Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Condolences to the family of Wayne Gretzky. His mother Phyllis has died at 64 of cancer.

From the "only the good die young" files comes the news that Vincent "the Chin" Gigante has died of heart disease at 77. Gigante was the head of the Genovese crime family, one of the "Five Families" of organised crime in New York. For years he avoided prosecution on various charges by pretending to be mentally ill. But he was convicted in 1997 after a number of Mafia figures testified that Gigante was anything but insane, such as Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, former associate of John Gotti. Regular viewers of the series Law and Order may remember an episode from several seasons ago where a high mob figure is pretending to be insane to avoid prosecution, a plotline very obviously based on Gigante. Gigante admitted his sanity as part of a 2003 plea bargain.

And to end on a silly note there are times I wish I could bring things out of my dreams. Just before I woke up this morning I dreamed I found several empty beer bottles and pop cans in the street. I've got a pile I'm about to take in for recycling and a few more would be that much extra cash.

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