Monday, November 24, 2014

Norman Rockwell and the drunk cat

On he 14 July 1938 episode of the Royal Gelatin Hour with Rudy Vallee, he had Norman Rockwell as a special guest. In the interview, Rockwell recalled one occasion he was doing a painting of a cat, and had borrowed one from a neighbor as a model. However, he could not get the cat to cooperate, so he got it drunk, and everything went fine. However, he never did try to explain to the neighbors about the cat's hangover.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

A slam on a noble bird

          "You're as tight as an owl."
          This was a wholly unjustified slur on a most respectable breed of bird, for owls are as abstemious as the most bigoted temperance advocate could wish, and at another time George Cyril Wellbeloved might have been tempted to take up the cudgel on their behalf. But his employer's charge had cut him to the quick, and he sank into a chair and brushed a tear from his eye.

(from Pigs Have Wings. by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

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Not one of Galahad's bosom buddies

          "A person has called, asking to see you, sir. The man Wellbeloved, Mr. Galahad."
          "Wellbeloved?" Gally stiffened formidably. "You mean that this renegade pig man, this latter-day Benedict Arnold, this degraded specimen of pond life, is here?"


(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Recksaul Drugs

That is how the company was spelled by that scholarly paragon, Frankie Remley, on the Alice Faye and Phil Harris radio show. Remley's character was played by actor Elliott Lewis.

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Lewis

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A discouraging and frightening assessment

"Establishment Democrats and Republicans actually agree on lots of other things that don’t get debated in public: neoliberal economic policies, the rule of the financial oligarchy, a foreign policy based on permanent war, the entrenched power of the national-security 'deep state.'" (from an article by Andrew O'Hehir for Salon)

Most of the things (not all) that I dislike and fear most in America today, the two major parties are agreed upon. Not good.

Gally Threepwood's story about the Arkwright wedding

          "The Arkwrights lived out Bridgnorth way, and their daughter Amelia was getting married, so Clarence tied a knot in his handkerchief to remind him to send the bride's mother a telegram on the happy day."
          "And he forgot?"
          "Oh, no, he sent it. 'My heartfelt congratulations to you on this joyous occasion,' he said."
          "Well, wasn't that all right?"
          "It was fine, Couldn't have been improved on. Only the trouble was that in one of his distrait moments he sent it, not to Mrs. Arkwright but to another friend of his, a Mrs. Cartwright, and her husband had happened to die that morning. Diabetes. Very sad. We were all very sorry about it, but no doubt the telegram cheered her up."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

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Lord Emsworth's mental condition

"He's absent-minded, isn't he?"

"Yes, I think one could fairly call him that. If he has a mind, it is very seldom there."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sleep is overrated?

One of my colleagues at work is fond of saying, "Sleep is overrated." I gather that he does not sleep so very much. This past week or so, however, his wife had some medical issues that were drastically cutting into whatever sleep he had been getting; so at work he commented, "I say that sleep is overrated, but I think I need a little of it now."

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Warner Oland is Charlie. The movie begins with Charlie and his large family going to the midget dancing team of Tim and Tiny (George and Olive Brasno). There Charlie meets Paul Stanton, who had asked him to help with a problem. He has been getting unsigned threatening letters. There are undertones of conflict all through the circus performers. Then Caesar the gorilla gets loose and things start hopping. Charlie's #1 son Lee (Keye Luke) is dashing around trying to be a detective, too. He gets locked in a cage by the Chinese contortionist that he is trying to romance. A large snake is released into Charlie's car on the circus train.

A trapeze lady is wounded by a gunshot. While a medical team is brought in to operate, Caesar is released again. As he tried to break into the medical tent, he is shot, but the operation had been an attempt to trap the murderer. It turns out the murderer was in a gorilla costume when shot.

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Oland with the Brasnos

Nuncupatory - word of the day

1. Nominal; existing in name only
2. Publicly or solemnly declaratory
3. Verbal, not written

From Webster's 1828 Dictionary

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A name hard to remember

          "I came to this room to be alone. Am I not to have a moment of privacy?"
          "Ye, come along, Clarence," said Gally. "Connie is in a strange mood. We are not wanted here, and I am anxious to meet this gifted youth. What's his name?"
          "Whose name?"
          "The gifted youth's."
          "What gifted youth?"
          "Listen, Clarence," said Gally patiently. "You have a new secretary. You concede that?"
          "Oh, certainly, certainly."
          "Well, I want to know what his name is."
          "Oh, his name? You mean his name. Quite. Quite. It's . . . no, I've forgotten."
          "Smith? Jones? Brown? Cholmondeley-Majoribanks? "Vavasour-Dalrymple? Ernle-Plunkett-Drax-Plunkett?"
          "Lord Emsworth stood in thought. "No . . . Ah, I have it. It's Vail."
          "Vail!"
          "Gerald Vail. He asked me to call him Jerry."
          The door closed behind them. The sharp, wordless cry which had proceeded from Lady Constance they attributed to a creaking hinge.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

What management SAYS means practically nothing

They are masters as saying things; but then they rarely follow up on them to make sure they actually happened.

Doctors talk about of both sides of their mouths

They tell us that we ought to drink lots of water, and that we ought to get good nights' sleep. Where old men are concerned, I can tell you that you cannot do both.

I do not like the Republican Party, either

It is called the Bill of Rights, Republicans. You do remember that, don't you? It guarantees that the government cannot enter my home (physically or electronically) without a search warrant. That means that mass collection of data is unconstitutional, but you refuse to do anything about it. But of course, all of us little guys are not on Wall Street, so we really do not count, do we?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nothing like tennis to break up an engagement

          "Did you kick him?"
          "Of course I didn't kick him. I loved him like a brother."
         "The chance of a lifetime thrown away," said Miss Salt with bitterness. "If Orlo Vosper in his formative years had been thoroughly kicked twice a day, Sundays included, he might not have grown up the overbearing louse he has become."
          "Would you call him an overbearing louse?"
          "I did. To his face"
          "When was this?"
          "On the tennis court at Eastbourne, and again when entering the club house. I'd have done it in the dressing-room, too, only he wasn't there. They separate the sexes. 'Of all the overbearing lice that ever overbore,' I told him, 'you are the undisputed champion,' and I gave him back his ring."
          "Oh, you were engaged?"
          "Don't rub it in. We all make mistakes."
          "I didn't see anything about it in the papers."
          "We were going to announce it just before Wimbledon."
          "What did he do to incur your displeasure?"
          "I'll tell you. We were playing in the mixed doubles and I admit that I may have been slightly off my game, but that was no reason why, after we had dropped the first set, he should have started barging into my half of the court, taking my shots for me as if I were some elderly aunt with arthritis in both legs who had learned tennis in the previous week at a correspondence school."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


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Training him early to like Hope and Crosby

My youngest grandson (Jack Irby) and I watching The Road to Utopia, with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.





"Maffle" - word of the day

Maffle: to stammer

(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To preserve it, put it on paper

People in general today have great disdain for printing, for things written on paper. But think back to when you were a child: what were the electronic media that were in use then. If you had something preserved on a wire recording, would you be able to play it? What about an 8-track tape, or a reel-to-reel. Ah, you say, we now have the internet, so all we need to do is to put it on the internet. But how long will that last? Can you guarantee that there will not be another technology that will replace it, and then what happens to all the things that are recorded there? How many cassette tapes were made when they were the in-vogue medium, and how many of those tapes will be transcribed into digital form? maybe 2%, or less? Think about it. If you want to preserve it, put it on paper. Eyes are one technology that will never go obsolete.