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Jerry B-day
 Our hero,
contemplating his own mortality.
 

 

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Welcome, one and all, to the thrilling new High-Definition, Low-Impact, Self-Basting Homepage of Jerry Armstrongnow in Timed-Release Caplets for a Longer-Lasting Shine!

What’s that? Oh sure, I could spare the world the indignity of this wanton hokum, and let it dodge the bullet of yet another cheesy web page. On the other hand, who am I to thumb my nose at such a hallowed institution? No one, that's who. Anyway, too late now to let you off the hook, I'm afraid. My trusty keyboard has you in its sights, and has locked on target.

Unfortunately, now that you’re on pins and needles over the coming digital extravaganza, I have to put you on hold. Fact is, I need to step out for a little java. You know what they say: a day without coffee is like—a night without coffee, only not as dark. Or something.

Feel like waiting? Go right ahead. Make yourself at home...grab a beer from the fridge. (Hope you like Spaten, or Sam Adams.) While savoring your beverage, enjoy the dandy spinning-type globe below, thoughtfully included at no extra charge for your viewing pleasure. Oooh!  Aaah!

Naturally, I can’t let you, my esteemed guest, go away empty-handed today, with nary a souvenir of our little get-together. At the very least, a few links are in order as a parting gift, and as a taste of things to come. For your consideration, then, I humbly submit the following:

 

To make the world a nicer place to live in, I always like to put in a good word for Amnesty International USA. If nothing else, take a glance at the section on letter-writing campaigns/weekly urgent action. But beware: it's hard not to offer a little help when someone’s life is on the line—and when you know the person by name. The Violence Policy Center labors mightily to reduce America's firearms violence. While they could use your help, too, it's worth a look if only to become better informed. On an environmental note, the Sierra Club has its welcome mat out, along with ideas for enjoying and protecting the Great Outdoors. Heard of Common Cause but not quite sure what they're up to? Bottom line, they're helping ordinary citizens hold our elected officials accountable. To see how, and to make your own voice heard in a way that counts, drop by their place now!

To make your head a nicer place to live in, take one of the following odds and ends for a test spin. If you're a Pynchon fan and haven't yet been there, try out the Searchable Guide to Gravity's Rainbow. Or how about Dylan Thomas, including some .wav files of the poet reading several of his works? For the celluloid set there's the Dr. Strangelove site, complete with image and sound files for the pickin'. I also like the Jacques TatiFassbinder, and Fellini sites—but then what do I know? Musically, for starters we've got The Klezmatics live in RealAudio for all you klezheads out there. We also have Moxy Früvous, Astor Piazzolla, and Leo Kottke, not to mention Glenn Gould and Kurt Weill sightings. Magic Bus Music Forum does a solid job of promoting as-yet unsigned bands of merit, and Past Perfect is a great source for vintage sounds, digitally remastered. For a peek at a site I'm cobbling together for my father, there's Armstrong-Woodworks.com. Who knows, I may actually finish it before the decade's out.

For something completely different, the White Rose homepage is a good read from the pages of history. It concerns a small circle of German university students during WWII, their resistance efforts, and their execution by the Nazis. (Not as bleak as it sounds.) Feel like another abrupt change in direction? Try something in a spiritual vein. For a glimpse into monastic life, you're invited to two monasteries: that of Christ in the Desert, and the Abbey of the Genesee (Benedictine and Trappist, respectively). Monks go digital!

Had enough of Link-O-Rama? Fixin' to wimp out? OK, but just one more thing: whatever you do, be sure you steer well clear of A Boy & His Blog: 26 Letters, Creatively Reassembled Daily for Your Retinal-Imaging Pleasure. Don't say I didn't warn you.

 

“But Krazy Jerry,” I hear you stammer, “all these goodies, at these unheard-of, brain-boggling, rock-bottom prices, are just too good to be true!” Not at all, I assure you. Nothing’s too good for my friends. So, stay tuned....
 

(NOTE: image for representational purposes only. Not actual size.)


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Low expectations wouldn’t hurt, either.