Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Tom Strong

I feel your pain - have been putting off getting a wisdom tooth pulled for about half a decade now, thanks to no insurance and little cash. Once the new plan kicks in, that baby is coming out!

(OTOH, my childhood dentist was wonderful. Even so, the Dentist song from "Little Shop of Horrors" remains one of my favorite musical numbers ever).

As for politics, I just remind myself of Mark Twain: "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

We've had little but boobs and morons as leaders for over two hundred years now, and yet somehow, we've managed.


I agree with your sense of pessimism Amba, but I do not agree with taking it personally. Whatever happens is so completely out of our hands there isn't much use worrying and letting it ruin our day. I don't mean we should go into denial about the crisis, or ignore the news. I just don't think we should raise our personal stress levels over it, or divert attention away from our personal lives.

I'm reading the new history of money book by Niall Ferguson, and a similar global financial crisis was set off by the start of WWI. Not as bad because the world is more complex now, but it was really bad. So for all we know this could blow over and not effect ordinary citizens too much.

I mean, we simply don't know. I don't trust the experts either, at all. But I know I can't do anything about it, so I can leave the stress to them.


Dad just had a root canal, y'know. If he can take it, you can, too! Especially since it sounds like your insurance will cover it.

As for Juval Aviv: just 'cause Snopes tags it as false doesn't mean it isn't worth thinking about (and just because you're paranoid doesn't mean . . . )


Dad just had a root canal on essentially the SAME TOOTH . . . how weird is that??


Time to get that root canal now, amba. I am ashamed to say- i have one of my teeth gone forever due to procratination and cost. Thank the Lord it is hidden by a killer smile(lol). God gave me perfect teeth, He really did- and i messed up the set.

Hang in there, kid. You know i know how you feel:0).

Why does real make so much sense? I mean- i'm even understanding her Atheist/science discussions now. Real- thank you for being so- frank. It's refreshing.


*The house of credit cards we've all been living in is collapsing, the bill is coming due, and if anyone actually knows how to repeal the law of gravity, at this point no one would believe him or her.*

Not true. The "we all have been living in."
Not everybody overspent you know. Not everybody went crazy and lived beyond their budget in the Clinton years.

We're not all in this together. You keep your debts, and don't expect somebody to bail you out.

Plenty of people still understand this -- let's not drag the whole country down with the spenders


ps. You're not still paying on 2 empty New York apartments, are you?


*Much of the right is so eager to see President Obama fail that they would almost -- almost -- welcome a terrorist attack to help that along.*

And just to quibble, I think you REALLY underestimate people, perhaps if you got out in the community more and were less isolated, you'd have a better impression of most Americans/humans, even if they don't share your background or personal fears.

I understand your living situation, but perhaps you are not such a good judge of character here? (Are you one of those who assumed that Obama would be assasinated because the haters would never let him become president? Again, underestimation of others...)


In answer to your ps, I never was. Figure that one out for yourself.

My own debts were not incurred by material extravagance, and I neither declared bankruptcy nor expect anyone else to bail me out. You won't have me on your back, anonymous.

I would be seriously interested to know what percentage of Americans consistently "paid cash" for whatever they bought and avoided credit cards -- or even long-term mortgages. Does that figure exist somewhere? It would be good to know, and to compare that to other eras when debt was less culturally acceptable and commercially promoted.

Does anyone remember that credit-card interest was deductible in the Reagan years? I suppose that was regarded as an economic stimulus. It encouraged people to borrow in order to spend in order to grow the economy -- a trend that later spiraled out of control. By that time, the credit card interest deduction had been phased out.


Anonymous sounds a lot like the one person I've ever banned from this blog, for reasons other than what she posted on this blog.


So heads up, those of you who would have left rather than share this space with that person.


I'm not going to be run out of your delightful neighborhood by ANYBODY, amba, no matter how obnoxious.... :-)

P.S. Sorry to hear about the need for dental work. I had a lot of that when I was younger, and hated every bit of it.


I'm with Karen on this one. I'm going to get to lose a molar, too, due to having put off the root canal for too long (due to lack of insurance). And, in addition, probably get to have a bone graft done as well -- the infection that the root canal was supposed to address just had too long to do its thing.

So go get it dealt with now! Procrastination in this area is a seriously bad idea. Take it from one who knows first hand.

RW Rogers

Point of Clarification: Interest on all debts (credit card, auto, mortgage, etc.) was deductible long before Reagan took office. The deduction was limited to mortgage interest only as part of tax reforms passed while Reagan was in office.


Thanks, RW . . . didn't know that. Do you know when it started? When the "installment plan" was invented?

Credit cards were a late invention -- it was mostly people buying cars and large appliances before they existed, I suspect.


Teeth are such a big psychological thing for me. Probably because you could always tell when the mental illnesses of my family members was flaring up by looking the condition of their teeth. I have a pathological fear of losing teeth and almost had to have one pulled last month. There's no way I could afford the whole titanium post thing right now but I sent the x-ray to my old dentist in Chicago and he said he could save it. I flew all the way across the country for the dental work. But no collection plate for my L.A. dentist, I just spent a smaller fortune on two other teeth that had decaying 40-year-old fillings. Aaaargh. BUT, get thee to a dentist, young lady, you'll feel so much better if you take care of that!

karen Bathalon

wj- a bone graft??? That sucks.

My tooth was infected as well- it's when i decided it was almost worth the pain due to a presciption of a lovely drug which i covet, but have never touched since. It worked so well for pain it was like a miracle. The tooth was - sick and the dentist wouldn't let me hold it to look at it(i must have reached dazedly out to it)- he said the bacteria would make me really sick, or something.

Anonomyous is correct in saying we didn't all ride the highway to debt w/credit cards, etc. I don't do plastic. Yet, expenses are outrageous because so many people have to take a piece of the pie. And has anyone else noticed how cheaply made things are these days? I broke a pushbroom handle- a brand new broom- just by pushing the round bale up in the mangers. I'm no little willow(makes a muscle), but i'm not necessarily a tank, either. Snapped it off at the end. Like a toothpick!! I jokingly say they split the polymers one too many times(and i have no idea what the hell a polymer is).

I'd like to point out that- the Republicans didn't create this e-mail in 2005 to make the Dems look bad. If circulating since '05- who would have the advantage to make W look like an uninformed, anti-intellectual? Remember taht meme, hmmm?

I would never wish evil on Obama- or our country by way of an attack. We are, OTOH- a very trusting and vulnerable(ignorant)group of folks, though- when it comes to those who will do harm to us. David is so right in saying we should take pause to ponder.

Anonymous- be nicer. It's a great place to be- just: don't be so much on the freaking prod. It's not pretty.


One thing I've enjoyed about this job is having good dental insurance. I've needed it, because it seems like I was having a root canal about every other month for a while.

So by the time I get downsized, I will have no more roots to worry about.

karen Bathalon

ba-da *boom!!

{{ Melinda }}


Karen, why the sudden Bathalon appearance? Or are you another Karen?

Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas , they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

I was suspicious of the email before seeing the Snopes info. This paragraph makes no sense. How is valet parking going to help with a terrorsit attack? Those cars aare typically cordoned off in there own area. If you gave the car to the valet and walked away, the car would be in the parking area before it went off. The terrorists would kill a parking lot valet and blow up a parking lot full of cars. Not good, but hardly BIG TERROR.


We've had little but boobs and morons as leaders for over two hundred years now, and yet somehow, we've managed.

Yeah, and one of the big reasons for that was because the federal government in particular was small and limited. That has changed over the last 76 years. The federal government is completely entwined in damn near everything now. So now every damn thing these idiots do impacts the nation as a whole. And there's no frontier to flee to now.

What I'm saying is, don't assume that because the idiots didn't ruin us 130 years ago doesn't mean they won't ruin us now.


As for the dentistry....

If only the original blog I wrote at hadn't gone down the memory hole I could send you all kinds of stories about Dental Hell. Unfortunately, all I have access to is this relatively tepid piece. That particular series of events resulted in my favorite picture of myself.

Oddly enough I don't actually hate or fear any of my dentists or the oral surgeon. They did good work, the situation was just bad. (And oddly enough had little to do with dentistry.) Or perhaps it's just as well I can't tell you those stories!


Anonymous, anonymous, why ya buggin'?


I neglect teeth, too. I neglect self, too. And one of my recurring nightmares is losing teeth.

Donna B.

My first memory that entailed knowing exactly what a credit card was happened when my Mom lost her purse about halfway through a 1000 mile trip with me, my baby sister still in diapers, and Mom's best friend.

We had stopped to eat. Before leaving the parking lot, my Mom changed my little sister's diaper in the backseat. Somehow during that, her purse got knocked out of the car.

Several hundred miles away, we stop for gas. The tank is filled and Mom can't find her purse. Panic and tears ensue.

Her best friend didn't have enough cash on her to pay for the gas, but her husband had a credit card.

The service station owner let her call long-distance, took the credit card number down and let her sign an IOU, promising to pay him for the gasoline, phone call, AND a cash advance to get them to their destination.

When we got to my grandparents house, she called the cafe on the off chance they might have her purse. They did, and all the cash was still there when we stopped to pick it up on the way back home.

My Dad mailed Mom a check which she was able to cash without having any ID.

The way credit cards are used isn't the only thing that's changed in 50 years. The only thing that could happen in that story today is losing the purse.


Tales from the Lost World. Which fewer of us, every day, experienced.


The world where kids went trick-or-treating by themselves at night. It was still that world when hippies hitchhiked, but not for much longer.

Donna B.

Halloween was wonderful in those days, wasn't it? I got in trouble once, for putting a too realistic mask on a mop and sticking it in the neighbors' windows.

I actually frightened an elderly couple I adored (best source of cookies on the street) and felt absolutely horrible about what I did.

My punishment? Raking their leaves and helping her bake cookies. I was so grateful my parents decided that whatever punishment these wonderful neighbors came up with would be OK with them.

I truly had an idyllic childhood. What I did not appreciate fully until recently (past 30 years -- that's recent, right?) was how hard my parents worked to provide it for me... and that they had so much cooperation from their families and neighbors in doing so.

And then I wonder why I don't write this stuff on my blog instead of yours!


The world where kids went trick-or-treating by themselves at night.

I do not remember such times. We always had parent accompany us. Of course, that was to keep us from starting trouble, so maybe it still counts.

Besides, if you can remember when kids used to trick-or-treat at all, then you've clearly time travelled from another era....


Amba, it's all a matter of perspective. Don't picture it as being pulled under by a rip tide, think of it as a rising tide pulled gently into place according to the stately clockworklike Law of Newton's Gravity. See, it's all much better that way. Especially if you're heavily medicated!

Donna B.

Icepick... send some of that medication my way :-)


Not-so-"anonymous" was wrong: we all live in that house of cards, whether or not we helped build it.


Icepick... send some of that medication my way :-)

It's called Hennessy VSOP or (better still) Hennessy XO. It should be available at some of your more important local establishments.

karen Bathalon

Well Ice- my name and address needed renewing, so i rushed myself and stuck the wrong handle in there. It's the right handle, but you know it's not really the one i want to use. The comments don't seem to be posting instantaneously like they have been, so i just left w/out looking. *blush* feels like i'm exposed, or something!!!

Cal, please don't neglect youself. Now i'm gonna worry about you.

Donna- you have your own blog!!!? What is it? Duh- how come i didn't know? Does everyone here have a blog?

If i ever had a blog, i have the perfect name for it. Since i know i won't have my own blog until we retire(read: pry our dead, cold fingers off the shit shovels!)i'll tell you what it is. Different Day. Yup- and my header pic would be a Warhol series of a cowpaddy photograph in numerous stages of days. Get it??? It makes me lol.

Teeth. Of all the things we really need, why did God decide we had to be so careful of the most important ones- like our eyes,lungs,hearing-- or teeth. Fingernails- hair; merely cosmetical(made up cool word)(i think). It's a temple thing i've got stuck in my head. Not to worship it, but to really appreciate and care for it. What a pain.


Darn, forgot to fix it!! Hope this does the trick.

Charlie (Colorado)

That Juval Aviv (btw, is that the Hebrew for the name "Jubal"?) piece is a perfect piece of prophecy, though.

It sounds definite without being definite ("the next terrorist attack ... within the next few months"), it predicts stuff that is SOP for al Quaeda (simultaneous bombings), mentioned places that sound definite ("Las Vegas ... large shopping malls... big cities ... rural locations") but, guess what, it isn't really definite at all, as there isn't any place that isn't going to fit one of them.

Interestingly enough -- I've been reading a lot about hypnosis recently -- it also reads a good bit like a hypnotic induction of the indirect type.

How's it end up? With the suggestion that things are going to become 'a different place' and current concerns will 'become irrelevant'.

Well, duh.

So, the effect would be to (1) increase feelings of fear without a way to localize them, and (2) set things up so if any terror attack happens in the US, he will have "predicted it". If nothing happens, in two years say it again.


Lots of stuff relevent to me in this post.
I have never owned a credit card. I refuse to own one. My husband had one once, but we paid it off and got rid of it. We kept our previous car until we'd saved up to buy the next one (used) in cash. Our only payment is our house- a small, fixed-rate mortgage. On the other hand, I've been out of work for a solid year, so that kind of financial arrangement is just plain necessary. So it's not a bed of roses.
As for work- I think working for someplace like Snopes would be terrific! I have always loved researching stuff and getting down to the 'real' story. Dream job!
As for the dentist: I had a sadisitc orthodontist as a kid- . Here's what I've learned: when you phone up the dentist, *tell him.* Say, "Look, I had this really awful, traumatising experience as a kid. Can you help me out?" I did that, and wound up with a supernice dentist who always used extra anasthetic, explained the procedure carefully, and didn't fuss if I needed a 'timeout' to calm down. Call a few dentists and just be real up front about it, then go with the one your gut tells you is sympathetic.
As for some people wanting a terrorist attack to 'prove' Obama is failing:
Imagine the worst, nastiest possible epithet you can think of. Now scream it as loud as you can at that imaginary person.
My sister lives in D.C. and literally saw the smoke from the pentagon from her office window on 9/11. It took me until after 5 p.m. to locate her on that horrible day, and I hope never to do that again.

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