Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And More Old Photos...

OK folks, still more antique photos from the recent thrift shop excursion:

The suggested captions here: 

1. "I hope people will know in 80 years that here during the Great Depression we had to sell the bottom third of our ties to buy food." 

2.  "I can't wait for 'Dancing With The Stars" to be invented, we're gonna kick ass!"

3. Man: "What looks more ridiculous honey, my tie, my hair or my belt buckle?"  Woman: "You forgot your pants.  When is the river expected to crest? Are those shorts that were let down?  When did Danny DeVito lend you his trousers?"

And our other photo for today:
1. John Discorelli, inventor of the Disco Dance Ball, poses with his new creation in 1952 beside his son and daughter. The original concept of mounting it on a front lawn and doing a square dance around it was later changed to hanging it from the ceiling in a darkened nightclub. 

2.  Two men enjoy their seats while a young girl stands in the hot sun during the inaugural meeting of the "He-Man Women Haters Club."  The girl grew up to be Lorena Bobbit. 

3. Three residents of Roswell, New Mexico examine a strange egg that fell onto their front lawn from a UFO in 1947.  The three were later found dead in a local stream.  Michael Jackson bought the egg in 2003 and displayed it in his home next to the Elephant Man's genitals (not as big as you'd think).

  There you have it folks.  We still have some more antique photos in the vault, so check back again soon! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Next Antique Photo...

First, LG would like to thank everyone who voted for his entry in USA Today's Cartoon Caption Contest for November.  Your kind support resulted in LG winning the contest (The prize: A copy of the cartoon autographed by the artist with LG's caption under it.)  LG very much appreciated your help!

Second, speaking of captions, here's the next installment in The LG Report's ongoing series of photos recently purchased at an antique store/thrift shop.

Some potential captions for this dandy snapshot:

1.  The world's first torso implant recipient poses with his older sister in 1948 while awaiting a torso from Canada.  (Editor's note: Canada always makes things funnier.)

2. This boy is pictured asking his sister, "Do my stomach and chest look non-existent in this outfit?

3. This little boy is thinking "With these ridiculous, over-sized pants, nobody will even realize that I'm wearing grandma's sweater!"

4.  A girl realizes early in life that her parents don't really like face.  All of her childhood photos look like this.

5. Pictured here is Waldo McGuillicuddy, inventor of the tricycle with the build-in fishing reel on the handlebars.  Unfortunately, Waldo died in a tragic 1952 fishing/cycling accident.  Folks, please don't fish and drive!

6. Young Danny DeVito, seen here, would eventually grow into these pants and wear them quite successfully in the film "Romancing the Stone."  

If you'd like to suggest your own caption, feel free to provide it in a comment to this post.  Or just provide a comment in a comment. Or just enjoy the post silently without commenting; it's totally up to you.

Finally, we leave you with some of LG's November Facebook status updates:

I knew I shouldn't have bought my GPS at the Dollar General. Yesterday it said "Stop being a typical man and just pull over and ask directions."

Getting a bit nervous. My GPS just said "Make a right at Washington Street and then lock your doors."

People are worried about 2012 because the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world on December 21" 2012. Relax folks, the Mayans also predicted that Facebook would merge with Yahoo in 2009 and that "Barack Obana" (they misspelled his name) would be elected president in 2004. So they were obviously way off on their prognostications. Mellow out!

My wife said that I'm spending too much time on the internet. I said "LOL!" and then I "un-liked" her comment.

If I were at a class reunion and the guys from Steely Dan showed up, I'd say (quite loudly) "I thought you weren't going back to your old school!" That would show them. [Editor's Note: If you're unfamiliar with the song, you can here it by clicking HERE.]

Who anointed "sliced bread" as the greatest thing ever at one point in time? Regardless, I'm going to buy my wife sliced bread for her next birthday and when she complains I'll just say "Hey, it was the greatest thing ever at one time, it can't be all that bad now. Happy birthday!"

Thanks, as always, for stopping by folks, we hope to see you back again soon. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another Old Photograph...

As LG mentioned in the last post, he recently purchased some vintage photos at a second-hand shop.  This is the second in our on-going series of  "Snarky Captions for Old Photos" (we reserve the right to change that title at any time however...)

So here's #2:

Potential captions for this one:

1. A young Jeffrey Dahmer foreshadows what would be his hobby later in life;

2. At least he's not choking his chicken;

3. The only known childhood photo of Albert DiSalvo, aka "The Boston Strangler;"

4. This kid looks pretty calm but his kitten looks all choked up;

5. The kitten didn't need that neck anyway;

6.  Little did this kid know that 50 years later, people would be making fun of his photo on something called "a blog."  If he did, he'd have choked the shiiite out of us long ago; and

7.  A rare childhood photo of the founder of the ASPCA!

OK, that's it for today folks, short and sweet.  Oh yeah, and if you haven't voted yet, please throw your support behind LG's entry in this month's USA Today Cartoon Caption Contest. Please click HERE and vote for entry #2.  LG would be most grateful.  It only takes a few seconds and they don't ask for your e-mail address or any personal information and you don't have to set up an account.

See you back here again soon for the next vintage photo....

And happy Thanksgiving everyone, we all have a lot to be thankful for, no doubt. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Few Things To Discuss....

Thanks for stopping by again folks, much appreciated.  LG knows that you have a lot of demands on your time on a daily basis and he thanks you for checking in once in a while over here at The LG Report. Muchos gracias.

First item of business today - In case you haven't seen it, here's this week's cover of People Magazine:

Yes, it's true.  True-ish anyway.  Don't burst a guy's bubble, just go with it.

Second, LG entered USA Today's Cartoon Caption Contest this month.  The newspaper supplies a cartoon and contestants supply the caption.  LG's entry, #2 on your scorecard, is one of the five finalists for the month. 

If you have a few spare seconds to support LG's effort (you don't have to give your e-mail address, consent to access to your address book or hand over your first-born, all you have to do is click on your choice), please click HERE and vote for #2.  LG would very much appreciate it.

Third, LG was in a second-hand store this past weekend with Mrs. LG and he came across a bunch of old photographs that were salvaged from various estate sales.  LG purchased a number of these photos (some are pretty old) and he will be publishing them one-at-a-time on The LG Report over the next week or so.  Here's the first:

It appears a little blurry here, only because it's a little blurry in real life.  Hey, what do you expect from a really old thrift-shop-estate-sale photo? 

This depicts, LG thinks, a housewife mowing the lawn with a really old-style-and-hard-to-push mower while wearing fashionable (for the times) shoes. 

Why this woman would pose for such a photo, we have no idea.  Why this picture ended up in an estate sale we know: She murdered her husband shortly after the picture was taken.  And at least her face is not identifiable.  What a cad this guy must've been! [LG knows all the right things to say to suck up to his female readers...]

That's it for today folks.  There's another antique photo coming soon, so check back (short posts, easy to read, who can resist?!)  And please remember to vote for LG's caption; if he wins, there will be a blog post about it, no doubt.  Thanks!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Not Greek To Me

[Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article written by LG that appeared in the Asbury Park Press  on Sunday, November 13, 2011.  That version did not contain these photos.  Only the best for readers of The LG Report!]

I'm not an economist (who would admit to that these days even if they were?) but as a Greek-American, I have my own layman's explanation of the economic crisis in Greece.  It centers on a dearth of tax revenue.  But first, my qualifications:  My father was born and raised on Andros, the northernmost of Greece's Cycladic Islands.  I've been to Greece many times, including recently on my honeymoon.  I speak enough of the language to get by, I have plenty of Greek friends and relatives, I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding, twice, and I love betting on horse races.   Oh, and perhaps my most conspicuous Greek badge of honor: I grew up washing dishes in my father's New Jersey diners.   

So here's my back-of-the-envelope analysis.  No need to break out your calculator to follow along.

Not paying taxes has long been a national pastime among Greece's citizenry.  It was not uncommon in the Old Country, years ago, to pay for a purchase in a store without having the transaction rung up on a cash register.  Absent a receipt, the government had no way of knowing that a tax should be collected.  Many times, I'm sure, it merely slipped the merchant's mind to report the income.  After all, he had other things to think about, such as who was looking good in the sixth race that day (most Greeks like to gamble) and what the line was on his favorite soccer team.  

In order to address this widespread duplicity in the sales tax system, Greece passed a law requiring consumers to obtain a receipt for their purchases.  The government now dispatches tax agents to patrol shopping districts, randomly stopping patrons and demanding that they fork over receipts for any purchases in their bags.  Failure to produce a receipt can result in a costly fine.  Thus, consumers have become, functionally, the taxing authority's enforcement arm.  In theory, this should have mitigated at least part of the problem, but I'm not so sure; what's to prevent merchants from simply having two separate cash registers?  As we all know, just about any compliance system can be easily defeated if the human mind is earnestly set to the task. 

My Aunt Rita, who lived in the United States for close to 50 years before retiring back to Greece, recently needed some carpentry work done in an apartment she owns in Athens.  She found a tradesman who said that he would do the work for 300 Euros.  When Aunt Rita mentioned that she wanted a receipt for her taxes, Carpenter Costas informed her that the price would be increased to 347 Euros.  If Aunt Rita was going to report the transaction, he was going to have to do the same, hence his 15% price hike — effectively, a penalty on Aunt Rita for following the law.  In the normal course of his work, Carpenter Costas just assumed that there would be no reporting to the government and no payment of taxes.  Multiply this by the number of transactions that arise among a populace of about ten million people, and Greece's lack of tax revenues comes into sharp focus.

While many Greek citizens (although certainly not all) appear to believe in their right to avoid paying taxes, they also seem to overlook the logical disconnect with their sense of entitlement to extensive government employment opportunities, full pensions and a litany of other state-provided benefits.  Apparently, these perks should be funded by the taxes of the other guy.  Running from the tax collector may have well been the first Olympic sport.

When I first started going to Greece in the 1980s, I was struck by the apparent religious devotion of the Greek people.  Everywhere I looked, especially on the islands, I'd see little white chapels standing as monuments to the populace's piety.  In many instances, a small house of worship, not capable of accommodating more than six or eight congregants, would stand alone near the top of a steep mountainside, without so much as a single access road in sight.  I'd just shake my head and say to myself, "Wow, what devotion!" 

Then, on perhaps my fourth or fifth visit to Greece, I said to my Uncle Leo (Aunt Rita's husband), "It's really impressive how devoted to God the people are here.  They build churches almost everywhere."  

A savvy businessman who had run a thriving construction company in America, Uncle Leo quickly set me straight. "Hey, Vlaka [which translates to "stupid" in English], don't you know why they do that? Everyone builds a church on their property here so they can get a tax break."   

Aha!  An epiphany, although not of the religious variety.  More tax avoidance.  Perhaps now those ornamental tax deductions on the mountainsides are finally filling up  ̶  with Greeks praying for a way out of their dire economic situation. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Not Bossy and Not Betty

Those of you who blog, probably the majority of The LG Report’s readers, know that blogging is somewhat of a sub-culture.    

One way to obtain readers (or “followers”) for your blog is to read, comment upon and sign up to follow other people’s blogs.  If someone reads and comments upon your blog, it’s considered proper cyber etiquette to read and comment upon theirs.  You show me yours, I’ll show you mine (but not behind the shed this time folks, keep it clean…)

As you wade into the roiling waters of this sub-culture, you begin to feel as if you personally know the individuals who share their lives and worldviews with you on a regular basis. 

LG, for example, has come to “know” such wonderful and diverse people as Eva in Maine, Pearl in Minnesota, Kate in Arizona (although a Minnesotan at heart), Susan in the Boonies, KKelley (no, not a typo) in Texas, Linda in Arkansas, Carol in England, Fishducky in California, Sandra in Canada, Abe in Utah, Katie in Los Angeles, Desiree in South Africa, Bouncin’ Barb in South Carolina, Becky in California, Linda in South Africa, Rodney in New Hampshire, Karen in Mizzou and a few others whom LG will purposely skip in order to provoke them into posting an angry comment about the glaring omission (Admission: LG is just a comment whore in the brothel of the blogosphere.)

Until recently, LG had not met any of these fine folks in the flesh; they’ve all been merely virtual “buddies.”  Sort of like your Facebook friends, only even more distant and superficial, if you can believe that.  And LG knows you can. 

LG has just returned from a trip to the Left Coast with Mrs. LG.  He waited until now to tell you so that you wouldn’t burgle his house – not all readers are “friends.” Here's a picture from the balcony of LG and Mrs. LG's hotel room in California: 

Pretty sweet, no?  TRUE STORY: Years ago, LG stayed at this hotel on a business trip with a married colleague.  When his wife called him the day before he was to fly home, she asked if he missed her and the kids.  "Not really," he said, "I love this hotel and wish I could stay longer."  Yes, absolutely true. Luckily, frying pans and rolling pins do not travel through phone lines. 

Anyway, back to the original point.  During this trip LG and Mrs. LG made live, in-the-flesh contact with none other than Bossy Betty, author of a truly exceptional blog which can be found by clicking HERE!.   

Also, for those interested, you can flashback to The LG Report’s interview with Bossy Betty by clicking HERE!.

Yes, all the exclamation points are necessary.  Please don't ask again.

LG reads Bossy Betty’s blog as regularly as he reads any.  It’s exceedingly well-written and, in turns, funny and poignant.  She also shows off her immense talent as a photographer and, occasionally, sprinkles a bit of culture on the unwashed masses with a poem or two.  And not the kind that begin with “There once was a man from Nantucket...” [Which, as you might guess, is LG’s favorite opening line…hey, you can’t polish a turd.]

Bossy Betty [Note: Not her real name.  LG will not betray her confidence, however, so we’ll use the pseudonym here] has been facing some daunting personal challenges as of late, which LG first learned by reading her blog.  Bossy seemed a bit down-in-the-dumps (which is usually where LG does his clothes shopping), so when LG learned that he’d be going to California for a business trip, he e-mailed Bossy and made the audacious proposal that Bossy join LG and Mrs. LG for a meal on a Sunday.  In an equally audacious manner, Bossy accepted.   

And she didn’t even try to dictate the meeting spot.  Bossy, she wasn’t. 

So we met.  And had a truly enjoyable brunch.  Or lunch.  LG is never clear as to how to classify that meal.  His rule of thumb: “brunch” is simply "lunch" on a weekend.  Although shouldn't it then be called "w-lunch?"  Feel free to be the first to popularize the word "w-lunch" in your town, no need to even footnote LG.   You're welcome.     

Bossy Betty was witty and engaging and LG and Mrs. LG thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  LG found Bossy to be somewhat as he’d imagined, but not exactly.  Besides not being bossy in the least, she was exceedingly nice.  And fun. And funny.  She also gave LG and Mrs. LG some very cool greeting cards adorned with her stunning original photography. 

So there’s a lesson to be learned here kids, although LG is not certain that he can articulate it succinctly.  Perhaps it’s this:  Don’t be afraid to take some chances by, for example, meeting in-person your heretofore imaginary cyber friends, it might turn out far better than you’d expect.   

Bossy Betty, for one, is a delight.  However, LG can’t yet speak for all of those other characters set forth in the list above, you might have to meet them for w-lunch to decide for yourself. 

Here's a picture of Bossy Betty and LG after brunch/w-lunch.  LG still has some of his prison work-release clothing, hence the orange shirt.

As always, thanks for stopping by, hope to see you back again soon!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Geography... As Taught By The LG Report!

It has recently come to the attention of The LG Report that the American public in general, and readers of The LG Report in particular, need to brush up on their geography knowledge [although, make no mistake, readers of The LG Report are far smarter than the average person.]

So let's get started.  Grab your assigned seat, leave your gift of an Apple (iPad) on the teacher's desk, and prepare to get your learn on.  No dipping pony tails in the official HP ink cartridges (they cost $45 each).

This is Nigeria. It's in Africa.  The retirement funds of a lot of American people are in Nigeria at the moment, although not many Americans are with them.  If you're currently awaiting a large inheritance from a previously-unknown Nigerian relative, please consider investing in The LG Report's upcoming IPO. We promise to use proper English when soliciting your money.

This is France. The French don't like you. They don't even like you looking at a map of their perfect country.  Get your dirty, hairy, low-class American eyeballs off this map.  Move it along before we call a gendarme...

This is China. Everything that's touching your body right now was made in China.  Everything that you buy in the next year will be from China.  If you adopt a child, he or she will be Chinese.  The next take-out food you order will be Chinese.  In fact, this caption was written by an outsourced Chinese freelance writer (which explains why it's not that funny; he was intentionally holding back to protect his country.)

 This is Greece.  

This is Mexico. Just looking at a photo of it is dangerous. 

This is an aerial view of Canada, as seen from NASA's American-made Pioneer YRT-983 satellite. Yes, we just made up that satellite designation, but Canadians won't know.  However, that's really how Canada looks from outer space.  The Canadian capital city, North Pole, is designated by the puck.  Not visible:  All the igloos.

This was really the only photo to represent Sweden that we could find.  Seriously. 

This is Florida.  Designated in green, orange and yellow are the counties where the majority of residents are slow-driving, early-buffet-arriving, government-complaining, blue-haired retirees from Up North.  Don't laugh, you'll live here for part of the year some day.

That's it folks, today's geography lesson from The LG Report.  We hope that we didn't offend anyone, but if you're actually annoyed by something on this blog, you need to reassess your emotional stability.  Or just move to Florida now. 

We hope to see you back here again soon!