing respect. (‘A Jewish guy, working the fields, hands in the dirt, and with no Thai imported-workers in sight!) Plus I’ve been on TV a couple times: discussing UFOs, or as the ‘Savior of the American Colony’ in Jaffa docu-drama, and backing name-drop musicians as a conductor and multi-instrumentalist. So ‘famous’? Check.

2) ‘… and rich’: Ok, I own an historic two-story log house built in 1796 which I restored to ‘museum’ standards, a bunch of prime agricultural acreage in the nation’s breadbasket (central PA,) plus an attention-grabbing architectural ‘wonder of the world’ house on Main Street here, which I designed all by my exquisite self and also built, alone, and in record time. Add a VISA credit card plus a Bank-Israel card in my wallet. Oh and I never travel without at least One Hundred ! shekels of flash-cash ‘in-hand’.

 So… what’s the deal with hot chicks frantically dialing ‘100 ‘(Police) whenever I try to kiss ’em? Tried it three times now, expecting an Einsteinian different result. No-go.

Like I admitted in the Title:’Dunna Wanna Work’.
I’ve now kinda put on hold more serious groping, p*ssy-grabbing, stuff like that there…
And as to voting for the candidate who promised this perk but apparently can’t deliver, I’m so over the Donald.

At least Hillary, when she stopped by here last week, sat sweetly across from me in my proffered best ‘found-on-the-sidewalk’ chair, appeared to enjoy my ‘day-old’ rolls and poor-soul coffee, looked me in the eye like I wish my Mother ever had, and truly listened to my brief story. We parted with a warm hand-shake. Which I now realize ‘trumps’ any forcible kissing I might have disgustingly dreamed of.
Note: The ‘proviso’ at the top of the page: ‘Anything not fictitious here is real’ is very much relevant. What is true is that ‘Yes means yes, and No means no’, even for the rich and famous Solberg.

Sooo… post-Trump, Dick-jokes are now kosher?

Good news? I’m gonna call it ‘The half-full dribble-cup‘ As opposed to a pessimist’s saying ‘half-empty’.
Yeah, there’s gotta be an up-side to suffering through an unbelievable international embarrassment of a major US candidate. And now that half the K-12 and ‘PG’ world has listened to ‘pussy-grabbing’ , ‘divine fucking-rights of gas-bag kings’, and a defense of non-consensual fondling, there seems like no better time than now for me to ‘sneak thru a fellow motorist’s toll-booth coin’ and recount two short penile-themed stories.
1) Yesterday, to my horror, I lost the main button on my ‘holy shorts’, a gift from that dear, dear woman, Beth (Seedsower) from Xanga. A lady we all instantly wanted to kiss at first sight, but had the decency to gauge her receptivity  to such. In those forgotten days.
 So, what to do, button-less? I mean, who am I, Betty Crocker? (oops, that’s cooking, but whatevah)
So I remembered the fabled coin-ops rumoured to exist there on freeway rest-stops beside the ‘Coffee-on-the-Road’ machines, the ‘Select a Tasty-Cake of your dreams’ robots, (hardly ever had my dream in stock,) and, pointedly, the ‘Your Wife Away From Home’ models.
Two(2) quarters, press the ‘choice’ buttons for ‘Delicate’, ‘Heavy Duty’ ‘Light’ or ‘Dark’ (-complected??) and insert…

Um, yeah. Insert what? Into a cylindrical ‘orifice’, at waist level?
I’ll just say that the majority of ‘schlimmazal’ dummies who thrust their throbbing expectant members into the hole and hit “OK” probably didn’t stick around to warn others. Having a button sewn onto the end of your dick is kinda dramatic, no?
And so I am actually searching for one of those automats as we speak. To finally, (perhaps for the company’s first time), ‘Use as Directed. The button I need to match the shorts is khaki-colored. But then, so is my wife. Oughta work out ok, but I’ll be in touch.The End.

2) Of course there are lots of guys who gaze upon their phalluses with a kind of existential disappointment. ‘Bigger is Better’?

One fellow finally went to his doctor, sheepishly admitting that his ‘endowment’ left something to be desired. The Doctor kindly advised a solution: ‘Twice a day, for three weeks, rub lard on it.’ he explained. The fellow, glad to hear of a solution, dutifully followed the instructions… for two weeks, by which time it became obvious that rather than growing longer, his ‘disappearing manhood’ was now barely capable of poking through his fly to even piss. Back with the Doctor, he angrily complained about his failed experience.

The doctor patiently asked what brand of lard he’d used, whereupon the patient cited a known trade-name. The doc’s reaction:
“Oy, that’s not lard, guy, that’s ‘shortening!!’

History does not recall what happened next; perhaps he ran for President?

At any rate, I leave it to my thousands of readers to determine whether I’m crossed the ‘good-taste’ line here. But I almost suspect that that line has now been erased/ JS