28 September 2010

OMG!!! Forgot It Was Tuesday

Welcome to the Queen's Meme #54 - If like me you let the whole day just completely get away from you, run don't walk to Bloggingham, beg forgiveness, plead for mercy and come in a day late with The Queen's Meme.  I promise that I did not look anything up in my Funk and Wagnalls.  My only excuse is that this is a variation on something I did, only now Queen Mimi has done it better.

Here are the Instructions

We are going for the funny bone today. Ouch. I hate it when that happens. Technically speaking that is the ulnar nerve. Definition: The ulnar nerve originates from the C8-T1 nerve roots which form part of the medial cord of the brachial plexus, and descends on the posteromedial aspect of the humerus.

I told you this meme was humorous!
Confession: I stole this idea from Jamie at Duward Discussion. She used British and Australian slang words recently in a challenge to her readers. I found a site today called Inherently Funny and decided to do the same with words that sound ridiculously humorous when you pronounce them....IF you can pronounce them.

I have given you 8 funny sounding words. You have to supply a definition without looking at the website or dictionary first. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Let's get started.

Here Forthwith Are My Answers


1. diphthong - Aren't thongs racy enough without them taking another dip, but apparently they do.

2. Houp-doup  - Someone conned into believing they can learn to use a Hula Hoop past the age of 45.

3. Skullduggery - The thing found in the hole when pirates fought over buried treasure.

4. reintarnation - A Mammoth that has bobbed up in the La Brea Tar Pits

5. glom - Past pluperfic participle of glum

6. gobsmacked - What happened to the shanghied sailor

7. assmosis - I hope this means my diet is working and something is being absorbed and invisible.

8. lugubrious - The dirty residue drained during an oil change

And trust me, I will know if you look in the dictionary.  - I Didn't I DIdn't

25 September 2010

It's All BB's Fault

I probably should have named her Lucille.  For Christmas her father bought me a dress like the one below only in champagne and gold.  I wore that dress on New Year's Eve to a party where the headliner was B B King.  A well played guitar and too much champagne can make you feel very affectionate. We both took BB's instructions to "Rock Me Baby" a little too literally.  We named her Lanisa.  Tomorrow is her special day.  Happy Birthday honey.

Another Word For It

Here are the answers to the slang quiz:

Porkies - Lies - (Rhyming slang from Pork Pies)

Mahatma - Brandy - (Rhyming slang from Ghandi)

Half-Inch - Steal - (Rhyming from "pinch")

Ruby - Curry -(Really out there rhyming slang from Ruby Murray a singer popular in the 1950s)

Joanna - Piano

Yakka  - Work

Troppo - tropical madness; lost the veneer of civilisation after spending too long in the tropics.

Buckley's - Little to no Chance of happening as in "New Zealand stands Buckley's of beating Australia at football"

Kangaroos loose in the top paddock - Intellectually inadequate

23 September 2010

Separated By A Common Language

Oxford English Dictionary

One of my favorite songs in "My Fair Lady" is "Why Can't The English", particularly the line, "There are places where it completely disappears.  In America they haven't spoken it in years."  Well that charge can go both ways given that English is a very expressive language and each area where it is spoken often has its own dialect and slang.  The news that there may never again be a printing of the OED has sent me into a blue funk.

Listed below are ten commonly used slang words from either Britain or Australia.  Don't cheat by surfing for the answers until you have had a go at the quiz.  Answers will be provided in the next couple of days

  1. Porkies
  2. Mahatma
  3. Half-Inch
  4. Ruby
  5. Joanna
  6. Yakka
  7. Troppo
  8. Buckley's
  9. Kangaroos loose in the top paddock
  10. Galah
Feel free to guess in the comment section.

22 September 2010

A Thousand Cranes

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise), and is said to live for a thousand years. In Asia, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person's wish come true. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family.

Yesterday was the United Nations International Day of Peace.  On November 4 we will once more celebrate Dona Nobis Pacem, the Blogblast for peace when thousands of bloggers worldwide fly their peace globes in a common effort to set differences aside as as human beings simply declare "Give Us Peace".  November 11, once called Armistice Day and now Veterans day, marks the end of The War to End War in 1918.  It is now 92 years later ...

Last year, this was my fanciful Globe for Blogblast.  This time with another year of war and thousands of more deaths, I will be more serious in my approach.  If you have never done a Globe for the Blogblast, please join us.  You will find instructions on how to get a globe to design and make your own HERE.  The lovely lady who started this several years ago also shows many of the beautiful globes on her Facebook page.  It is only 42 more days.  Be sure your globe tells us that one more person simply wants PEACE.

21 September 2010

The Change Meme

Her majesty, Queen Mimi of Bloggingham has questions.  Her subjects have answers.  Check in to share them with everyone. 

Norman Vincent Peale said, "Change your thoughts and you change your world." It was interesting to see how many meanings I could find for the word "change".....some are serious, some are silly. Have fun!

1. Name one thing you'd like to change about yourself. - Born during the Battle of the Bulge.  I've been fighting it ever since.  I would really like to look at a piece of bread without gaining five pounds.

2. If you could wave a magic wand and be done with all the small petty nuisances in your life, what you would have "be gone" first?  Bending over to do the laundry.  I want a platform so the front loaders are up higher.

3. Do you collect and save your spare change in a jar? - Porcelain Blue and White Chinese Tea jar.

4. Change your world. What is our biggest concern as a global humanity? - Population.  Sustainability means enough food and water for all in a world that can support the humans in residence without destroying other species.  There are more than six billion on the way to nine billion on a planet that can only give three billion a lifestyle similar to the US. 

5. What would you have changed about your last relationship or the one you're in now? - More time

6. If you could reverse the course of history in a time machine, what would you do and how do you think the world would be different today? - Prevent the RFK and MLK assassinations.  I call 1968 the year the United States died.  Those deaths opened the doors for extremism on all sides and the country has never recovered.

7. Who would you like to change into a toad? - Newt is already a Newt.  Dick Armey if he weren't already a reptile. That leave John Boehner, but who ever heard of an orange toad.

8. What is the first thing you change into when you get home from work?  It's not what I change into.  It's what comes off.  The shoes don't last past the front door.  The bra and panties make it to the bedroom.  Then once barefoot and nude like a civilized person, I change into a caftan for the sake of propriety.

9. If you could change places with anyone in the world for one day, who would that be? Queen Elizabeth II - I think it would be truly fascinating even with her wacky family.  Besides a queen's question deserves a queen for an answer.

10. Have you ever heard the expression "turn over a new leaf?" What is under your old one? - Some cobwebs.  Cleared out the baggage a long time ago.
11. Name one thing that can cause you to immediately change your mood? - My cat climbing up on my shoulder and purring into my ear.

12. What have you recently (or ever) had a change of heart about? And why? - There have been times when I talked myself out of doing something because of cowardice ... the dive off the deep end.  Definitely now in favor of diving.  Life's too short to not take chances.

13. When is the last time you changed the oil in your car? - May now I have to do the whole transmission check next month.

18 September 2010

Seeds of Hope

"On this trip it really gelled for me that you can't separate the issues of climate change and poverty. They are inextricably linked. Having been to Ethiopia and seen these farmers, seen the battle they face from what is a problem that the developed countries have brought on many of these developing countries, there is a justice, there is a gap we need to fill."

As the ambassador for World Vision, Hugh Jackman set off to Ethiopia in 2008 with his wife Deborra-lee Furness and World Vision CEO Tim Costello to meet a coffee farmer named Dukale who is a beneficiary of the new initiative. Jackman sweats, shovels manure, sweats, plants coffee trees and sweats, all the while talking about his experiences with a genuine wide-eyed emotional affection.

The full program about the trip airs in Australia September 19 at 4:00 PM on Channel 9. but  those living elsewhere will probably have to wait for the MSN or You Tube or website versions at a later date.  In the meantime, you can check out World Vision International, World Vision, United states, or The Grameen Foundation for opportunities to get involved in micro financing.

17 September 2010

5 On Friday - The Babs Edition

This is the 33rd edition of The 5 on Friday meme where Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies. Create your own list and then share with others on Trav's Thoughts.

This time I went for Barbra Streisand but some of her less familiar songs.

As If We Never Said Goodbye - This one is from Sunset Boulevard.  She might have been hoping there was a movie role around the corner.

Stony End - She was only in her 20s but had already won a Tony, a Grammy, an Emmy and an Oscar.  This song was to prove she could still rock.

Wild Is The Wind - Theme song from a wonderful Soap Opera of a 1950s era motion picture
of the same name.

And we finish off with a great song from "Funny Lady". Love the hair, love the dress, love the pearls, love the style, love the lyrics ... Even the rich and famous can't get everything they want and when you've been dumped, you might as well go out in style!!!!!  How Lucky Can You Get

And just for the love of a silly witty lyric: Queen Bee sung by The Oreos in A Star Is Born

5 On Friday - The Limelighters

Alex Hassilev, Lou Gottlieb and Glenn Yarbrough

This is the 32nd edition of 5 on Friday where Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his meme.

In 1962 while awaiting the arrival of my first child, my daytime companions were a black cat named Saber and my radio.  Living near San Francisco, we were very involved in the burgeoning folk music of the period.  One of my favorite groups was The Limelighters.  For fifty years beginning in 1959 to the present, The Limelighters have brought great folk music to crowds all over the world. The original group consisted of Alex Hassilev, Lou Gottlieb and Glenn Yarbrough. Glenn went on to a very successful solo career, and over the years the names in the group have changed but the unique sound and arrangements mixed with a sense of great comedy have remained. Current members are Mack Bailey, Andy Corwin, and Gaylan Taylor.

Wabash Cannonball, Whistle & Make The Wind Blow, and Weary and Lonesome Traveler (1963)

There's A Meetin' Here Tonight from the 1981 reunion of the original three singers.

Whiskey In The Jar (2006) from today's  Limelighters.

16 September 2010

Feedback is Wonderful

I wrote a rather lightweight article yesterday because I felt like ranting and received a wonderful email of corrections and insights as follows courtesy of Bill Woerlee and the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre.


Jamie, I was prompted to view your interesting page through the link placed to the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre. These are always a pleasure to see. I thought I might assist you in some of your comments with some clarification.

1. The "Elliott" alleged charge at Beersheba photograph displayed at the top of your page has been properly analysed and found to be of another event. The only person who publicly defends the Elliott claim is Ian Jones for what ever reasons he has. You will see two entries on the ALHSC site debunking the claims to this photograph: part 1 and part 2

However, the Elliott photograph claim is one of those Zombie myths that refuse to die regardless of how many times one kills it.

2. Billy Grant. In the movies he is treated wonderfully both in Chauvel's 40,000 Horsemen and Wincer's The Lighthorseman. As with all things, myth and reality parted ways when the first shots were taken for the movies. Grant was not the modest man who faded away as a grazier as you have sentimentally portrayed him. Quite the contrary. His ego was such that he took credit for things that did not belong to him. The charge was one item. The planning and orders were delivered by Col Cameron, CO 12th LHR who had done this sort of thing in South Africa with great success. When Grant claimed all the kudos for the charge, Cameron was mighty upset and a hatred built up between the two of them which lasted many decades. The result of this egotism gave Grant charge of the most pivotal part in the invasion of Jordan in April 1918. His role was to secure the communications links with the invasion force to the Jordan Valley. When the Turks fired the first artillery rounds, he up and ran off leaving his whole brigade in disarray. So bad was it that Chauvel could not find Grant so he appointed another field commander to rescue whatever could be saved. The result was the loss of the only artillery battery during the Palestine campaign and the aborting of the invasion to Jordan and nearly the loss of a full Australian mounted division of 5,000 men. Grant couldn't be sacked because of the publicity given to him about Beersheba so he was never given any responsibility again while remaining the titular commander of the 4th Light Horse Brigade. The reason why Grant faded away is because his antics as a commander had been exposed in the post war era so by 1930 he had lost any credibility as a participant in the major events. Chauvel's letters of the late 20's regarding him basically state that Grant is a liar whose testimony is not to be trusted. You couldn't get a better endorsement than that.
I suspect the role would be better suited to Mel Gibson.



I replied to the above as follows:


Thank you for the additional history. I will do a follow up on the blog tomorrow with your added insights if you would like to check back. Whenever legend and truth come into conflict I prefer the truth. Strangely enough I think it would make an even better movie as the truth. Just as Lawrence of Arabia was a better movie because of the flaws in the man, then Beersheba as a major epic would be better with warts and all on General Grant.
As to Mel Gibson or Hugh Jackman: Mel has lost me for good and for purely selfish reasons I would rather look at Hugh. Maybe we could cast Russell Crowe and Hugh as rivals for the glory.  You have to admit the acting opportunities would be wonderful.

Hollywood Can Be An Ass

The only known photograph of the charge at Beersheba

It's been a while since I've delved into Australian history and you've all had a rest for awhile, so here is my latest about Australia, motion pictures, and everything Jackman.  There is a movie I would love to see made, so this is a free for nothing idea just in case there is a screenwriter and/or director out there with a fondness for epics, particularly since it would be a perfect vehicle for Hugh Jackman.

This past weekend must have been Hugh Jackman day on HBO because they were showing Someone Like You,  Kate and Leopold, and Australia.  Now I don't expect much from the first two.  They were what they were:  Fluff and more fluff.  Quite frankly I expected more from Austrailia as I've rattled on about before.   It was supposed to be the epic on the level with Lawrence of Arabia or the Southern Hemisphere version of Gone With the Wind.  It tried.  It really tried.  There was a great cast doing their best to rise above the material, but they couldn't quite reach over the sloggy script, the poor, film school level, match move and CGI, and apparently a director who didn't care about the details of history preferring insider references to Over The Rainbow and There's No Place Like Home.  Even when showing The Wizard of Oz he screwed up using black and white instead of the Sepia Tones that represented brown and boring Kansas or for that matter the dusty outback of Australia.  So you got a bodice ripper with nice scenery human, animal, vegtable, and mineral.  Despite it all I still like the movie except for feeling cheated of what it should have been.

What makes me the most upset is that Elton John wrote a great ballad about the iconic character of "The Drover" and no one paid attention to the lyrics.  There was a movie there and the powers that be ignored it.  All things considered, everyone was in the wrong script and the wrong war. Take "The Drover" from his birth before 1895 to 1915 and Gallipoli on April 25 to seeing his brothers die to coming home to a black wife in the form of a "Drover's Boy" because he couldn't really marry her in Austrailia of the period and she dies of Tuberculosis or more likely given the history:  Influenza.   Australia was hit so hard by those events that the population didn't recover and start growing again for almost three years.  Now THAT is a movie. 

I wrote about "The Drover's Boy" poem before and Baz Luhrman really missed an opportunity to do something other than a cliche ridden cross between Quiggly Down Under, Donovan's Reef, and Rabbit Proof Fence.  Someday, he may forgive himself.  I won't until he gives me the drover who should have been in the movie.  Come to think of it, he doesn't have to give me The Drover as long as he gives me General William Grant and lets Hugh Jackman play him. 

So who was General William Grant? The event: The Australian cavalry charge at Beersheba during WW I.   Looking at the close up photograph, it doesn't take too much imagination to see Jackman in the part and the story is one that would capture anyone's imagination.  We already know he can ride a horse. 

There is a description, photograph, and outline of the charge on Beersheba at the Light Horse History Pages.

The taking of the wells at Beersheba on 31 October 1917 formed the single most thrilling image from the Great War. The Charge of the Light Horse is the lingering memory. Many legends have arisen about the Charge which have become embedded within the national story and now seem to have replaced the facts, both officially and unofficially. These legends are addressed. The Battle of Beersheba was not only the famous charge but many other actions all of which culminated in the victory.  This is Australian history at its bravest and most exciting, not to mention that it helped set up the whole British occupation of the Middle East Palestinian mandate and the effects of that period with the division of Iraq and Iran and the establishment of Israel whose effects we still deal with today.  For a refresher on some of the events leading to the modern day Middle East, here is an article I wrote about Gertrude Bell.

As to story arc, I found the details on General Grant's family that he left behind, I used my Ancestry links to turn up the following: Wife: Eveline Ryan Woolcott Grant. Children: Mary Woolcott Grant, Eric Cragie Grant, Jean Alison Grant, Ian McPherson Grant, and Donald William Grant.  This means there could still very well be living grandchildren and great grandchildren that could fill in the story even more of a heroic man who despite his many awards and honors simply returned home Australia to become a grazier and passed away on the eve of World War II.

Anybody know any Producers and Directors?

14 September 2010

Out of the In Box

Old Farmer's Advice

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered…...not yelled.

Meanness don't just happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about, ain't never gonna happen anyway.

Don 't judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good and honorable life, then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

Don 't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.

Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

13 September 2010


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This is a date in my life and the Emmylou Harris song that goes with it:

Boulder To Birmingham

I don't want to hear a love song
I got on this airplane just to fly
And I know there's life below
But all that it can show me
Is the prairie and the sky

And I don't want to hear a sad story
Full of heartbreak and desire
The last time I felt like this
It was in the wilderness and the canyon was on fire
And I stood on the mountain in the night and I watched it burn
I watched it burn, I watched it burn.

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace.
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face.
Well you really got me this time
And the hardest part is knowing I'll survive.
I have come to listen for the sound
Of the trucks as they move down
Out on ninety five
And pretend that it's the ocean
coming down to wash me clean, to wash me clean
Baby do you know what I mean

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace.
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face.

Because I went to Westwood premiers, knew the lyrics to Cole Porter Songs, typed your words or added my own, watched Jim Dale sing "your song", split a sandwich and an egg cream, bought you the poppies, burgandy velvet,  and initialed gold around your neck, and have never for a second stopped loving you, here is  "Our Song" even if you hated  that it was by Neil Diamond

12 September 2010

Big Red - The Horse God Built

We all know my ongoing obsession with everything equine.  I only got to see Secretariat run live once plus some of the big races on television where you couldn't see the color as that incredibly strong redhead cleaned up the track leaving the other so called thoroughbreds in his dust.

Now Disney has done the story of his life and it will be in theaters on October 8.

His record time for the Kentucky Derby still stands after 37 years. Then he won the Preakness before going on to become a legend. For the 1973 Belmont, people suspect there may have been other horses in the race, but you sure couldn't prove it by the finish line pictures.

The full story of his life was told in the book: Secretariat, The Horse That God Built. Now he comes to the screen. So go watch a miracle.

10 September 2010

5 On Friday - I'm Glad I Met You

Trav of Trav's thoughts has invented this delightful meme now into it's eighth month as a roaring success.  Please drop in on his website for instructions and to sign in to enjoy the fun so that we can come visit you and see your music for the week.

More than 50 years ago when schools in California actually had money to spend on students, there was a troup of young opera singers who made the rounds of the LA school system introducing the students to operas.  Since many of the students were being semi dragged to the mandatory assemblies, the singers usually stuck to the comic operas such as The Barber of Seville or light opera pieces from Gilbert and Sullivan.  It was a good start and led to a willingness to listen to something other than popular music.  Now I've grown to love opera and someday hope to actually attend one at the Met in New York.

The following arias have become so familiar that they are almost cliches, but they became popular simply because they are so very good and most people can recognize the melody if not the source.

Habanera - Carmen by George Bizet - It takes place in a tobacco factory.  The noble corporal Don Jose has arrested the trouble making gypsy, Carmen.  She dances around him on the end of a rope singing of love and passion.  This seduces him away from his noble fiance and into conflict with Carmen's bullfighting lover.  You just know this is not going to end well at all.

Nessun Dorma - Turandot by Giacomo Puccini - It is sung by Calaif (The Unknown Prince) to challenge Turandot to guess his name before morning.  The cold princess threatens to kill all the citizens if they cannot determine his name.  This time that last "Vincero" (I Shall Win) works out when she yields and says his name is love. 

O Mio Bambino Caro - Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini - I actually wrote a blog article about the problems with teenage girls awhile back.  Enjoy the story

La Donna e Mobile - Rigoletto by Giuseppi Verdi - The cynical Duke of Mantua blames all evils on the fickleness and constant changeability of women.  Coming from a playboy who flits from woman to woman, you suspect he may be seeing himself in them rather than reality.

Sull'aria - The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - You may remember this one from a key scene in The Shawshank Redemtion.  -

"Red: [narrating] I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free. "

The duet is actually the dictation by the Countess to her maid Susanna  of a letter of seduction from another woman so that the Countess can catch her husband the Count in an unfaithful assignation.  This results in a rather rediculous comedy of errors where everyone is chasing the wrong someone.

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More and more commercials, TV shows and films are using operatic themes in their scores.  One of the best was Moonstruck with its key scenes of La Boheme and the beautiful aria Quando m'en vo'.  Lower the key.  Hand the sheet music to Della Reese, and you get the hit song:  Don't You Know.

08 September 2010

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

David Tennant reads Shakespeare sonnets

Two more with love

Then for fun, get the names of the plays as you Brush Up Your Shakespeare

03 September 2010

5 On Friday - Some Things Never Grow Old

Another edition of Trav's 5 on Friday rolls around again.  Be sure to stop by his website for all the instructions and sign in to share your selections.  This is a truly fun meme, and we all want to hear the music you love.

In his song, "Some Things Never Grow Old", Vince Gill has the lines:

Eatin' watermelon down to the rind
Any ol' song by Brother John Prine

Here are five songs by John Prine. I stayed with the lighter ones for this visit, but if you want to give a listen to some of his more serious or seriously funny ones try: Hello In There, Flag Decal, Sam Stone
Oh forget it, just click on the link on his name and do yourself a favor:  See the man in person or buy every piece of music he has ever recorded.

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