Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Ronnie fried up the leftover ham from last night. It was great!
Mom with one of the Panera Bread bagels. I bought a couple of dozen and some cream cheese.
Some of the gifts.
Lee wasn't feeling real good but he came.
Hannah was a little sleepyhead!
Luke and annah can fit together in this big chair!
I didn't feel so great today either. Knowing Christmas is over is very depressing to me and I know I'm going to have that feeling. So I get busy. I don't want to give into it. So after brunch and some visiting time, I hit the kitchen and cleaned up. Everyone left for home about 1:00pm and I did what I always do...I took Christmas down! I took down the decorations, cleaned them and put them away. Then I dusted everything. I felt too bad to vacuum and mop but Stan pitched in and did it for me. So by 2:00pm I was in my pj's and I laid down for the rest of the afternoon. I read and took a nap. My back is killing me and I ache all over but the house is in good shape with no trace of Christmas. Ronnie is the same way and we always tease each other to see who got the decorations taken down first. I bet I won this time! Video of Huneycutt Christmas
Luke, Hannah and Katie
Ronnie and Eddie
Angie and Logan
Logan and his disguise!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Do you remember the Billionaire Boy's Club in the 1980's? I remembered just enough but certainly not all the details. Randall Sullivan did an indepth book on the rise and fall of Joseph Gamsky (who later changed his name to Joseph Hunt or Joe Hunt) and his Billionaire Boy's Club.
Joe was admitted into a prestigious Los Angeles prep school, the Harvard Club, on a scholarship. Joe, 12, didn't fit in very well with the children of actors, moviemakers, and corporate businessmen because of his family's lack of money and he was socially stunted. He was a genius with near photographic mind. Around graduation time (when they would move on to college) Joe managed to impress some of the other young men at school especially Dean Karny and Ben Dosti, who had attended the Harvard School as well. He began to hang around with them and their circle of wealthy sons. These boys had every advantage coming from monied families and having the best education and the best money could buy. But instead of being grateful and using their advantages for good, they managed to be spoiled, arrogant, feeling entitled as though they deserved everything they wanted by the mere existence of being who they were. They wanted money and all that comes with being super rich but they didn't want to have to work for it or have any responsibilities. There was no "Noblesse Oblige" in their vocabulary. It was all about them. They were so proud and cocky and know-it-all that they were obnoxious and the only way they could have relationships was to appeal to someone's greed, drug needs, etc. To me, it seemed no one could stand to be in the same room with them unless they were drugged, drunk or needed money. They partied all the time and had groups around them but that was so other parasites could get something off of them. Money, drugs, alcohol, contacts, financial advice, to look good and be known...all this led to very shallow, casual relationships and these young men didn't know any other kind of relationships. Joe didn't either, but like some deranged guru, he realized their need and their vulnerabilities and gave them what they thought they wanted.
These boys weren't looking for Jesus, or Hari Krishna, or some other religion. (Although they desperately need Jesus Chirst!) They wouldn't have looked "ridiculous" for anything! Joe appealed to the one thing they all had in common...greed! They all wanted money and wanted BIG money! And quick! Like last week, please! They didn't want to have to work for it, be accountable for it, ask their parents for it, etc. Just money falling from the sky would suit. And Joe was the worst one, but he had the "fatal attraction" that allowed him to con all these boys into following him. He began to talk about starting an investment club with members from well-to-do families who could make a good impression and help the club to succeed. He described some of his ideas for trading commodities at low risk, and the other boys were impressed.
He also told them he wanted to create a corporation with a Utopian atmosphere based on the works of Ayn Rand, where each person would do what he was best qualified to do. He called it the Paradox Philosophy. Basically it was situational ethics. I.e. do whatever you have to do to bring you happiness. It's all about you. Keep yourself happy, safe, out of jail, rolling in money and don't worry about who you have to rob, lie to, cheat, murder, steal, rape, etc. You don't worry aboutanyone else, you only worry about yourself and do whatever it takes because you are number one. Once he had those boys hooked (and they are just as stupid and vulnerable as Jim Jones followers or the Hale-Bopp Comet followers, they just didn't drink Koolaid or pack a bag), he led them to do all those things. Situational Ethics has no boundaries. There is no end to it.
These boys went on to prestigious colleges but a lot of them didn't follow through, including Joe. He felt like he was wasting his time. The others were just partying their way through. Most graduated and a couple went on to law school. But Joe got in touch with Dean Karny and Ben Dosti and the others (Dave and Tom Mays, Evan Dickers, Steve Taglienetti, etc) and told them a bunch of nonsense (which they didn't have the good sense to check on) about how well he had done and he had dropped out of college because he was doing so well in the stock market. So they began to tell others and their parents and Joe started raking in cash to "invest". It soon became a typical Ponzi scheme. But, as the screws began to tighten, Joe and his buddies decided to kill Ron Levin.
Ron was also a con man and he had conned the cons! He had bilked the BBC and Joe out of at least $300,000. Joe decided to kidnap Ron and try to make him turn over anything of value, then kill him. By now, Joe had acquired a more experienced "friend" in Jim Pittman (calling himself Jim Graham). A young black man in very good physical condition but who had no more morals than Joe did. They made a good match. Joe began hanging around more with Jim than with his other buddies while he learned what Jim could teach him about firearms, burglaries, electronic spying devices, etc. Jim would do anything for the money that Joe siphoned from his investor's accounts.
But Jim wasn't too smart. He ended up killing Ron Levine before they could get anything from him. The way the book described it, it was as though Jim couldn't control himself, he just wanted to kill. This bungle caused them even more trouble and they still desperately need money.
One of the new men that had joined their club was the spoiled and evil Reza Hedayat whose father had been a fabulously wealthy man in Iraq before he was supposedly ruined when Iraq fell to the Ayatollah Khomeini. He made it out of the country and came to America and said he had no money.
Reza did not believe his father and was always arguing with him for money. So Reza and Joe, Jim, Ben Dosti and Dean Karny decided to try to kidnap Hedayat Eslamania and force him to give them everything before killing him. They planned to chloroform him and throw him into a trunk and cart him somewhere to torture him and get his money. But the man died in the trunk enroute either of fear of suffocation. Another bungle that left them with nothing. This time, Dean Karney, turned them in and they were caught. Joe went to prison for life for the murder of Joe Levin. He represented himself in the trial for the murder of Hedayat Eslamania and there was a hung jury.
You can read a quicker synopsis at
Randall Sullivan had a very complicated story to tell and he did it well. But it was a long book and very convoluted. Sullivan makes it easy enough to follow but it's just long. It's completely disgusting that these men would work so hard to steal, kill, cheat and lie. It would have taken a lot less work to have made a living the old fashioned way...earning it! And they wouldn't have spent the rest of their lives in jail. So much talent, brains, education, health, experience and good beginnings (you know, the silver spoon type of beginnings) to waste. God blessed them with so much and yet they never used it to do anything good. Rotten to the core! The Billionaire Boy's Club would be better named the Bye-Bye Club because they can kiss the rest of their lives goodbye!
But, as long as we are still breathing, there is still a chance that God can get through to us and we can turn our lives around. If there is life, then there is still time for God to use us for good. I hope and pray that God will be able to get to their hearts and save them from their sins and that they can know what it's like to be forgiven, loved and know their eternity will be spent in heaven instead of hell.
This book actually has three "Mrs. Jeffries" novels included. It's the first I've read and I have to say I loved them! These are what I would call "gentle" murders. I could recommend it to anyone. These are not thrillers but good night time reading.
Inspector Gerald Witherspoon lives in a nice house with servants and an income he inherited. But he works in homicide at Scotland Yard during the 1890's. His housekeeper is Mrs. Jeffries, a widow of a former policeman. She oversees a cook named Mrs. Goodge who is overweight and has rheumatism so she never leaves her kitchen. But she has a way of getting gossip from all the delivery boys, tradesmen and hawkers who come in to do business with her. Mrs. Jeffries also has the maid, Betsy, who is good about chatting up maids, shopkeepers and young men. Then there is poor, simple Wiggins, the 19 yr old footman. He is faithful to do anything asked of him but can't ever figure out why it's asked of him. Then there is the coachman, Smythe, who haunts the pubs and talks to coachmen and butlers. He's also Mrs. J's heavy artillery with a bewildered backup from Wiggins. Next door is the crazy old American heiress, Luty Crookshank, whom I imagine looks and sounds like Granny of the Beverly Hillbillies. She and her butler, Hatchet, pitch in too and they can get info from the nobs. Mrs. Jefferies marshalls her crew together to solve the murders poor Inspector Witherspoon is assigned. Their job is to assist him without him knowing he is being assisted. They don't want to hurt his feelings or make him feel inadquate because they all love him.
In the first novel, "The Inspector And Mrs Jeffries", a Dr. Bartholomew Slocum is poisoned. In the second novel, "Mrs Jeffries Dusts For Clues", a murdered woman's body is found buried in a cellar of a condemned home that is being torn down. And in the last novel, "The Ghost and Mrs. Jeffries", a mean wealthy woman is shot to death in her own bedroom after visiting a seance that warned her of doom.
I recommend these gentle mysteries. You come to love the characters.
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