Friday, September 19, 2014

Much to love about 1968...........................

Status Quo.............................Pictures Of Matchstick Men

Is it worth driving eight + hours..........................

...to play golf and hang out with old college friends?   Yes

The sun always shines on the golf course

Par what?

A hole in two

Is it beer time yet?

The Licking County Library has earned.....

............our support.  Plus, it is a renewal levy, not a new tax.


































image courtesy of Kurt's twitter feed

Facts are stubborn things........................

OK, who told...............................................?

Fifty years ago............................................

On TV..........................Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea

Action........................................................

"Affirmation without implementation is self-delusion.  What does that mean?  Saying positive words isn't enough.  You have to prove you are ready to change your life by taking action on the words!"
-Larry Winget

Irony................................................?


Opening paragraphs...................................

The Surprise, lying well out in the channel with Gibraltar half a mile away on her starboard quarter, lying at a single anchor with her head to the freshening north-west breeze, piped all hands at four bells in the afternoon watch;  and at the cheerful sound her tender Ringle, detached once more on a private errand by Lord Keith, cheered with the utmost good will, while the Surprises turned out with a wonderful readiness, laughing, beaming and thumping one another on the back in spite of a strong promise of rain and a heavy sea running already.  Many had put their best clothes - embroidered waistcoats, and silk Barcelona handkerchiefs around their necks - for the Surprises and their captain, Jack Aubrey, had taken a very elegant prize indeed, a Moorish galley laden with gold, no less - a galley that had fired on the Surprise first, thus qualifying herself as a pirate, so that the prize-court, sitting at the pressing request of Captain Aubrey's friend Admiral Lord Keith, had condemned her out of hand:  a perfectly lawful prize, to be shared according to the usage of the sea, or more exactly according to the Prize Law of 1808.
-Patrick O'Brian,  Blue At The Mizzen

Prize Law.....................................

From Wikipedia:

"Prize is a term used in admiralty law to refer to equipmentvehiclesvessels, and cargo captured during armed conflict. The most common use of prize in this sense is the capture of an enemy ship and its cargo as a prize of war. In the past, the capturing force would commonly be allotted a share of the worth of the captured prize. Nations often granted letters of marque that would entitle private parties to capture enemy property, usually ships. Once the ship was secured on friendly territory, it would be made the subject of a prize case, an in rem proceeding in which the court determined the status of the condemned property and the manner in which it was to be disposed of."

"Fortunes in prize money were to be made at sea as vividly depicted in the novels of C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian. During the American Revolution the combined American naval and privateering prizes totaled nearly $24 million;[7] in the War of 1812, $45 million.[8] Such huge revenues were earned when $200 were a generous year's wages for a sailor;[9] his share of a single prize could fetch ten or twenty times his yearly pay, and taking five or six prizes in one voyage was common. With so much at stake prize law attracted some of the greatest legal talent of the age, including John AdamsJoseph StoryDaniel Websterand Richard Henry Dana, Jr. author of Two Years Before the Mast."


Your humble servant could not (after a totally brief search) find an 1808 British statute concerning prizes.  Perhaps O'Brian was just exercising his artistic license as a writer.

Why it is so interesting being human..............


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jump for joy....................................................

Manfred Mann...........................................The Mighty Quinn

Opening paragraphs...................................

A purple ocean, vast under the sky and devoid of all visible life apart from two minute ships racing across its immensity.  They were as close-hauled to the somewhat irregular north-east trades as ever they could be, with every sail they could safely carry and even more, their bowlines twanging taut:  they had been running like this day after day, sometimes so far apart that each saw only the other's topsails above the horizon, sometimes within gunshot; and when this was the case they fired at one another with their chasers.
-Patrick O'Brian,  The Wine-Dark Sea

The settling of science............................


Speaking of settled science............................


Fifty years ago............................................

Gerry and the Pacemakers.....................................I Like It

On guarantees............................................

     Learning to accept the contradictions of life is just a flip of the mind.  Train your mind to be less dogmatic by offering it lots of self-imposed contradictions.  Throw yourself into the icy lake of reality, don't let the ego play that cozy, safe, guaranteed game with you.  You should never forget that your guarantee in life lies in the fact that you have none.  That should spur you to action.  Ignore the guarantee, get on with the journey.
-Stuart Wilde

On serenity................................................

In the end, your energy - your perception and your ability - is all you have.  Raise your energy and there's your guarantee.  Discipline yourself and don't let little emotional upsets become large theatrical self-indulgences which destroy your stability and last ages.  Change all the things you can change, accept most of the ones you can't, and walk away from the rest.
     Change you opinions, control the ego, and the light of spirit flows naturally from within your serenity.  The more level and equitable you life becomes, the more the inner light of God shines through your mind - bypassing the ego and showing you a beauty and perception of life that most never even seek, let alone attain.
-Stuart Wilde

Want to.....................................................






















via

Bringing writing to life............................

Victor Borge......................................Phonetic Punctuation

sticky with parting..........................

You lean with one arm out 
against the porch post,
your big hand cupping its curve,
shy of that handshake
we both know is coming.
And when we've said enough,
when the last small promises
begin to repeat, your eyes
come to mine, and then
you offer your hand,
dusted with chalk from the post,
and sticky with parting.

-Ted Kooser,  Goodbye

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lord, have mercy..........................................

Canned Heat...........................................On The Road Again

Begin.........................................................


Almost...................................................























via

Long drive today...........................................

















via

Fifty years ago...................................

On TV.................................................Johnny Quest

The Science Officer weighs in...........................



















"It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want."

"I realize that command does have its fascination, even under circumstances such as these, but I neither enjoy the idea of command nor am I frightened of it. It simply exists, and I will do whatever logically needs to be done."

"Insufficient facts always invite danger."

"Change is the essential process of all existence."

"Without followers, evil cannot spread."

"Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them."

"In critical moments sometimes men see exactly what they wish to see."

"Live long and prosper."

As predictions go, this was a pretty good one...

“When ships to sail the void between the stars have been built, there will step forth men to sail these ships.” 
-Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)




basic human needs................................

















Star Trek speaks to some basic human needs: that there is a tomorrow — it's not all going to be over with a big flash and a bomb; that the human race is improving; that we have things to be proud of as humans. No, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids — human beings built them, because they're clever and they work hard. And Star Trek is about those things.
-Gene Roddenberry

I don't know either.................................

It's a good start anyway.............................

"The best diplomat that I know is a fully-loaded phaser bank." 
-Lt. Cdr. Montgomery Scott 



It's simple..............................................


















"The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play."
-Captain James T. Kirk, as channeled by William Shatner

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Raise the parking rent.......................................

Free...................................................................All Right Now

Guess work..................................

      Life is mostly guesswork.  You will usually guess more or less right, and sometimes you'll guess wrong.  When you guess wrong, don't react - love your mistakes, and don't beat yourself up.
     Hey! You thought you had enough gas in your car and you didn't, so now you're 'doing' walking.  So what.
     Just walk.
-Stuart Wilde, Weight Loss for the Mind

Do you think it is odd..............................

...................that within hours of posting an "Opening Paragraphs," or some other specific book-related post, somewhere in my travels through the Intertunnel I will come across an Amazon ad for that very book as well as another by the same author?  Just a coincidence?   I suppose, but a bit creepy nonetheless.

Opening paragraphs................................

It was the year none of the seasons followed their own dictates.  The days were warm and the air hard to breathe without a kerchief, and the nights were cold and damp, the wet burlap we nailed over the windows stiff with grit that blew in clouds out of the west amid sounds like a train grinding across the prairie.  The moon was orange, or sometimes brown, as big as a planet, the way it is at harvest time, and the sun never more than a smudge, like a lightbulb flickering in the socket or a lucifer match burning inside its own smoke.  In better times, our family would have been sitting together on the porch, in wicker chairs or on the glider, with glasses of lemonade and bowls of peach ice cream.
-James Lee Burke,  Wayfaring Stranger

The Fountain of Truth...............................

More Random Thoughts from Michael Wade:

The older I grow the more my wife and children mumble...Be wary of those who denigrate small acts of kindness....We'd be a stronger nation if we had a reasonably competent and objective press corps. The open road is a form of therapy...Few pleasures surpass good soap and a hot shower.

Fifty years ago................................................

Gerry and the Pacemakers............
..........................................Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

Not sure that it is working............................


Fortunately we have a new one downtown...........


















.......................................and fortunately, it is a good one


Bake a bigger pie........................................

"You can't get rich keeping other people broke.  Share the wealth."
-Larry Winget

Patience...................................................


Good to remember.......................................


Monday, September 15, 2014

Fade away.................................................

Tour of Duty.........................................................Paint It Black

Opening paragraphs............................

     The Senate wing of the U. S. Capitol was completed in 1800, renovated in 1811, burned by British troops during their rampage of Washington in 1814, and reconstructed for the first time in 1826.  In 1850 Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi introduced legislation to significantly enlarge the Capitol.  This enlargement was finally finished in 1868, following the Civil War, during which then former senator Jefferson Davis rather ironically had become president of the Confederacy.  As the country has grown and evolved from that time, so has the Capitol, as well as the sprawling grounds that surround it.  A series of modernizations moved the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court out of the Capitol building into their own mammoth neoclassical structures.  These modernizations also brought about a vast complex of six separate office buildings where the members of the House and Senate and their ever-growing staffs now carry out their obligations, and where, every now and then, one of them becomes forever remembered for some embarrassing personal escapade or political scheme.
-James Webb,  I Heard My Country Calling:  A Memoir

I first heard about James Webb..................

..............in 1978.  Not sure why, but I picked up and read a copy of his first novel, Fields of Fire.  As a matter of timing, I missed serving in our armed forces.  Born in 1952, I was seventeen when I graduated from high school, and did not turn eighteen until my second semester in college, safely possessing a II-S deferment from the draft.  By the time college was over, so was the draft.  For better or worse, having watched the Vietnam War play out on TV, I had almost no interest in volunteering for military service.  Webb's book was my real first exposure to the reality of war (my father, who spent three years overseas during the Second World War, still refused to talk about it;  no one I knew well had served in Vietnam).  Raw and gritty only begin to describe his writing.  Coming from a decorated Marine lieutenant, it just seemed real, like he knew for certain what he was talking about.  Here is a sample:

     Three artillery rounds impacted casually in the treeline.  H and Is.  Behind him, the 60-millimeter mortar sections fired five more in the vicinity of the high dike.  Then there quiet, elongated moments spent sitting under total blackness, as if he were locked in some strangely odorous, mosquito-infested closet.  So alone, so lonely like this.
     And at night like this they visited him, those old ghosts who had come alive each Sunday in his grandma's kitchen.  He had joined them.  He was one of them.  They descended from the heavens, or maybe from the hollows of his memory, and they were real.  He commiserated with them.  Sometimes they were so close he felt the swishes of their passing.  They tickled his neck.  They brushed his arms.  They ached inside his own misery.
     He stared into the blackness, dragging on his cigarette, communicating with them.  All my life I've waited for this, he mused.  Now I've joined you and your losses are a strength to me.  I ache and yet I know that Alec retched with pain on the road to Corinth.  I breathe the dust and yet I know that grandpa breathed the gas that made a hero out of Pershing.  I flinch when bullets tear the air in angry rents  and yet I know that Father, and three farmer boys at Pickett's Charge, felt a cutting edge that dropped them dead.  How can I be bitter?  You are my strength, you ghosts.
     And I have learned those things, those esoteric skills and knowledges, that mark me as one of you.  That loose-boweled piles of shit, too much shit from overeating, plopped randomly around the outer dikes of a ville, mean trouble.  Catching the aroma, seeing the groupings, watching the flies dance lazily, rejoicing in their latest fetid morsel that bends the low grass in a muddy glob like a bomb of cow dung.  Trouble.
     I can tell from the crack of a rifle shot the type of weapon fired and what direction the bullet is traveling.  I can listen to a mortar pop and know its size, how far away it is.  I know instinctively when I should prep a treeline with artillery before I move into it.  I know which draws and fields should be crossed on line, which should be assaulted, and which are safe to cross in column.  I know where to place my men when we stop and form a perimeter.  I can shoot a rifle and throw a grenade and direct air and artillery onto any target, under any circumstance.  I can dress any type of wound.  I have dressed all types of wounds, watered protruding intestines with my canteen to keep them from cracking under sunbake, patched sucking chests with plastic, tied off stumps with field-expedited tourniquets.  I can call in medevac helicopters, talk them, cajole them, dare them into any zone.
     I do these things, experience these things, repeatedly, daily.  Their terrors and miseries are so compelling, and yet so regular, that I have ascended to a high emotion that is nonetheless a crusted numbness.   I am an automaton, bent on survival, agent and prisoner of my misery.  How terribly exciting.
     And how, to what purpose, will these skills serve me when this madness ends?  What lies on the other side of all this?  It frightens me.  I haven't thought about it.  I haven't prepared for it.  I am so good and ready for these things that were my birthright.  I do not enjoy them.  I know that they have warped me.  But it will be so hard to deal with a life empty of them.
     And there were the daily sufferings.  You ghosts have known them, but who else?  I can sleep in the rain, wrapped inside my poncho, listening to the drops beat on the rubber like small explosions,  then feeling the water pour in rivulets inside my poncho, soaking me as I lie in the mud.  I can live in the dirt, sit and lie and sleep in the dirt, it is my chair and my bed, my floor and my walls, this clay.  And like all of you, I have endured diarrhea as only an animal should endure it, squatting a yard off a trail and relieving myself unceremoniously, naturally, animally.  Deprivations of food.  Festering, open sores.  Worms. Heat.  Aching crotch that nags for fulfillment, any emptying hole that will relieve it.
     Who appreciates my sufferings?  Who do I suffer for?
     The mortar fired behind him, five more rounds at the high dike, and the ghosts were gone.  Hodges stood slowly and dusted off his trousers, carrying the radio with him as he began to check the lines.
     He hoped that Snake would be awake.  He felt like shooting the shit.

-James Webb, as excerpted from Fields of Fire

But, it does happen....................................


























It's getting harder..........................................


Bless their hearts..............................................


















Hope they keep it up.  It is good for the state (back story here), good for our country, and it certainly can't hurt our foreign relations.

Fifty years ago............................................

On the TV........................................................The Saint

Can I get an Amen...................................

For the record, cherry-picking data that supports your claim is not science. As Richard Feynman argued, a true scientist reports all data, the data that tends to prove his hypothesis and the data that tends to disprove it.

If you merely offer the data that supports your claims you are an ideologue, not a scientist.

-Stuart Schneiderman, as excerpted from here.

Weakness.............................................

“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.” 
-Jean Vanier

Warning label for this blog....................

I should hope so........................................


Thus spake The Chipotle Bag........................

"I think it is okay to accept the fact that most people won't get you.  We don't need to like each other so much.  We need to be kind and respect each other.  Everyday I live by only one rule, be a good guy."
-a Chipotle bag