31 July 2008

Four Things Meme

Linda at "Are We There Yet" has tagged me for a fast meme, so I'll get it out of the way before totally shutting down for a bit except for email and comments.

Four jobs I've had

1. Telephone Operator
2. Executive Secretary
3. Technical Manual Writer
4. Political and Public Service radio consultant

Four movies I can watch over and over

1. Same Time Next Year
2. Torch Song Trilogy
3. 84 Charing Cross Road
4. Cry Freedom

Four places I've lived

1. Los Angeles, California
2. Phoenix, AZ
3. Albuquerque, NM
4. Tacoma, WA

Four TV shows I love

1. Dr. Who
2. The Closer
3. Saving Grace
4. Moonlight (That Got Cancelled!!)

Four places I've vacationed

1. Lake Tahoe, Nevada
2. Ensenada, Mexico
3. Bass Lake, CA
4. Disneyland

Four of my favorite dishes

1. "Death Eating a Cracker" coffee mug
2. "Love" Mug from the Vegas Beatles Show
3. Bass Lake Souvenir Mug
4. The whole collection of mugs from different states of the union.

Four sites I visit daily

1. www.yahoo.com
2. www.google.com/reader
3. www.norwichbulletin.com
4. www.goggle.com/maps

Four places I would rather be right now

1. Summering in NH with my best friend, Sarah!
2. At lottery headquarters cashing in a winning Powerball ticket
3. Narrowboat cruising the canals of Britain
4. On a Party Boat in the middle of Bass Lake falling in the water whenever it gets too warm.

Four bloggers I am tagging

I don't tag so steal at will.

29 July 2008

Regrets and Resignations

Despite all the romance from yesterday, we know that the course of love frequently goes astray. Every once in a while, there will come along a song with humor where some woman takes reprisal into her own hands.

I do not recommend this action, but the lyrics are deliciously irrisistable, and when it comes to cafe society and rapier wit, it could only be written by Cole Porter.

Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today.
Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today.
She is sorry to be delayed,
but last night down in Lover's Lane she strayed,
Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today.

When she woke up and found
That her dream of love was gone,
She ran to the man
Who had led her so far astray,
And from under her velvet gown
She drew a gun and shot her lover down,
Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today.

When the mob came and got her
And dragged her from the jail,
They strung her upon
The old willow across the way,
And the moment before she died
She lifted up her head and cried,
"Miss Otis regrets she's unable to lunch today."

A Modern Happy Ending - Sort Of

I knew nothing about their story until reading a Reuters' news article on my feeder this morning. If this had been a date night movie, we all know the plot: Boy sees girl. Boy loses girl in crowd. Boy does a manic pursuit to find girl. Boy gets girl. Music crescendo and fade to black with romantic dreams spilling out of the theater into a warm summer night.

Not so fast. He's a web designer. She is a hope to be actress, waitressing in the meantime. He saw her in the swarm of Grand Central commuters and lost her in the crowd. He put up a web page and among the millions, someone recognized her. They met, appeared on TV, got acquainted and fade to black as they dated only to announce at a later date that they are now just friends.

Is that such a bad ending? Two people actually turned out to be nice human beings who took a chance rather than wonder about might have been.

Since I just saw Mama Mia, what would you do if presented with

Take A Chance On Me

27 July 2008

Stormy Weather

When Mo declared today's word to be "Storm" the immediate thought was Stormy Weather and the amazing Lena Horne. There is no way I could do her biography justice without writing about 500 inadequate pages, so do take the time to at least read her Wikipedia entry.

Below are two clips of "Stormy Weather" from You Tube. The first made during WWII and the second when she was still performing more than 40 years later. She is now 91 and no longer appears in public. Fortunately we have the film and recordings.



The logo for today's Manic Monday was provided by the talented Janna of Jannaverse

Manic Monday Bonus Track

They Call It Stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad.

Erick Clapton

Once more with feeling
T-Bone Walker

26 July 2008

Seasonal Pantry

There is a new link on my pages for a blog called "Seasonal Pantry". It is written by a lady who likes to canoe in the moonlight on a California river, but has recently taken up adventures in cooking. This is a mission to get people to really pay attention to food, and paying attention to her blog is a great place to start.

24 July 2008


This place is sometimes referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas" except that it wasn't "lost". The people who lived near it always knew that it was there. They just didn't bother to mention it to anyone because no one asked.

In 1911 Hiram Bingham decided to organize an expedition to Peru, where he decided to seek the last two capitals of the Inca, Vilcabamba and Vitcos. Leaving Lima in July, Bingham returned to Cusco from where he journeyed on foot and by mule through the Urubamba Valley, past Ollantaytambo, and on into the Urubamba gorge.

On July 23, Bingham and his party camped by the river at a place called Mandor Pampa, where they met Melchor Arteaga, a local farmer who leased the land there. Bingham learned from Arteaga that there were extensive ruins on top of the ridge opposite the camp, which Arteaga, in his native Quechua, called Machu Picchu, or "old mountain", a place not mentioned in the records Bingham had studied.

When asked just where the ruins were, Arteaga pointed straight up to the top of the mountain. Bingham was the only one in the party particularly interested, so accompanied only by Seargeant Carrasco and Arteaga, Bingham left the camp around 10 am. After a short while the party crossed a bridge so unsteady that the explorer was reduced to crawling across it on his hands and knees. From the river they climbed a precipitous slope until they reached the ridge at around midday.

Natives in the area told him that they had been living there for about four years and explained that they had found an extensive system of terraces where they grew their crops. Bingham was then told that the ruins he sought were close by and he was given a guide, the 11-year old Pablito Alvarez, to lead him there.

On July 24, 1911, Hiram Bingham became the first non native person to lay eyes on Machu Pichu and what is now called the Royal Tomb, the Main Temple, and the Temple of the Three Windows. Here they had been hidden for centuries away from the prying eyes of the outside world.

The laborious climb taken by Bingham to reach Machu Picchu is now a pleasant train and bus trip through Peru.

23 July 2008


Recently we had "Doodleweek". The duties were handled by my son Chris. As a result I have now created a Doodlechris blog so that whenever he feels like sending me something he can.

As shown below, we lost our most beloved cat on Monday. Chris deals with things by drawing, doodling, and imagining things until he feels better.

You can see some of the places Rory has been since Monday on Doodlechris

22 July 2008

Rock and Roll Heaven

My son Christopher also was with Rory when we said goodbye. Now in the persona of Doodlechris, he places his favorite feline with an equally cool cat to keep him company.

21 July 2008

Heaviside Layer

Just as there are forever homes, there are forever cats: The ones you know it will be impossible to forget. More than 12 years ago, I found a little ball of flea and sore filled black and white fur huddled in a dumpster where someone had disposed of him. I picked him up and he licked my hand, taking immediate possession of my heart. I named him Rorschach for the patterns on his chest and called him Rory for short.

He grew into an incredibly beautiful, mellow cat who simply radiated affection. The slightest touch would start the motor running, and it was always a pleasure to touch his mink soft fur. Every morning he would wake you with a pat to the face and every night curl up to sing you to sleep.

About a week ago, Rory hid in my bathroom. It was obvious something was very wrong. After a lot of tests, the vet gave the final pronouncement: Cancer, probably of the spleen and bleeding internally. A short while ago, my son and I met at the vet to spend some time saying goodbye. Rory was a wonderful gift and we shall miss him.

In his honor: His look alike from Cats - Magical Mr. Mistoffeles


If you spend a great deal of your life as a writer, editor, or just very dedicated reader, you usually love words. English is a phenominal language simply because it never stops growing. Now that it is a totally international language it borrows from all the languages or the world. In addition, English speakers tend to invent words to suit circumstances, newly developed professions, or simply the languages of the street in the form of slang.

Some of the new words disappear as a fad that becomes passe. Some eventually get accepted into the formal language and grace the pages of Oxford or Webster. There are people whose whole career is keeping track of new words as they appear, recording the number of times it is used in music or print media, and deciding when it has become "official" or is ready to disappear rarely to be heard again.

Now courtesy of the Internet there is a place where you can catch up on what is new on the street. Fair warning some of the definitions are quite graphic if you go prowling around. URBAN DICTIONARY

As it happens, "Mooselick" is not, and none of us will have trouble putting a mental picture with the word. Someday, you may see it in your newest dictionary.

1. Mooselick

The act of licking someone, usually their face, with tongue flattenned out in order to cover as much surface as possible in a sweeping motion. The subject, or "victim" ends up feeling - and looking, if your tongue is moist enough - like they just got licked by a large moose.

Best done when everyone has been drinking. Also should be announced beforehand if done as a game.

Example of usage: "Hey, Bill just mooselicked Joe when he was too drunk to resist!! Gross!!"

20 July 2008

Doodle - Body

Doodlechris went golfing last weekend for the first time in a few years. As a result he was in need of a totally new body. Fortunately being a doodle, a new body was easy, but he still seems to be having some trouble bending the joints.

Robin Williams - History of Golf (Strong Language Warning)

19 July 2008

Doodle - Pet

The Doodlechris household has five cats all of which you may meet at some time in the future, but for his first appearance as a doodle: KiKi Boom the cowardly (miniature) lion. Now Doodlechris has an unusual talent for attracting everything that creeps, crawls, wiggles, hops, flies, or strolls on any number of legs, but it even took him awhile to convince Ki Ki Boom that death was not imminent and the only thing to do was run and hide. Now Ki Ki Boom emerges for meals and then when all is quiet and the other felines have bedded down for the night, he curls up next to Doodlechris where it is always a safe place to be.

18 July 2008

Doodle - Evil

Doodlechris has a hard time being truly evil, but he did try to dress for the part and show what happens to your spelling ability when you are "Too Cool for School". He's a little too glib, with a line for some unsuspecting cutie who might fall for his enticements.

17 July 2008

Doodle - Vacation

It looks as if Doodlechris is remembering a fairly regular family activity. My daughter lives in Sacramento which has a very nice river running through it. On the upper Sacramento, you can enjoy some pleasant rapids for the adventurous. The people who get the summer lazies when the sunshines bright head for the lower Sacramento.

The method is simple. Two cars or trucks drive to the picnic grounds. One truck is dropped off and the driver is brought back to the jumping off point in the second vehicle. In our case, we rope four rafts together (two big ones for people, one small one for picnic food, and one small one to hold the weapons and radio), don the life jackets and we are off for a nice two hour family float to the picnic grounds.

The beers and soda trail behind us in the water to stay cold. The huge water cannons are loaded to spray people on the shore and in other boats. If you get too hot, simply fall in the river to cool off (This is not recommended at the beginning of the season -- that water is ice melt and hasn't warmed yet).

Another small word of warning usually ignored by the young folks: Do not get drunk on the river and make sure one person is designated driver to get you all home in one piece.

Once at the landing, part of the crew lays out the spread under the trees while the others deflate and store the rafts in the vehicle. Finish off the day watching the sun set on the river before heading home very, very tired, definitely full, and probably sunburned.

One small note about the video. Back in the early sixties, I made a trip to Las Vegas. The original Mills Brothers were on stage in one of the lounges. To this day it is one of best evenings of music in a small venue that I have ever been fortunate to experience. Modern Vegas simply doesn't compare to the intimacy of the old clubs and I truly miss it.

16 July 2008

Doodle - Garden

Doodlechris seems to have lost his head over gardening. In this day and age of news reports of salmonella poisoning, unknown locations as sources of food, and the high cost of produce because of transportation, growing your own is probably as good an idea as it was 60 years ago.

Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil "morale booster" — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labour and rewarded by the produce grown. Making victory gardens became a part of daily life on the home front.

15 July 2008

Doodle - Space

On This Day In History, July 15, 1965
Mariner 4 studies Martian surface

The unmanned spacecraft Mariner 4 passes over Mars at an altitude of 6,000 feet and sends back to Earth the first close-up images of the red planet. Launched in November 1964, Mariner 4 carried a television camera and six other science instruments to study Mars and interplanetary space within the solar system. Reaching Mars on July 14, 1965, the spacecraft began sending back television images of the planet just after midnight on July 15. The pictures--nearly 22 in all--revealed a vast, barren wasteland of craters and rust-colored sand, dismissing 19th-century suspicions that an advanced civilization might exist on the planet. The canals that American astronomer Percival Lowell spied with his telescope in 1890 proved to be an optical illusion, but ancient natural waterways of some kind did seem to be evident in some regions of the planet.

Once past Mars, Mariner 4 journeyed on to the far side of the sun before returning to the vicinity of Earth in 1967. Nearly out of power by then, communication with the spacecraft was terminated in December 1967.

13 July 2008

Doodle Bug - Manic Monday

Linda of Are We There Yet has Amanda and I have Chris. Chris will be handling all the doodling duties this week in the person of Doodlechris bugging out on many adventures. The first of which seems to involve becoming a male black widow. He probably hasn't considered that the life expectancy of a male black widow is what gave the species its name.

Doodle Bug

Now when I think of bugs, you know it has to have something to do with a book, a movie, a piece of music, or dancers. Well how about all four at once? This scene was cut from The Wizard of Oz after the first premier due to the length. That was probably a good idea as the dance is almost synonymous with the time period which would have dated the movie and could have prevented it from becoming a classic. Only this old kinescope remains. Shot from the point of view of the cameraman here are Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion being terrified of "The Jitterbug"

06 July 2008

Earn Your Stripes

Still on vacation running around doing interesting things, but couldn't skip Manic Monday. If you are part of a military family, you immediately jump to "Earning One's Stripes" when you see the word stripe. It is the way the service personnel are rewarded for performance and indicate the rank they have attained.

One of the best places to get a general overview of the services, and a good first stop place for anyone considering the military as a career is Grunts Dot Com. By the time someone coming up through the ranks reaches Master Sergeant, they have usually devoted 15 to 20 years of their working life to the service of the country.