June 30, 2006
How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Balrog?
It seems as if The Lord of the Rings: The Musical is being yanked prematurely from its run in Toronto, to be sent back to the drawing board. The producers blame low-brow North Amurican audiences and snarky press critics for the show's failure.
Well, good luck with v. 2.0! In the spirit, might I suggest to the producers that they add in this little ditty:
What do the Elvin folk do
To help them escape when they're blue?
The Noldo who is ailing, the Green Elf who is glum
Feanor when he's wailing from nailing his thumb
When they're beset and besieged
The folk not Mandos obliged
However do they manage to shed their weary lot?
Oh, what do Elvin folk do we do not?
We have been informed by thoses who knowes them well
They find relief in quite a clever way
When they're ssssssssorely pressed, they whistle for a spell
And whistling seems to brighten up their day
And that's what Elvish folk do
Sssssso they say
Ssssssssso they say. Terrible Elves with bright eyessss!
Well what do the Dwarvish folk do
To pluck up the heart and get through?
The Khazad and the stone folk
Who wander to and fro
Have ways known to their own folk
We wicked folk don't know
When all the mithril's gone
What keeps each of them in his skin?
What ancient native custom provides the needed glow?
Oh, what do Dwarvish folk do?
Do you know?
Once, upon the road, we came upon a lad
Ssssssinging in a voice three times his size
When we asked him whysies, he told us he was sssssssad
And singing always made his spirits rise
And that's what Dwarvish folk do
We sssssurmises. What's sssssurmises, Precious?
Arise, Nazgul, arise, Nazgul
Gorgoroth's lighting the skies, Nazgul
Morgul shinesssss with death
And daffodils whither away
Hear Sauron call to one and all
And flee delight while you may
The world is bright and all's not right
Till life's no longer merry and gay
What do the Hobbit folk do?
They must have a system or two
They obviously outshine us at hiding precious trinkets
And tricks the Dark Lord is minus from birth
What, then, I wonder, do they
To chase all the goblins away?
They have some tribal sorcery you haven't mentioned yet
Oh, what do Hobbit folk do to forget?
Often, we have found, they take a nassssssty stance
And tell Preciiiioussss to take us completely in control
Ssssssoon our minds is blank and oh, we're in a trance
A violent trance astounding to behold
And that's what Hobbit folk do
Ssssssso we're told
We have found
What do the Uruk-Hai do
To help them escape when they're blue?
They sit around and wonder what Ssssaruman would do
And that's what Uruk-Hai do
Oh, no, really?
We hasssss it on the best authority.
Yes, that's what the Uruk-Hai doooooooooo!
We'll talk royalties later.
I see that David Hasselhoff had to get surgery after severing a tendon in his arm. But see if the way he's reported to have done so makes sense to you:
The 53-year-old actor, who played lifeguard Mitch Buchannon on the TV beach drama for 11 years, was shaving at a gym in the Sanderson Hotel on Thursday when he hit his head on a chandelier, showering his arm with broken glass, his publicist, Judy Katz, said.
I'm sorry, but I'm having a very hard time picturing this. Either that, or else there is some obscure, slangy and maybe NSFW definition of the word "shaving" of which I am unaware.
Fountain Fun for the 4th
Want to explode something fun but fire-free next Tuesday? Watch this insane video. It's a hysterical and spectacular Diet Coke & Mentos-fueled version of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.
Don't ket the kiddies singe their fingers on tedious old Sparklers! Instead give them bubbly jets of Diet Coke tracing twinkly, sugar-free arcs above your backyard. You'll be the hit of the block!
Big cuppa iced chai to my gal, Mrs. Keysunset!
Worst 70's Song EVAH!
As readers of my old blog, Truly Bad Films may remember, my husband Pep and I have a game were we vie to overscrape the bottom of the bad 70's song barrel, attempting to find new and neglected lows by which to nettle and horrify each other.
Pep always preaches that Paul McCartney's Silly Love Songs is the absolute worst song of the 70's. For me, the worst is divided between two songs: Afternoon Delight and Chevy Van. To the acute discomfort of those near me whilst I drink Cosmopolitans, I can - and will - sing both of these songs, in toto, back-to-back. And this is why I stopped drinking.
Last night I was reminded of the truly bottomless well of bad songs the 70's granted us as I watched the Stiller/Wilson Starsky and Hutch movie. It's a Velveeta Goldmine of ghastly, bootie-shakin' tunes. I didn't get to see all of it last night, but for the music alone, I'm already in love with this Truly Bad Film.
So, which 70's song do you nominate as your Worst 70's Song EVAH?
More Yips! from Robbo: Two related items I wanted to pass along: First, in the category of most obscure bad 70's song, I had the 45 record of CW McCall's "Convoy," which was bad enough. But the flip side was a song called "Long Lonesome Road". Trucker ballad. Ew. Just thought it should get a mention here.
Also, at the time, my personal choice for most awful 70's song was the Stones' "Angie". My brother and I used to do a kung fu version of it, emphasizing especially the second, drawn out, "Ayeeeeeen-jeh."
Chai Yipping Back to Robbo: OMG - trucker ballads! That's a whole new sub-basement of dreck. I can't believe we had this in common - and are willing to reveal it in public - but I owned the 45 of "Convoy" too. I traded a 45 of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" with Mrs. Keysunset to get it. Talk about a lose/lose deal!
PS - How I wish you could share a home movie of kung-fu "Angie!"
In Vino, Nemesis
The Colossus reviews the bane of my party circuit, that Grand Poobah of mislabeled cough-syrup: Yellow Tail Shiraz.
This wine haunts me. I know that whatever party I attend - church, pool, school or neighborhood, it's going to be there, watching every breath I take, every move I make. And since as often enough it's the only thing on offer, it taunts me as well. "Well, what's it gonna be, Robbo?" it asks, "Me or that Diet Coke over there? Yeah, I thought so. Beyotch."
Damn you, Yellow Tail! Damn you to heeeeeelllll!
June 29, 2006
Hamas' offer to return the kidnapped IDF soldier should lay to rest any fantasies the Lefties have that the new PA government could "grow" into something other than a bloodthirsty pack of thugs bent on the destruction of Israel. The recent change in control of the PA gave rise to flights of fantasy that a terrorist organization can change overnight when faced with the challenge of running a government. Well, the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and the demands from Hamas for numerous concessions erased any doubt that the kidnapping was done at the direction of the PA and with its support.
Gratuitous Outdoor Posting (TM) - Garden Division
It appears that the @#(*$&*% deer have got into my garden in the past week or two. They (or she, as the hoof prints indicate a singleton) cropped the black-eyed susans and the white coneflowers. Also the columbine (which is odd, as it was going to seed anyway). Aaaand one of the hydrangia hanging over the back fence.
Grrrrr, I say. Grrrrrrrr!!!
The deer usually don't jump the garden fence until later on in the fall when they suddenly feel the need to fatten up for winter. Why they're doing so now is a sweet mystery. I'm sure it's Dubya's fault somehow.
Anyway, God damn Bambi and all of his ilk.
Y'know, our dear pal Kathy the Cake-Eater has been after me for some time to try a natural yet rayther unorthodox pest deterent. I am this close to giving it a wizz, so to speak.
No, I won't post pictures. If you want them, you can come and take them yourselves.
Fatah claims to have used WMDs
one of the armed nutjob groups of Fatah claims to have popped off a rocket with chemical warhead from Gaza into Israel. I wonder if the Israelis reserve the right to treat chemicals weapons as WMDs to be responded with, say, a low-yield tactical nuke. That way, the fine residents of Gaza will no longer need electricity for lights as the ones who are not dead will be glowing. Just wondering. . .
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
My initial impression on the practical outcome of today's decision is there will not be any trials at all; unlawful combatants held at Gitmo and elsewhere will simply be held for the duration of the war-however long that will be which means they will rot in Cuba until their home country wants to take them.
A completely unrelated observation: the plurailty opinion by Justice Stevens is notable for the contortions it goes through to avoid the plain language of the Detainee Treatment Act which strips the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, of jurisdiction to hear habeas petitions from Gitmo.
Going downstate today to see a man about a horse. Should be back later on this afternoon.
So if you see a jeep-driving Llama out there today, make sure to wave.
June 28, 2006
Now There's Some Good News....
Welcome back! Yip! Yip!
Someone Tell Sam Jackson
My pal SnackPack4000 sent this one to me saying, "this is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen."
"Listen to me Sam,
I need to let you know
You don't have to have an afro!"
I present the lyrical, the U2-inspired, Someone Tell Sam Jackson He's My Bro.
Pre-Historic Party Gone Out of Bounds
CNN reported this week on a "tropical Stonehenge" located in the northern region of Brazil. Experts say it may represent the vestiges of a centuries-old astronomical observatory.
"It is [one] block's alignment with the winter solstice that leads us to believe the site was once an astronomical observatory," said Mariana Petry Cabral, an archaeologist at the Amapa State Scientific and Technical Research Institute.
I think Mariana has had a tuny bit tee much to drink . . . much like the creators of the "archeological site." So I'm going to go for a much more descriptive name than "tropical Stonehenge." I shall call it what it looks like: Keggerhenge!
See the photo on page one? Right underneath the picture there is an option to page through 3 other images from the site. Click thru those and tell me this "archeological site" looks like anything more than the back yard of a KA house on Sunday morning.
Tall sweatin' glass of ice-cold Red Zinger to my bud Mr. Keysunset for sending this one to me.
From the Mos Eisley Cantina
Mother Cindy's hunger strike. No news if Michael Moore will be joining in.
As the psychiatrist said of Basil Fawlty, "There's enough material there for an entire conference."
In case you're wondering where the better half of this gig is lurking, I got a message from Steve-O a while ago that he had managed to lock himself out of the Moo Knew Collective and couldn't remember his password.
Which if you knew Steve, is not in the least surprising.
Anyhoo, a plea has been sent to our great Emperor Pixy Misa to come and help us pick the lock. Hopefully, Steve-O will be dialed back in presently.
Gratuitous Philosophy Posting
(Image lifted from Wikipedia.)
I see that today is the birthday of Jolly Jean-Jacques Rousseau (as Rumpole calls him), born this day in 1712.
Three things come to mind when I think of Rousseau:
First, for somebody with such a shockingly screwed up personal life, he seemed awfully assured in his belief that he could instruct others how to manage their own.
Second, all that blathering about "Noble Savages" is just so much nostalgie pour la boue, a nasty psychiatric condition tied to self-loathing. It's infuriating that so much of Western art, philosophy and politics should have been (and should continue to be) influenced by it.
Third, whenever somebody starts bloviating in earnest about the Perfectability of Mankind, it's time to run for it because a whole lot of people are going to wind up dead and a whole lot more are going to wish they were.
As you can tell, I'm no fan.
UPDATE: Speaking of my general hatred of Romanticism, a new exhibition is opening at the National Gallery in London. Entitled "Rebels and Martyrs," it explores "'the romantic myth of the genius suffering artist' that arose in the early 19th century and is still going strong 200 years later."
Indeed. And the exhibit notes how some artistes play it to the hilt:
For some artists, the pressure of being an outsider proved unbearable.
The exhibition contains two works by Paul Gaughin and van Gogh, painted in the same year, in which each artist likens his own agonies to those of Jesus Christ. Gaughin's "Agony in the Garden" shows a suffering Christ with the artist's own features. In van Gogh's "Pieta After Delacroix," the pale, dead figure of Christ has the red hair and beard of the painter.
Whenever I think of Gaughin, I'm reminded of a cartoon I saw in the New Yorker years ago. It featured a couple of upscale power women in their late 40's looking at one of his paintings of Polynesian girls. One of the women is saying to the other one, "That goddam son of a bitch!" Heh.
As a matter of fact, I wouldn't mind seeing this exhibit myself. As I say, I disapprove of most notions of Romanticism reyther intensely, but it's still nonetheless interesting to see how they've developed.
Well, I see where the proposed anti-flag burning amendment was defeated in the Senate by one vote.
Frankly, this doesn't bother me in the least.
Under current Constitutional law, I believe the Supremes got it right back in 1989 with the Texas v. Johnson case: flag-burning is a form of political expression and, as such, subject to First Amendment protection.
The just-failed proposal would, of course, have overturned that, specifically nixing the current First Amendment protection of such actions. But while this is perfectly permissible under our Constitutional system, it strikes me as a heroic waste of time and effort as well as a dangerous messing about with First Amendment principles (in this, I disagree with Taranto's opinion that passage of the amendment would be "essentially harmless").
It strikes me that the better way to deal with flag-burner types (and by the way, just how many of them are there these days?) is by challenging them in the marketplace of ideas. All weapons are available - scorn, ridicule, debate, patriotic fervor, whatever. Or, one can do the same with them that one does with any other purveyor of dumb-ass stunts - ignore them.
UPDATE: They're batting the issue around in the Corner today with some apparent split of opinion. J-Pod reminds me that there actually may be some value to semi-regular Congressional fretting over the matter:
Jonah, I also oppose the flag-burning amendment. But as a strictly Machiavellian matter, as a sheerly political stunt, you have to admit that it's one of those peculiar gifts that keeps on giving. Republicans can bring it up every few years or so during an election year to torment Democrats and drive the New York Times and Jonathan Alter into a state of near-psychosis. Cynical? You betcha.
Random Commuter Observation
I have to say that this whole "Tim & Faith" thing makes me rather ill.
Those of you who spend any time at all listening to country radio will know what I'm talking about.
June 27, 2006
The Crack-Up Begins
The Archbishop of Canterbury released a statement today mulling the evident continued defiance of the Episcopal Church to the Anglican Communion's demand for a moratorium on the election of openly gay bishops and contrition for the ECUSA's action in approving such an election back in 2003. Even Rowan Williams, who is hardly a conservative, seems to have his apostolic nose out of joint:
“… whatever the presenting issue, no member Church can make significant decisions unilaterally and still expect this to make no difference to how it is regarded in the fellowship; this would be uncomfortably like saying that every member could redefine the terms of belonging as and when it suited them. Some actions – and sacramental actions in particular - just do have the effect of putting a Church outside or even across the central stream of the life they have shared with other Churches.”
Of course, there are plenty of liberal Episcopalians who have no problem whatever with this brand of do-your-own-thing religion.
The Archbish suggests that perhaps the Communion might split into "Constituent" and "Associate" members, the former making a formal pledge to respect the will of the Communion as a whole and the latter as sort of Anglicans In Name Only:
“Those churches that were prepared to take this on as an expression of their responsibility to each other would limit their local freedoms for the sake of a wider witness: some might not be willing to do this. We could arrive at a situation where there were ‘constituent’ Churches in the Anglican Communion and other ‘churches in association’, which were bound by historic and perhaps personal links, fed from many of the same sources but not bound in a single and unrestricted sacramental communion and not sharing the same constitutional structures”.
Dr. Williams also notes that a split of this sort would necessarily fall out on a parish by parish level:
“It could mean the need for local Churches to work at ordered and mutually respectful separation between constituent and associated elements; but it could also mean a positive challenge for churches to work out what they believed to be involved in belonging in a global sacramental fellowship, a chance to rediscover a positive common obedience to the mystery of God’s gift that was not a matter of coercion from above but that of ‘waiting for each other’ that St Paul commends to the Corinthians.”
Yup, looks like schism to me. This is more or less what I've been thinking may happen. (Incidentally, it was reported to me over the weekend that there was not the slightest chance that my own church would leave the Communion in order to go off with any ECUSA separatists. I hope this is true, as it would mean that I could avoid a great deal of personal turmoil.)
Meanwhile, the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa have fired off their own open letter to the ECUSA:
We have observed the commitment shown by your church to the full participation of people in same gender sexual relationships in civic life, church life and leadership. We have noted the many affirmations of this throughout the Convention. As you know, our Churches cannot reconcile this with the teaching on marriage set out in the Holy Scriptures and repeatedly affirmed throughout the Anglican Communion. All four Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion advised you against taking and continuing these commitments and actions prior to your General Convention in 2003.
CAPA also saw fit to include a message to those conservative Episcopalians still clinging to their posts:
We assure all those Scripturally faithful dioceses and congregations alienated and marginalised within your Provincial structure that we have heard their cries.
As I say, I think it significant that even Dr. Williams appears to have been goaded into talking about a split. But while he still seems to be seeking some kind of patch-work compromise, I'm not sure that this will satisfy the rest of the Communion if CAPA's initial comment is anything to go on.
Britons Strike Home
Yesterday marked the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross, the highest award given by the Crown for gallantry in action. A ceremony at Westminster Abbey marking the event was attended by eight of the twelve surviving VC medalists.
The very first Victoria Cross was awarded to Lt. Charles David Lucas who, on June 21, 1854, while serving aboard H.M.S. Hecla, picked up a live Russian shell that landed on the ship's deck and threw it overboard.
A total of 1355 VC's have been awarded altogether, the bulk of them going to Brits, Scots and Irishmen, although there is a generous distribution among other members of the Empire, as well as a number of extra-Commonwealth recipients including five Americans.
According to Wikipedia, the largest number of VCs awarded in a single day was 24 on November 16, 1857, at the relief of Lucknow (about which Flashy would know a thing or two, what?). The largest number awarded in a single action was 11 at Rorke's Drift on January 22, 1879. The largest number of Victoria Crosses awarded in a single conflict was 634 during the First World War. Three men have won the VC twice.
Hats off to all of these fine people.
Yips! to Tim Worstall, who has some pointed comments about the way some current VC holders have been treated by HM Government.
Somewhere over the last few days, I heard someone say: "Karl's Rove's dingo ate my baby!" Well, here is a photo of the culprit, courtesy of the X-Donk.
Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
Hats off to our old friend Chan the Bookish Gardener, who celebrates the completion of her first year of piano lessons with a recording of her own performance of Debussey's Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum.
Brava! Brava! Yip! Yip! Yip!
An Embarrassment of Riches
I meant to mention about our recent weekend getaway that every time we head down to the Fredericksburg area, we always make a stop at Riverby Books, a used bookstore on Caroline Street downtown.
This time around, I was doubly gratified in that I stumbled across two books I'd never known of before from two of my favorite authors.
The first is Evelyn Waugh's Labels, his 1929 account of a cruise 'round the Mediterranean. True to form, Mr. Woo has plenty of acid things to say about tourons, touron-related activities and, well, people in general. (He starts by labeling the entire city of Paris as "bogus" and goes on from there.) Wickedly delightful, so far.
The second is Robert Graves' Watch The North Wind Rise. I know most of Graves' historical fiction (plus his two autobiographies) very well. This novel is his foray into futuristic Utopia. So far, the most fascinating aspects of it are the way it relates back to his writings on Ancient Greece and his theories about a pre-Olympian, pan-Mediterranean goddess-worship.
I'll let you know what I think of both.
What? You think I strolled out of a used book store with only two volumes in my bag? Perish the thought! I also nabbed a copy of the Countess of Longford's Wellington: The Years of the Sword as well as Antonia Fraser's biography of Marie Antoinette.
The Missus and the Llama-ettes are headed for the beach for a week or two shortly. I reckon these will keep me occupied nicely until they come back.
But I Hate Pigeons!
|You Are Bert|
You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you
You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil
How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
Gratuitous Civil War Posting
(Image of Gen. Sherman lifted from this site.)
Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, fought this day in 1864 during William Tecumseh Sherman's drive on Atlanta. The battle, in which Gen. Sherman attempted to break a well-entrenched Confederate defensive line head on, quickly ended in heavy Union casualties and stalemate, forcing Sherman to return to his previous tactic of flanking the Confederate positions and forcing them to fall back, a tactic which eventually led to Atlanta's fall roughly five weeks later.
Although this battle meant little in the larger scale of things, I note it with some pride, as my great-great-grandfather fought in it, serving as an officer in the Ohio 10th Independant Light Artillery Battery in the Army of the Cumberland under Gen. George H. Thomas. A number of years ago, the Missus put together a family tree for me and actually tracked down great-great-grandad's military files at the National Archives. They included his induction, promotions (he volunteered as a private, became a sergeant and then later a lieutenant), discharge and a beautiful copperplate handwritten leave request. All fascinating stuff.
According to this site, the area all around Kennesaw is being developed and many of the old battlefield works are being lost. However, if you scroll most of the way down the page, you'll see a photograph of the 10th Ohio's later position at Nickajack Creek.
UPDATE: It seems some guys have got together to recreate the 10th Ohio. Pretty cool. (I believe that one of them actually contacted me the last time I mentioned my affiliation, but there wasn't really much I could tell him.) According to their site, the gun pits I mention above appear to be being saved.
Blogosphere a Little Emptier Today
I'm sad to report that Rob at Gut Rumbles passed away on Monday of this week. This man never had a thought that didn't make it to his very popular Southern fried blog in the most foul language he could muster. But the S.O.B. was funny and he could make a compelling story out of a trip to the bathroom. As a very dear friend of mine says, "He cut a wide swath."
Velociman wrote a fitting eulogy for Rob. I'm sorry that I never met Rob in person. I love words and he loved to make up words. As far as I'm concerned, Rob introduced the word "f**ktard" to the blogosphere. I'm going to miss his onery voice and all the wonderful, anti-PC, offensive gems he made up. May you safely "pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees," Acidman!
Wet Llama Exhibition
Mayun things are soggy 'round here.
The latest weather forecast says Dee Cee is supposed to see the worst of le deluge today, after which the whole thing rolls north and we settle back into a pattern of hot, humid days with the odd thunderstorm here and there.
A lot of people seem to have stayed home from work today, or else are coming in late. The metro was not at all crowded. Nonetheless, it still took an hour and more to do the normal thirty minute trip.
As you've probably read, Father Justice is still suffering. I've got Internet access now (which is fortunate, given that I have to do an electronic filing this afternoon), but email and voicemail are still out.
The electricity at home has been cutting in and out since yesterday. I think this has more to do with Virginia Power flipping the switches so it can fix things than anything else. There's also been a bit of minor flooding around my neighborhood. Fortunately, it's been mostly confined to the gullies and creeks. We live on a hillside so are relatively immune from that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, the series of evening storms we've had the past three or four nights has finally convinced the Llama-ettes that they are afraid of lightning and thunder. This has made getting them to go to bed something of a challenge.
Personally, I blame George Bush for all of this.
June 26, 2006
As you've probably heard, Dee Cee has been getting walloped with rain the past day or two. In addition to flooding out the metro, causing me a two hour delay in getting downtown this morning, it also swamped Father Justice's main building. Email, voice mail, Internet access - all out.
I've been going through some serious withdrawal all day.
Count on Special Agent Bedhead to ask the really important question. . .
"whatever happened to Lita Ford?"
How to Win on eBay
Slashdot has a post today explaining that the best way to win an auction on eBay is to wait until the end and slide in your bid at the very last second.
The study quoted at Slashdot says that your chances of winning actually go down with multiple bids. Yeah - I've won some of my eBay struggles by going the sneaky last-bid route, but it seems so unsporting and you have to time it just right. What if the auction expires at 3 a.m.?
My best stategy for winning on eBay is to put in the most obscene bid I'm willing to pay and sit back to watch the pretenders try and outbid me. It is perverse fun, but by gawd nobody's getting that lipstick but me!!!
New post headquarters
The colors are up over the new post headquarters, amidst the vast real estate holdings that comprise Fort LMC. After all of the static that went into this move, my next will be to a retirement home thirty or forty years from now where I will get a massage every day from some comely Scandanavian type named "Ingrid" or "Brigitte".
"James Tiberius" if it is a boy . . .
Jen, formerly Jen Speaks, is with child. Surf on over and offer your congratulations.
June 25, 2006
The Reality-Based Community....or Hey Kos, Uranus is in a sling!!
Bush is going to destroy something, and there are a few options, the Republican Party certainly being one of them.
He could destroy the world (his Mars astrocatography line is in the ME, and maybe he 'projects' a nuclear bomb there), he could destroy himself with the bottle (Cancer ingress of Saturn in his 12th), he could destroy the Democratic Party by their fellated ways (south node conjunct the Dems pro. Sun), he could destroy the USA as we've known it (GOP/USA/Bush sun conjunct transited by Varuna/Saturn), into some sort of dictoral regime.
Basically, the guys got a competitive timebomb ticking up his butt, and he's gonna shit it out on someone, or explode (because he certainly isn't up to transforming-- though a transmigration is possible), Lincoln too was 57, and they may be the bookends of the neptunian play.
The Republican Party having their Varuna conjunct Bush's South node, which Pluto is going to transit, certainly means they are fair game for the Dems progressed Sun to eliminate (or vis versa).
Yes, a moderate party is a strong possibility. I had thought for some time that the Uranus transit across the USA's moon protended such a thing. Uranus at 25 Aquarius right now, the USA Moon at 27'12, that could spark some sort of "independence" movement in the US Senate (where I think it may have to begin).
The strong undercurrent to remember here, is that Bush and the Republicans have the US under a Neptunian spell, and that will break at some point-- and the indications are that it's before the 2004 elections.
Posted by: jerome on December 11, 2002 09:34 PM
Both, and we'll have to see which comes out ahead.
On the mutual reception of Neptune and Uranus, I've been thinking alot lately of the conjunction of these two in Capricorn that happened about a decade ago, and we need to begin there to understand what's unfolding from that cyclycal impetus. And if you'll recall, Saturn conjuncted those two planets as well there-- the mundane trifecta of this era.
I want to look in-depth at this transit of Saturn, which is in perhelion as it blasts through the USA's bucket, as it first opposses that Capricorn conjunction point, then Neptune, and then finally Uranus by 2008. We can see form being given to the impetus, but also the old ways try and hold back change.
As I pointed out in the "USA & 2003" thread, it seems now that the Uranus conjunct the USA's Moon has to do with returning freedom to the people, with power, via the internet, which is really coming into form now.
It's not a stretch to trace the whole internet back to the Uranus/Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, most of the reading there, it being in Capricorn, related it to business, and that's definetely occurred with Saturn, and quickly; but Uranus and Neptune have a different agenda.
This medium is in the very earliest stage of development. Typed-script is likely to give way to spoken-word, and then real-time face debate and intercourse, that's the freedom path we are headed toward.There is a shadow to this happening, isn't it odd that the internet grew out of the military?
Yep, I would consider that Uranus in Pisces gives another chance to nip this in the bud before it goes down that path again.
You ever read William Irwin Thompson? He talks about how, when the new forms of communication break out, the fundamentalist will attempt to hijack them, and use them to attempt to remain in power. I can't find the article online, but a reference to it below, isn't that an apt description of the Republicans attempt to "Use the War to Take Back the Culture" strategy?
Ventura, Michael. 1986. "Over the Edge of History with William Irwin Thompson." Utne Reader. June/July. Excerpted from the Los Angeles Weekly December 13, 1985.
"So I don't think the fundamentalists are going to stop anything. They can't, in fact, because fundamentalists tend to encourage their opposites. They're afraid of getting caught with the old technology, so they fling themselves into the new technology, hoping they can control it with their old ideology...."
Posted by: Jerome on December 18, 2002 10:57 AM
This from Mark Warner's chief political consultant.......?
Personally, I'm just loving watching the Rove/Hillary Non-aggression Pact unleash the fury of the MSM blitzkrieg on Markos' Merry Band of Deluded Revolutionaries.
Gratuitous Roadtrip Observations
I cannot recall the last time I went on a roadtrip of any length that the expression "jackass Maryland drivers" did not cross my lips at some point.
Normally with a streak like this, I'd check to see what the record is. In this case, I'm not going to bother - I'm sure too many other people feel the same way to give me any shot at entry into the Guiness book.
June 23, 2006
Is it just me?
Or is anyone else out there enjoying the hell out of the moonbatosphere blowing itself up in a circular firing squad worthy of, well, the finest traditions of the post-1968 Democratic Party?
The latest: it might just be me, but reading this here post from the New Republic, they just called Markos Zuniga suspiciously like a young Hitler.
Excuse me while I go rustle up some more popcorn.
UPDATE: Let's get this straight: Warner hires Kos's buddy, Kos suddenly fawns over Warner; Kos Konvention eerily reminiscent of a political convention, 19th century style, where Warner is well received; traditional lib media launches serious scorched-gaia campaign against Kos (and thereby to Warner).
Could it be the sign of the long-feared Hillary!/Rove Non-Aggression Pact?
I don't know about you, but I'm going long on popcorn futures.
Live Fire Exercise-Part II, or "Good Shootin', Tex"
The Navy conducted a successful intercept of a ballistic missile using a SM-III fired from USS Shiloh. Memo to The Dear Leader: go ahead, pop off that rocket, you know you want to . . .
An interesting aside, here is the homepage of Shiloh, the 21st ship of the Ticonderoga class and a fine example of Reagan-era defense spending.
A rather vicious little thunderstorm got itself up over Orgle Manor late last evening. The lightning and thunder were enough to wake up the Llama-ettes - a very rare occurance, given that they usually sleep like the dead - and send them scurrying into our room.
As I lay there surrounded by my brood, I got musing again about the fact that back in my Bad Boy days, I used to think that sharing a bed with multiple beautiful girls would be pretty awesome.
Of course, back then it never occured to me that it might turn out like this.
Conclusive proof, I thought again last night, that God has a very dry sense of humor indeed.
I Heart Lunch Ladies
Though all of my Llama Butcher brothers (Robbo, Steve and LMC) are chronologically younger than me, anyone who read my posts at Truly Bad Films knows that only Steve-O rivals me for sophomore humor. Yeah - we're twins, and this was borne out last week when readers here mistook my post for Steve's. It's gonna be hard to tell us apart, but he's the one with spats, a monocle and a pet mongoose.
Maybe we all have a soft spot for the very unglamorous lunch ladies who feed us. I know I do, and this doll reminds me of the all-too-short-lived but hilarious television show Cedric the Entertainer Presents. Cedric did a sketch in "cafeteria lady" drag. Of course, he made for a gigantic, hulking lunch lady with facial hair - so he was 100% believable. A staple joke for this character was that she never had anything left to serve except "cawn an' mash puhtatus" which came ladled out with plenty of insults.
As much as I loved Cedric's "cafeteria lady" she wasn't my all-time favorite lunch lady. My fav worked here at the college back when all the entrees were dished out by a professional lunch staff just like in first grade. (Now we're allowed to serve ourselves. Anarchy reigns!) Sad to say, I've forgotten her name, but let's call her Myrtle as that sounds very "lunch lady" to me.
If charcoal could talk it would sound like Myrtle. She had the deepest, rasping croak imaginable from 40+ years of smoking. She spooned generous heaps of whatever onto your plate and then she'd say "Is 'at a plenny fo ya honey?"
Is 'at a plenny fo ya honey?
This has to be the single best lunch lady line ever, but you have to imagine it delivered in that nicotine baritone to love it like I do.
What's your lunch lady story?
June 22, 2006
Quite possibly the greatest single blogpost. EVER.
My Daughter Is Insane
The Missus took the eight and six year old Llama-ettes down to King's Dominion today. (The four year old was not allowed to go owing to a case of not listening to Mom at the pool the other day which resulted in the lifeguard having to fish the floundering child out of the deep end.)
Anyhoo, when I asked the eldest how the day went, she reported that she had ridden the Anaconda all by herself.
This is a ride I wouldn't dare set foot on. The gel is insane.
Apparantly, the loop-to-loops scared the absolute bejaysus out of her, because when she got off, she cried. But only, as she told me, "for twenty steps". The Missus reports that the gel got herself back together remarkably quickly. And as a reward for being such a big girl, the Llama-ette is downstairs with the Missus this evening watching the new
abomination rendition of Pride & Prejudice, something else I wouldn't dare do. In fact, if given the choice, I'd sooner take the roller-coaster.
When I asked the gel if she'd ever get back on the Anaconda, she laughed sheepishly and said no, probably not. Somehow, I don't especially believe her.
Point Five is launching the take-no-prisoners drive for 2006 and 2008 to remind the Republican "base" of just what the hell is really going on here. As I've said before, squabbling about this or that domestic policy doesn't count for a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys in the face of the wider challenge we face. Do you really want the likes of Pelosi, Reid and Dean trying to deal with the GWOT? I didn't think so. That's why I've got no problem whatever jumping on this bandwagon.
Yips! to Gary the Ex-Donk.
Gratuitous Llama Weekend Getaway Posting
Having been on the road working all of last weekend, I've been a bit out of whack the past couple days. In addition, because I did not get back until late Monday, I also wound up missing the celebration of my thirteenth wedding anniversary with the Missus.
Well, we're taking steps to rectify both of those problems.
Tomorrow, we're off to my Godparents' place to spend a couple nights. They live out in the country near Fredericksburg, in a house that would make an excellent bed & breakfast if they ever chose to go that way. While the photo above is not actually the view from their front door (I found it instead at this site), it is very, very much like it. It is one of the most relaxing and peaceful places I've ever been to.
The weather forecast is calling for thunderstorms all weekend. That really doesn't concern me in the least - it'll simply mean more time sitting about with an adult beverage in one hand and a big, friendly dog trying to shove his wet snout into the other.
And the best part about our getaway? No kids.
Bruce Arena for Secretary of State
I mean, how much more would the world hate us if we were good at soccer (strike that---if our men were good at soccer)?
With apologies to you soccer nerds out there (both of you) I see this as win/win.
"Get Ready! Get Reeeady! The Wuuuurld Is Coming To An End!"***
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. James Lileks:
I am not susceptible to disaster scenarios. I do not believe we have ten years to prevent the inevitable collapse of civilization. As long as I can remember I have been fed end-times scenarios – death by ice, death by fire, death by famine, death by smothering from heaps of clambering humans scrabbling for purchase on an overpopulated world, death by full-scale nuclear exchange, death by unstoppable global AIDS, death by a two-degree rise in temperatures, death by radon, death by alar, death by inadvertent Audi acceleration, death by juju. Doesn’t mean we won’t die of juju. But somehow we survive. The only thing I take away is a vague wistful wonder what it would be like to live in an era when things were generally so bad that the futurists spent their time assuring us it would be better. Say what you will about the past, but at least they had a future. All I’ve ever had, according to the experts, is a grim narrow window of heedless ignorance bliss followed by a dystopian irradiated world characterized by scarcity, mutation, and quite possibly intelligent chimps. You have no future. Oh, and don’t smoke!
I’m a stupid optimist. Either the vehicle that takes me to the boneyard will get six miles per gallon of processed dinosaur, or it will run for ninety days on a milliliter of Sea-Monkey urine. Either way, all in all, we’ll make it.
What he said.
***Moderately easy spot-the-quote.
UPDATE: We have a winner! Congrats to Ed at Monkeywatch, who is entitled to his choice of cigar or coconut.
Gratuitous Llama Netflix Movie Review
After all these years I finally got around to seeing this movie. My opinion? Well......I thought Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder were great, but there just seemed to be something missing from the overall production. As if there were some ideas that just didn't get played out as far as they could have been. This was one of those rare instances when I thought a movie should have been longer than it actually was.
This makes me want to see the updated version with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, largely to see what Mel Brooks did with it after thirty-odd years to chew on things:
I don't recall what kind of reviews the 2005 movie got but I don't remember it making that big a splash.
As it happens, the Missus and I caught the road company stage performance of The Producers with Lewis Stadlin and Alan Ruck at the Kennedy Center a couple years ago. That, I recollect, was an awful lot of fun.
Thinking on all this, I have a very hazy and not-really-thought-out theory that stories about stage productions do best as stage productions and do not readily translate to the movie screen. One case in point is Kiss Me, Kate. While I've never seen it on stage, the movie version was generally stinky with a few bright spots here and there (although I like it nonetheless). Another is Noises Off. The movie was so-so, but the Missus and I went to see a stage production put on by her major advisor in Lynchburg, Virginia years ago that was absolutely, hysterically first rate.
I realize that this is a pretty limited pool from which to be drawing conclusions, but for now I'm sticking with my theory.
This won't make the moonbats happy
so, there really were WMDs in Iraq. My prediction is that the MSM will either ignore it, shift the emphasis to no stockpiles of WMDs, or argue it doesn't matter because the effectiveness of the weapons was degraded.
Unexpected Gratuitous Llama Blockbuster Video Review
The Missus surprised me by bringing this home the other night. I'd forgotten just how damned funny this show was. Somebody tell me again why it got the axe?
Gratuitous Wodehouse/Royal Navy Geek Posting
Regular readers of Plum Wodehouse will recollect that on appropriate occasions, Bertie Wooster will trot out a reference to the boy who stood on the burning deck whence all but he had fled.
This is the first line of the poem "Casabianca" by Felicia Hemens (1793-1835):
The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm;
A creature of heroic blood,
A proud, though child-like form.
The flames rolled on–he would not go
Without his Father's word;
That father, faint in death below,
His voice no longer heard.
He called aloud–'say, Father, say
If yet my task is done?'
He knew not that the chieftain lay
Unconscious of his son.
'Speak, father!' once again he cried,
'If I may yet be gone!'
And but the booming shots replied,
And fast the flames rolled on.
Upon his brow he felt their breath,
And in his waving hair,
And looked from that lone post of death
In still yet brave despair.
And shouted but once more aloud,
'My father! must I stay?'
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
The wreathing fires made way.
They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
They caught the flag on high,
And streamed above the gallant child,
Like banners in the sky.
There came a burst of thunder sound–
The boy–oh! where was he?
Ask of the winds that far around
With fragments strewed the sea!–
With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,
That well had borne their part–
But the noblest thing which perished there
Was that young faithful heart.
Just the sort of thing an Edwardian boy would be expected to memorize (and no doubt be compelled to recite in the drawing room for the amusement of his parents' visitors).
Now what I did not know is that the poem is actually a reference to the Battle of Aboukir Bay (aka the Battle of the Nile), fought August 1-2, 1798, in which Admiral Horatio Nelson utterly destroyed the French fleet supporting Napoleon's invasion of Egypt.
The French flagship was L'Orient of 120 guns, under the command of Admiral Paul D'Brueys. His flag captain, in charge of L'Orient herself, was Captain Casabianca whose son accompanied him on the expedition.
L'Orient was attacked by no fewer than three British ships of the line, Bellerophon, Alexander and Swiftsure. While she got the better of Bellerophon, in her subsequent pounding by the other two British ships, a fire broke out aboard L'Orient. By this time, both Brueys and Casabianca were dead. The legend, which sparked the poem, was that Casabianca's son refused to leave his father's body. The fire gradually spread and at around ten o'clock in the evening, reached L'Orient's powder magazine. The ship blew apart like a gigantic bomb, sending enormous chunks of debris flying in every direction. Firing all along the line ceased for a time in pure awe and horror at the spectacle.
I learned the tidbit about the connection between Hemens' poem and the fate of L'Orient while reading David Cordingly's The Billy Ruffian: The Bellerophon and the Downfall of Napoleon. And curiously enough, I read about it just as I was grumbling to myself about the book. Don't mistunderstand - it's a very good primer from the ordinary layman's perspective. But I've read so much about Nelson's navy in the past few years that I'm reaching the point where this kind of popular treatment is beginning to, well, bore me a bit and I need to move on to more advanced, specialized works. (That sounds reyther thnobbish, I know, but it's true nonetheless.)
On the other hand, this whole post just goes to show the danger of being too dismissive of the simpler sources of information.
One never knows, what?
June 21, 2006
Back, but exhausted
I'm back in town having headed up to Maryland to give a lecture thingee. Driving back, I was the beltway speed-demon, making back in time for my daughter's swim meet's last two events: I missed her swim the IM and the 50 free, but got to see her backstroke and free relay. She's swimming with the 9-10 group now, which is a big change (longer distances plus the dreaded flip turns for free and back) but she loves it so. I actually love the swim meets---in her league, they are on Wednesday nights, and they provide a nice ritualistic structure to the Summer. It's a pretty casual affair, and there's something fun about the cheering for the kids because, once they're in the water, you really can't tell one kid from another, so it's an equal opportunity cheer-a-thon.
Anyhoo, probably nothing from me until later tomorrow evening---I'm butt-tired, and want to spend the day with the kiddies as well as getting some serious weeding done in the garden. For some reason, I've hit an inner karma with the gardening this year, and it is doing something for me at a pretty deep level. Driving home tonight, I was thinking in many ways the past six weeks have been the happiest ordinary days of my life---that is, setting aside the big ticket items of getting married/birthing of kids/discovery of a 1/2 off sale at Ben n' Jerry's, it's all been coming together lately. The garden has been woven through this in a way that I don't necessarily understand, and to be perfectly honest, I don't want to. Short answer: Stevie is very happy at a deep and quiet level. Maybe being 40 aint so bad after all.
UPDATE: QUOTE OF THE DAY DEPARTMENT
Scrolling around and catching up on the last few days I came across this gem from Jonah:
My link earlier today to my column on the "perfidious influence" of Wilson made many readers think they'd get a column on that other crapweasel Joe Wilson. I meant Woodrow.
Palies Driving For The Ditch?
***Bumped and updated***
According to the latest reports from the Episcopal Church's General Convention going on in Columbus, Ohio, it appears the Church is still flirting dangerously with the possibility of getting booted out of the Anglican Communion.
Apparently, this afternoon is supposed to be the last chance for the Convention to pass a moratorium on the ordination of openly homosexual bishops and it hasn't done so yet. Also, the House of Delegates approved a watered-down version of an apology to the Communion for confirming the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, thereby starting this whole wretched firestorm.
I would expect that, somehow or other, in the end the Church is going to put together some kind of "compromise" package designed to mollify all (or at least most) of the factions involved in the debate and proclaim the Convention a success. But the real test is going to be whether Canterbury feels it to be sufficient enough to champion to the rest of the Communion and whether the rest of the Communion is in any mood to be receptive to it. My sense here is probably not. It's fashionable these days to bemoan the encroachment of American "values" worldwide. But most people doing the moaning are generally referring to the hegemony of McDonald's, Nike and Hollywood. They forget that this kind of thing is applicable in the field of religion as well. And the vast majority of the Anglican Communion, as it currently stands, has no wish whatsoever to condone smarmy Episcopal progressivism.
BTW, this all comes on top of the surprising election over the weekend of Katherine Jefforts Schori to be the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. She's the first woman to hold that position. Personally, I've got no problem with this. But again, the majority of the Communion does not even have female bishops and will perceive this as another snap in their collective faces by the Episcopalians. Not the wisest of political moves if you're trying to ingratiate yourself.
Many people have asked me (well, one person did anyhoo): "Tom, what will you do if there's a schism in the Church?" Well, I still honestly don't know. One of the reasons I'm an Episcopalian to begin with is my love of tradition. This goes not just for matters of doctrine and form of worship, but for smaller matters as well, as (for example) attachment to my parish. We do things just so and I like that. So the idea of having to start over, or move to something new or radical is, of course, not very appealing.
If the Episcopal Church does, in fact, get tossed out of the Communion, I expect that it, in turn, will rupture, probably on a parish-by-parish level. Those individual churchs that do not wish to leave the Communion will probably band together in a rump loyalist organization, one that I'm sure the Anglicans will aid and embrace. The others will no doubt carry on, possibly allying themselves with similarly-minded congregations in Canada.
I suppose that my choices will depend on what my own church does. The congregation is so evenly split that I couldn't say which way it would lean. On the other hand, our rector is a solid liberal on this matter. In the end, if my church remains loyalist, then fine. If it goes off with the rebels, then I won't go with it. What then? Well, there are really only two options: find another Anglican enclave somewhere in the neighborhood or finally make up my mind to go to Rome.
We shall see.
UPDATE: Dave asks in the comments why I use the term "Palies". Well, that was the nickname on which I was brought up. Here are a few others:
the Frozen Chosen
Feel free to add any more that you might know.
UPDATE TROIS: That crashing sound you just heard may have been the split of the Anglican Communion.
UPDATE QUART: A couple of people have asked about those more conservative Episcopal churches that have sought to establish their own ties directly with other members of the Anglican Communion and outside the formal sway of the ECUSA. They are thinking of the American Anglican Council, a loose confederation that was first founded about ten years ago. A couple of parishes in my area have since joined up, especially in the aftermath of the 2003 General Convention. FWIW, they are dismissed by the more liberal members of my church as a bunch of kooks. If indeed the Episcopal Church is going off on its own tangent, it is likely that the AAC would be one of the rallying points for those parishes that do not wish to go with it.
UPDATE LE FIVE: Well, according to this article, the General Convention came up with some last-minute language asking diocese to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration" of candidates for bishop "whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church." The measure, which is non-binding, is a watered down version of an early call to the diocese to "refrain from" taking such action.
At least according to the article, this compromise really does nothing more than antagonize both sides. The Bishop of Dee Cee, for example, is already publicly thumbing his nose at any percieved restrictions in the final language.
I don't pretend to have the least inside information regarding how the Anglican Communion will view the results of General Convention and whether it considers these results to be close enough to the contrition mandated of the ECUSA by the Windsor Report to let it off the hook, but if I had to bet on it, I'd say probably not. There's just too much of the "We don't give a damn what Canterbury says" about the whole thing to give the rest of the Communion much wiggle room to reach a compromise. That assumes, of course, that it will want to do so and that it will not be so affronted as to simply cut off the ECUSA at the knees.
Church bureaucracy being what it is, of course, it will be quite some time before anything actually happens one way or the other.
I am deeply, deeply saddened by this whole wretched business.
Need You Ask?
|You Are 100% Gentleman|
Via the occasionally ladylike Lintenfiniel Jen.
UPDATE: But don't let this fool you into thinking I'm not a Bad Boy. I'm bad, Baybee. Baaaaad!
Sorry about the lack of posting today. Got a touch of the indejaggers. Better soon, I hope.
June 20, 2006
Those Darned Cats***
Lintenfiniel Jen has discovered the joys of YouTube. She celebrates by putting up a collage of the kinds of things cats do that are sooooooo adorable except, of course, when they decide to do them in the middle of the night and you've just managed to get off to sleep, in which case all you can think about is the surprising number of small, noisy objects that one cat evidently can discover and bat about on the wood floors and why you didn't put down your foot years before about getting the damned animals to begin with because, apart from all that banging around at 2:00 AM, all they do is get fur all over everything and break things and lounge about with that "I'd eat you if I were bigger than you" look on their faces and constantly fill up the bloody kitty litter and yes, Dear, I just shovelled it out yesterday, for pete's sake and damn, I just found another furball and the girls just found another dismembered mouse, okay, that's pretty disgusting and, yes, Dear, I'll get a paper towel and attend to the latest mess of cat-yak on the carpet and will you please stop following me around and yowling while I'm trying to get dressed, you blasted animal and hey, that's my chair and move yourself 'cos I can't read with your enormous feline derrier in my face and no, I'm tired of petting you and dammit, you just spilled my wineglass again and how much longer before I can finally demand a puppy?
[Insert deep breath here.]
Anyhoo, go on over and take a look.
***A super-deluxe trivial reference here. I'll give you one clue: think comics. And I need more than just the name of the strip. Okay, I'll give you two clues: It ain't Garfield.
UPDATE: We have a winner! Myxolydian Don is entitled to his choice of cigar or coconut. Small consolation, perhaps, for outing himself as such a Bloom County geek but hey.
I've only heard good things about Cars so far. I suppose this is evidence that Pixar's embrace by the Disney Empire has not proven fatal to the company's collective creative genious. Let's hope it stays that way.
And sooper-sekret note to Beth: The name you're thinking of is the great John Ratzenberger. If you want to really scramble your brain, go back and rent A Bridge Too Far and watch Lt. Cliffy helping Robert Redford ferry soldiers across the river at Nijmegen under German fire:
Eyah, Major Cook, there....It's a well-known fact that the German machine guns have a field of fire roughly equal to one half of the square of Goering's trouser-seat, multiplied to the power of 413, April 13 being the traditional date assigned to the defeat of the Roman general Varus in 9 A.D. by the Germanic tribes under Herman. Eyah, given that....I think we can get across the river, no problemo.
The Lost Weekend
There's something awfully disheartening about going on a four day business trip, working hard the whole time, staggering home exhausted and filthy late the last evening and finally crawling into your own bed only to wake up the next morning and realize that it's.........Tuesday.
That just ain't right.
It was a good trip, however. Any time you can make the other side's deponent sweat under questioning, you know you're on to a good thing.
A few other random observations:
---As I relayed to the LMC on Saturday, I confirmed yet again "Chip's" one-babe-to-a-plane axiom. The difference, though, is that this one actually sat next to me. And tried to strike up a conversation. [Sooper Sekret Message to Sadie: Ha!] She saw the top of my copy of Flashman's Lady sticking out of the seat pocket and, misreading "Flashman" for "Fishing", asked me if I liked to fish.
I must admit that I froze. I had already used up my regulation married guy three seconds of eye contact and warning klaxons were sounding all over the place. Any actual fraternization would have resulted in an automatic additional 1000 years in purgatory. So, looking more past her than at her, I smiled and said yes, I liked to fish but that the book didn't have anything to do with it. This seemed to shut her down because she didn't say much more, instead curling up and going to sleep. Yes, she eventually started leaning against my shoulder in her sleep. No, I did not enjoy it. At. All.
Meanwhile, the young dude sitting on the other side of me and very much interested in this girl was practically frothing that I was sitting next to her and he wasn't. Was that you, Chip?
---Speaking of such things, I swear that I saw Inara's little sister at my hotel. The one who plays on her high school basketball team because she's got such long legs. She was sitting at breakfast with what looked like the remains of a wedding party and had a particular way of cocking her head and arching her eyebrows when she was listening to somebody. Very studied. Very smooth. But then she would fall to cutting her food and her elbows would swing round like a couple of windmill blades. Ah, youth.
---Of course, as regular Llama readers know, my talents don't lie with the younger crowd. No, instead I seem to have a gift for attracting middle aged and elderly ladies, all of whom want to tell me what a nice young man I am. It took me half an hour to shake off the sweet old biddy manning the cash register in the hotel gift shop on Sunday. And yesterday, I almost missed my lunch break because the court reporter wanted to tell me all about her impressions of the writings of Bill Buckley. Perhaps I should quit this law gig and take up as an AARP rep.
--- Changing subjects, how many of you watched the finals of the U.S. Open on Sunday and poor old Phil Mickelson's spectacular choke on the last couple holes? Un. Freakin'. B'lievable. And note to self: Do not watch long, emotional sporting events in hotel bars. You can't afford it.
---Changing subjects again, I think it's high time that Congress pass a Federal Uniform Hotel Alarm Clock Act, which would require all hotels to use the same make and model of clock/radio. Every single time I go on the road, they're different. Half the time, I can't even figure out how they work and, even if I think I do, I wind up spending most of the night awake fretting about them. For all the times I've ever set a hotel alarm, I don't believe I've ever actually heard one go off.
---Finally, hats off to the men and women of "Ted" Airlines. The entire flight up to Dulles last evening, the stewardess kept coming on the p/a to say scary things about potential turbulance. Further, the crew made a big show of getting everything cleared and stowed ahead of time because they thought we were in for a rough landing. We came in without a bump. I think the gang on Ted does this just to mess with us.
June 19, 2006
Live Fire Exercise
North Korea is supposed to be getting ready to test fire a ballistic missile capable of reaching the West Coast. The Administration promised a response if The Dear Leader popped off a rocket. I hope it means a live-fire exercise for the missile defense facility in Alaska and/or an Aegis warship off the coast of Korea. A successful intercept would be a many-splendored thing.
UPDATE: Looks like I am not the only one who has been thinking along these lines. Colossus, great minds think alike.
Our first endorsement for the fall elections
Irate bloggers for Irey!
UPDATE: And now a second endorsement (although the "I surrender" gesture I can do without...)
June 18, 2006
Rites of Spring
Every year, at the end of the semester, I put on the bottom of my teaching evaluations whether the instructor showed any bias in favor of any particular ideology or party, and if so, what was it. Most all say no, and about a quarter say yes, but then split cleanly between those who claim I'm a flaming commie or a flippin' fascist. Those who complain about me being ideological always say that I offended them as being the polar opposite of their ideology, and complain about my grades as well (poor witty bitty students, mean old pwofessor made you wead). I put it on the evals a couple of years before I came up for tenure to insulate myself against charges from any of my chablis marxist colleagues who would claim, well, I was one of those people. (Anyone who still thinks that tenure somehow protects "academic freedom" is so quaintly niave.)
Anyhoo, by the time they become seniors, there's always an intense debate over what political party Professor LLama actually belongs to---now, at long last, I can finally tell them.
Somehow, I know it won't come as a surprise.
BTW, the ANWR drilling bit is classic, and really needs to be on a t-shirt and bumper sticker.
June 17, 2006
This long distance dedication goes out to "Chip" at The HMQ
Robbo passes along: YES! A ten on the internationally recognized hotness scale on his flight. He said you will what he means.
the Dems are curiously silent
when it comes to Iraq and the larger Global War on Terror, not to mention the major domestic issues of immigration and Social Security in their rollout of the plan to "take back" the Congress in the midterm elections. These folks are not ready for prime time because they cannot articulate what they want to do address the major issues confronting America. Instead, they talk about minor stuff such as raising the minimum wage in a time of record growth and employment. It reminds me of Clinton busying himself with small ideas such as "midnight basketball" and the "V-chip"while Bin Laden carried out attacks on our embassies in Africa and on USS Cole.
Here is The Colossus' take.
When is a civil war not a civil war
to the MSM? Answer: when it involves the Palestinians. The MSM is all over every hiccup in Iraq but curiously silent when it comes using the term "civil war" to describe street warfare between various factions on the West Bank and in Gaza. To do so would be to admit the Israelis were right after all.
Saturday Pity Party
To call this sad is an insult to velvet-art crying clown portraits everywhere:
More than a bell is needed to save Dustin Diamond this time around. Diamond, best known as geeky Screech Powers on the 1989-1993 teen comedy series "Saved by the Bell," is selling T-shirts with his photo on them to try to raise $250,000 so he doesn't lose his gray two-story house under a foreclosure order.
"If the public didn't care, I as an entertainer wouldn't have been a success," he said.
Diamond, 29, is trying to sell nearly 30,000 shirts at $15 or $20 (autographed) each to supplement the income he makes as a standup comic so he doesn't have to move from his Port Washington home, about 25 miles north of Milwaukee.
The T-shirt has a photo of Diamond holding a sign that says, "Save My House." The back of the shirt reads, "I paid $15.00 to save Screeech's house." The third "e" was added to get around copyright laws, he said.
He's selling the shirts on his Web site: http://www.getdshirts.com.
The foreclosure order was filed last month in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.
Diamond appeared on Howard Stern's satellite radio show Tuesday to plead his case. "I'm doing great with my comedy, but this is definitely a low point," he said. "Real life comes in and affects you."
Diamond doesn't have a listed phone number, and e-mails to the address on his Web site and at an alternative address were not immediately returned Thursday.
No wonder Bill's been in mourning over at INDC Journal---it's hard when we realize the icons we worship are stone and not gods.
My family and I have joined the ranks of the homeless
now that we closed on the sale of the old post headquarters on Friday and will not close on the purchase of the new digs until Tuesday. Until then, we are mooching off Robbo and the Butcher's Wife this weekend and living in a hotel Sunday night and Monday, sort of like Katrina evacuees
Jennifer Love Hewitt
gets advice from Special Agent Bedhead. It seems JLH won't do the Playboy photo shoot after all, but it seems inevitable. I have to agree, photo shoots in skin mags is a sure sign of a starlet attempting to resusitate a fading career; experimentation of the sort Dr. Rusty does not oppose will remove all reasonable doubt.
Someone with waaaaaay too much time on their hands
Someone went through and compiled the religious affiliations of comic book characters.
Ooooooooooo-kay. How nice for you. I'm going to back away reaaaaaaaaal slow now, chief.
My favorite, by far, was the page for Aquaman.
June 16, 2006
Well, I'm off to the hinterlands for the weekend, there to do Father Justice's bidding. Be back Monday night or Tuesday.
By an odd freak of timing, the LMC and his squad will be staying at Orgle Manor this weekend. Perhaps the Missus will permit him to do a little posting from here. With five kids in the house, three of them four and under, he may need the break.
Yip! at you later.
June 15, 2006
Sooper-Sekret Message To The Wall Street Journal
First, yes I know that my dead-tree subscription is running out. However, I hardly ever actually read the paper anymore and I can get all the editorials, which is pretty much all that I read anyway, on-line.
Second, even if you could convince me that this is unrealistic, your sales reps are never going to get anywhere with me by calling me "Bob". For one thing, I don't go by that nickname. For another, such uninvited familiarity is presumptuous and off-putting.
Which It's A Patrick O'Brian Geek Post, Ain't It?
D'y hear, there? The Llamas are the No. 2 Google hit for the search xebec-frigate Cacafuego.
Busy Day: Busy Weekend
So Sunday is Father's Day. And Monday happens to be my thirteenth wedding anniversary. Time to enjoy the family and do something special with the Missus, right?
Wrong. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to be out of town taking furshlugginer depositions and won't be back till late Monday night.
[Insert sound of grumbling here.]
UPDATE: And it looks as if I'm going to be taking the laptop this time, which I try to avoid whenever possible. One more furshlugginer bag to have to haul all over the place.
[Insert sound of more grumbling here.]
June 14, 2006
"Good Add To My First!"***
What is this, you ask? It's Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA, to which the Missus decided to take the Llama-ettes on an overnight post-school treat. (The 'rents lived just outside Williamsburg for several years and I never even knew this place existed. Apparently, it's part of a chain.)
The Missus phoned in a while ago to report that the Llama-ettes spent seven and a half solid hours today hurling themselves around on this indoor, airborne aquatic monstrosity. I suggested that their enthusiasm for Colonial Williamsburg which they plan to attend tomorrow, will be somewhat more diminished. Assuming they even make it that far, that is.
***Go below the fold to see the gratuitous Royal Navy geek joke to which this title relates.
Oh, you're here? Jolly good.
Well, it seems that a retired Admiral in the Royal Navy decided to build a house on the bluff overlooking the entrance to the harbor at Port Mahon on Minorca. There, the Admiral would sit with a large telescope and watch the ships making their way in and out of the harbor. He also had a flagpole, on which he would run up signal flags offering his commentary on the smartness (or lack thereof) of the seamanship of the various ships moving to and fro.
It should be said that the entrance to Port Mahon harbor is a very tricky one to navigate and the old Admiral had a fearsome reputation throughout the Fleet for his withering criticism.
One day, a young Lieutenant was piloting his first ship into Port Mahon and making a sad cock of it. Nervously, he glanced up to the top of the bluff where the Admiral lived. There he suddenly saw run up the Admiral's flagpole the telegraphic signal flags G.O.O.D.
Before the young officer could breathe a sign of relief however, these flags ran down, to be immediately replaced with the signal, "Add to my first - G.O.D."
"It's Not Going To Happen."
(Image swiped from CNN.)
You can bitch all you want about Dubya's domestic policies, but this is why I continue to support him:
"One message I will continue to send to the enemy is, 'Don't count on us leaving before the mission is complete,' " Bush said at a White House news conference.
"Don't bet on American politics forcing my hand, because it's not going to happen," he said. "I'm going to make decisions not based upon politics but based upon what's best for the United States of America."
"What you hear from me no matter what these polls and all the business look like, is that it's worth it, it is necessary and we will succeed," Bush said.
He ain't no Reagan when it comes to oratory, but he gets the right message across.
Good on ya, Dubya!
What has occurred in the Iraq war has occurred in countless wars—the enemy gets a vote and events do not transpire according to some neat plan. Stubborn resistance and the need for greater exertions are not the same as mission creep. Our mission in Iraq has never changed; the nature of the enemy and therefore of the war on the ground has—that is not mission creep. President Lincoln requested 75,000 90-day volunteers to subdue the rebellion of Southern states in one or two Napoleonic battles. What we got was a grinding four year struggle to restore the Union and end slavery that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. That was not mission creep, even with the added goal of full emancipation since both restoration of the Union and freeing the slaves required the same outcome—a Northern victory. One could also say that, to paraphrase Mr. Derbyshire, no one on December 8, 1941, expected to bring the Axis powers to unconditional surrender (an "end state" announced more than a year after Pearl Harbor) only to embark on that other "long war," the Cold War, following VE and VJ day. Was it therefore purely "mission creep" to remain in Europe and Asia as occupiers simply because we didn't envision that in the days following Pearl Harbor? Did we expend all that blood and treasure merely to see Soviet dominance established over half of Europe? Did the American people sign on to the Berlin Airlift or to halting the North Koreans in 1945? Was the formation of NATO and other Cold War-era alliances (entangling alliances, one might say) a form of mission creep that Americans need not support? I could go on, but you get my point. Moreover, if we alter the "mission" in order to defend our principles, freedoms and way of life because the nature of the enemy has changed, does that reduce the legitimacy of that mission? The evolution of the Cold War fits the definition of mission creep far better than the war in Iraq does but that didn't mean the Cold War was not worth fighting.
There's a larger point here, though, one beyond the notion of mission creep. When things got rough and the sacrifices exceeded our pre-war expectations, we could have cut deals and declared "victory" in 1863, 1943 or 1963. Even though, again to paraphrase Mr. Derbyshire, during these earlier conflicts our leaders got us into situations we never wished to be in and were never asked whether we would wish to be in, we recognized our moral obligation, "as citizens of a democratic polity," was to fight and win, not cut and run.
Jaysus - what he said. Certain blowhards are very fond of citing the old line that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I prefer to think that those who actually take the time to read and understand history know that there are certain rules of life that cannot be altered. One of them is that wars are messy and lead to unforeseen outcomes. Another is that such ambiguity cannot be a reason to cut and run from such conflicts, much less avoid engaging in them to begin with.
No - really. It exists. Christian for Cannibis is a real site with links to the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry (Were "We use cannabis religiously and you can too!") and an inexplicably defunct link to the Christians for Hemp. (I'm sure their slogan, before their site disappeard like so much erosion-control burlap under a sea of internet mud, was What Would Jesus Wear?)
Looking at the site, it seems your standard anti-gov screed with conspiracy links. They aren't educating me on the Christian connection. In fact, the only thing on the site that establishes even the modicum of religiousity is this one quote they bolded out in red so we'd know it's IMPORTANT:
"There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known."
-Jesus, Matthew 10:26
And that has what to do with cannabis?
Anyway, I stumbled on this gem by accident. You'd think they'd at least be selling the Lord's One Hitter and bottles of "Holy Bong Water."
Or am I crazy?
Can I just make an observation here that in my humble opinion Chris Muir, author of the excellent Day By Day, gets an enormous kick out of drawing babes in tight and/or semi-concealing clothes? And that this kick seems to be getting, er, bigger over time?
He may deny it, but he can't fool me. I used to draw cartoon strips back in school and I know what goes on inside these guys' heads.
This is Robbo the fellow Lamda Lamda Lamda, signing off and heading for the showers.
I have no idea what it means except that the llama seems to be having some chopstick malfunction issues.
For what it's worth, I can't stand sushi anyway. Keep nasty fishes and give us chips!**
Go on over and click it: You'll spend the rest of your day with the tune burning away in your brain like a cinder.
(** Your backhanded quote of the day.)
Ace is following up on yesterday's outburst of one "CheChe" over at DailyKos about having to console his little daughter who was distraught over Fitzmas being cancelled. As I noted in an update to my own post about it, it seems that "CheChe" is a fake, as this same tale of childish political grief has surfaced at Kos more than once. (Apparently, even some of the KosKids think he's a troll.)
As Ace reports, "CheChe" apparently has responded to his critics:
I'm simply not going to apologize for loving and comforting my daughter.
She happens to be very concerned about the course of this country and if you want to make fun of that, well, good for you.
There's just not enough time to always be writing a new story each and every time something happens, and since this is what happened, it seems fair. Since we lost her mother there hasn't been a lot of free time around here.
Ain't it the truth, though? One damn thing after another these days. In the spirit of reaching across the aisle, therefore, I offer the following handy-dandy Generic Moonbat Daughter's Grief Post (C). Simply retype, choosing all answers that apply:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a look of misery and dejection on the face of my daughter as I just did a moment ago. She just couldn’t understand why the President
a) would allow our world to boil in its own gases;
b) would create a Fourth Reich;
c) would order Marines to shoot helpless Iraqi babies/puppies just to boost the value of his Halliburton stock;
“Doesn’t Mr. Bush care about us anymore?” she asked pitifully.
I sat down with her on the sofa and (as calmly as I could) tried to explain to her why the President seems to be
his country. “Honey, I think his boss, Mr. Rove,
a) must have received fresh orders from his master, Emperor Palpatine;
b) really is Satan and is preparing his final plans for the Apocalypse;
c) has eaten so many genetically modified and/or chemically altered foods that he just can't help himself;
a) he wasn’t sure if he was going to be arrested today or not, and so he planned a big story about Mr. Bush ahead of time just in case...;
b) he really wants to be known as "Karl of Arabia" and to control the entire region's - and therefore the world's - oil supply;
c) he must be trying to distract us while he positions his secret police to begin making mass arrests of everyone in this country who doesn't bow down before him;
I tried to keep my voice steady, but it became increasingly difficult - the rage and feelings of helplessness were just too much. I think my daughter could tell something was wrong. I found myself at such a loss for words - nothing made any sense; nothing makes sense anymore. I finally had to admit, “Honey, I just don’t know - I don’t know what’s going on in this country anymore...”
When I finished her lower lip started to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears, “Daddy” she said,
a) “why are the Republicans doing this to the country?”
b) "what planet are you really from?"
c) "I'm fourteen - maybe it's time I stopped sitting in your lap."
Well, that was it for me: I finally fell apart. She just fell into my arms and we both began sobbing for several minutes.
For once she had to comfort me and get me back on my feet. Sometimes I just think it’s too much, but
the strength in my young daughter’s voice helped me to get through.
A guarten-TEED tear-jerker every time!
June 13, 2006
Wow, especially given Steve-O's klassics from this morning, I've got to believe that the utter lack of comments today is due to the fact that either
a) Moo-Knew is blocking them again
b) You all convulsed yourselves so hard with laughter that you whanged your foreheads against your desktops, knocking yourselves unconscious.
Should I call 911?
I Knew It!
Researchers followed more than 125,000 Northern California Kaiser members between 1978 and 1985. Participants, none of whom had liver disease at the outset, filled out a questionnaire that included their alcohol, coffee and tea-drinking habits.
By the end of 2001, 330 participants had been diagnosed with liver disease, and of those, 199 had alcohol-related cirrhosis.
Those who drank one cup of coffee per day were on average 20 percent less likely to have cirrhosis, despite heavy drinking. Drinking two to four cups of coffee reduced risk by 40 percent.
The Kaiser members who drank four or more cups of coffee per day cut their risk of developing liver cirrhosis by an astonishing 80 percent, according to the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
My day never feels complete without several cups of coffee in the morning and a glass or two of wine in the evening. Now I understand why: Nature meant it to be this way.
Compare and Contrast
“Honey, I think his boss, Mr. Rove, sent Mr. Bush out of the country in order to keep himself out of the newspapers. You see, he wasn’t sure if he was going to be arrested today or not, and so he planned Mr. Bush’s trip ahead of time just in case...”
Here's what I said to my daughter this morning:
"Will you please stop putting the laundry basket on your sister's head? Thank you."
UPDATE: The guys in the Corner suspect "CheChe" is a fake. Meb, but like the best parody it's funny because it's only slightly exaggerated. Speaking of the Corner, I'll bet K-Lo is kicking herself for ever agreeing to the Star Trek Challenge. Jonah's going to go ape.
That's A Shame
According to this Wikipedia entry, on this day in 1920, the United States Postal Service ruled that children may not be mailed via parcel post.
This is such early 20th Century thinking. And I suppose with such slow, uncomfortable and unsafe transportation available at the time, especially for non-local movement, it made a certain amount of sense. But surely with all our modern transportation technology it is time to re-examine such a prohibition. Just think of how much easier life would be if one could, for example, simply mail the kids to the grandparents. (And think of the enormous disciplinary benefit of being able to threaten to do so.)
I call on all you loyal Llama readers to contact the U.S.P.S. today to demand that this policy be reviewed and amended.
Classic Maureen Dowd, indeed!
Sometimes the screenshot says it all:
What's new in Times Select today?
The world may never know.
Photoshop away, folks!
I guess those pictures the CIA/NSA/WD-40 got of Fitzgerald, covered in blood, with a one-armed midget transexual Romanian hooker with its throat slashed in the trunk of his Miata came in handy after all. The things Chimpy McHitler and his Sith Masters at Wal-Martiburton have learned from far too many viewings of Godfather II is frightening!
My best advice to you, Marvin Bush, is stay out of Cheney's rowboat!
Who has the roundup? Allah! Damn straight!
Who's the black private dick That's a sex machine to all the chicks? ALLAHPUNDIT! Ya damn right!
Who is the man that would risk his neck
For his blogger man?
Can you dig it?
Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's DUers all about?
They say this cat ALLAHPUNDIT is a bad mother
SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
I'm talkin' 'bout ALLAHPUNDIT.
THEN WE CAN DIG IT!
He's a complicated man
But no one understands him but Michele Malkin
The Commissar rides in with his "Merry Fitzmas" roundup, replete with a big, steaming lump of....coal.
I question the timing: the news is released while the King of the Wingnuts is on vacation on the Redneck Riviera? Suspicious, indeed.
But of course!
Tom Maguire has been following this from the beginning, and I'll confess it's the only source that's ever made coherent sense in all this.
WELL, THAT EXPLAINS IT! (The DU roundup)
The CIA/NSA/NFL/WD-40 got to Fitzie, I tell ya! It's Operation Atlas all over again!
Yes, you should be!
Insert Nelson Muntz noise here.
Alanis Morrisette, your agent is on line two: Irony, indeed.
MEGA UPDATE: Bush in Iraq!
First we kill Z-Man while he's wearing a leopard skin nightie, then our 51st state beats Iran in the World Cup, than Rove is cleared, then Bush goes to Iraq? I definitely question the timing! And of course the White House aide named "Bartlett" is nothing more than a deliberate rubbing it in to despondent West Wingerians in mourning.
I liked the line about the visceral emotional reaction of reporters forced to surrender their blackberries...
Man, I picked a bad day to stop huffing glue.
UPDATE: The Z-Man bounce continues:
alt="Price for Republican Party 2006 Mid Term Election Control at TradeSports.com"
title="Price for Republican Party 2006 Mid Term Election Control at TradeSports.com" border="0">
June 12, 2006
Passion of the Christ II: He's Back, and He's Pissed
Seriously. I guess Mel didn't get the script approval for Lethal Weapon XVIII.
Tell all your friends you heard it at TrulyBadFilms.com first, April 6, 2004---I'm holding out hope that The Rock's star hasn't sufficiently dimmed that he won't be cast in the main role:
Hearts of Oak
(Image filched from The Colossus)
They are everywhere. Hanging from office buildings, shops, homes, fluttering from (not very well secured) antenna on cars and trucks. Even painted on people's faces.
It's World Cup time and England at least is looking as confident and patriotic as it always is just below the surface.
He goes on to note the Usual Suspects wetting their pants over such brazen displays but is pleased to report that this seems to have little effect on the majority of the Brits, whose confidence in themselves and their country remains high.
(Okay, I confess that I don't really care about the Cup. But I've been itching for an excuse to post the Cross of St. George myself. This'll do just fine.)
Gratuitous Mean Ol' Dad Posting
The thought that immediately crosses my mind whenever the possibility of one of these is mentioned is, "Ack! Keep that damned thing off the grass!"
This is well known around Orgle Manor, yet I've just learned that even as I type the gels are playing with one in the back yard.
"Grrrr, Argh!" I say.
My day has been made.
Busy day today. I know you haven't read everything we posted over the weekend, so why not just scroll on down.
UPDATE: I just know you haven't.
June 11, 2006
I guess you can bet on anything...
Tradesports has a contract market out on whether Yale University admits Talibanman to full time status:
I wonder if College admissions functionaries have strict no-insider information divulgement clauses in their contracts.
Anyhoo, there was a "Z-Man Bounce" in the futures markets for the outcome of the fall elections in the House:
and the Senate:
We'll see if it's a bounce or a trend.
(And yes, this is a sign that we are slowly beginning to ease into a full-slate of fall election converage)
And speaking of fall election coverage, something interesting is happening in the 08 Democratic nomination markets: there are three candidates above single digits---Hillary Clinton, former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, and.......
Between the two of us, we've got what five(?) graduate degrees?
And yet here I am, using the most powerful communincation tool known to human history, linking to Professor Chaos doing his best of Beavis and Butthead video shorts.
Insert favorite Cornholio rant here.
Just another typical Saturday night in New Hampshire
Everything you wanted to know about AgentBedHead but were afraid to ask
Definitely in the too much information department.
Yips! from Robbo: Yes, but here I go getting tagged as the "nice guy" again:
"Robbo is the gentler one who can make a girl feel really special."
I've been hearing this since high school. But it's wrong. I'm bad! I'm a bad boy! Really! Want me to prove it? C'mere! Got my cap on backwards and everything!
I'm Baaaaad, Baybee!
Khan Dead: Countdown to Genesis Detonation Continues
Jaysus, the AP just can't resist, can it?
AL-ZARQAWI's DEATH MAY NOT STOP CIVIL WAR
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi raised hopes that Iraq's slide toward civil war or sectarian disintegration could be arrested, but there are signs that Shiite-Sunni antagonism may now be too deeply rooted. Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born Sunni Muslim, played a key role in stoking Shiite-Sunni tensions the past three years, ordering hundreds of bloody attacks against Iraqi Shiites and issuing vitriolic tirades seeking to deepen a religious schism that dates back 1,400 years.
I'm surprised the MSM hasn't started calling for a Pentagon audit to determine why we wasted the money on those 500 lb. bombs to begin with. After all, they're considerably more expensive than ordinary cabbages.
And now I'm off. When I start riffing Star Trek and Python in the same post, I know it's time to take a break......
Hair! The Post
The Missus spent the day doing end-of-the-year chores in her classroom, meaning Yours Truly was o.c. getting the Llama-ettes bathed, shampooed, dressed and off to church this morning.
Can somebody please, please explain long hair to me? I wash it, comb it out, dry it, brush it, attempt to part it down the middle and put it in some kind of pony-tail, but no matter what I do, the gels invariably wind up looking like Helen Hunt after getting chased down by the F-5 tornado. (Not that I mind Helen Hunt in such a state of dishabille, but that's a different story....)
Sometimes, I wished I'd gone through a hippy stage. The experience might have proved useful.
That one's going to leave a mark
Seriously, dude: don't take on homeschoolers as a bunch of low-standard illiterate dorks if you yourself have a theology "doctorate" from some online distance learning diploma mill. Something about motes, beams, and pieholes come to mind.
Happy Birthday, John Constable
Today is the birthday, in 1776, of John Constable, one of England's greatest landscape painters. I could stare at his cloud studies for hours on end.....
June 10, 2006
Signs You May Read Too Much Patrick O'Brian
When you follow up orders down the basement stairs to your children with, "D'you hear, there?"
Even worse, when you begin to think that a response of "aye, aye" would be pretty cool.
Are We Being Haditha?
Let me start by saying this: I don't know what happened in Haditha last November and neither do you.
As I say, I dunno what happened. Maybe some Marines really went ballistic and massacred a bunch of unarmed civilians. In which case, they should be appropriately tried and punished. Then again, this whole thing may turn out to be a massive hoax swallowed hook, line and sinker by the Copperhead Fedayeen of the MSM. We shall see.
Let me make clear again that I am not jumping on the "hoax" bandwagon. Yet. However, at the very least this information suggests some troubling questions about the original sources for the story. In the end, they may have been perfectly accurate. But it strikes me that the MSM would have been better off clearing these questions up before hanging, drawing and quartering the Marines, not after doing so.
Assuming that getting to the Truth was the primary goal, that is. And for the anti-war folks busily printing "Keep Your Haditha Off My Lai" bumperstickers, none of this really matters, of course.
It seems to me that most of the questions raised about how the civilians actually died can be answered by having a look at their bodies as well as the rooms in which they were killed. I assume the investigators packed their shovels.
UPDATE TROIS: A must-read from The Mudville Gazette.
Christmas in June
Yesterday was the last day of school for Miss Somersault (age 9) and Mr. Skinny (age 7), finishing up 3rd and 1st grades. Last night, we all stayed up late assembling the bunk beds for the girl room. This week's big project was painting the room, which took an exquisite amount of patience in that it required taking a pitchfork and shovel to the mounds of accumulated junque Miss Somersault has accumulated over the years (future anthropologists will be interested in her complete collection of placemats from every restaurant she's ever been to, but I digress). The bunk beds were done around midnight, and fearing a disaster born of tiredness, I put the ixnay on raising the matress up to the top bunk until I had a chance to sleep. So we had one last night of Miss Somersault and her little sister Little Miss Stubborn (age 3 1/2) "camping out" in sleeping bags in Mommy and Daddy's room.
Because of the bunk bed project, I didn't get a chance to water the garden last night, so I slipped out this morning around 8:30. We've had a bonus week in the garden: the tomato census is at 26 on the vine, with the Sun Gold's calving like crazy. (I'm not sure if that is the correct term, but that's what I call it when the fruit emerges out of the tomato blossom). There are two monster tomatos growing, one on the early goliath plant (named "Joe Goliath" by Mr. Skinny) and the other on the variety called "Abe Lincoln" (named "Lil' Mac" by me, but then again I'm a pain in the butt). So we'll see who produces better. We also had the first pepper emerge practically overnight, so that the one fruit is now almost four inches long. We've been in lettuces for about a month now, and the peas and beans should be coming in very soon.
But then I went over to water the blueberry bushes and behold! Patience is a virtue. The trickiest thing to teach kids is patience---I know, because I'm pretty durn impatient myself, and gardening is helping to cure me of that. So I slipped back into the kitchen and the kids had finally woken up and come down, and I said, "(Lil' Miss Stubborn, do you want to go out and check the blueberry bushes?" handing her the little pail she's set aside as her blueberry pail? She's checked those bushes every day for the past 3ish weeks since the berries first appeared, and I've been telling her you'll know when they are done---they are blue all over. Each evening before dinner, when we go out and get lettuce for the salad, she's checked the bushes, at first frustrated, but the last couple of days she's reported back "almost there, daddy!" So when I handed her the pail, her eyes got as big as saucers---almost as big as when I had showed her the completed bunkbeds this morning.
So they all ran out in their pajamas bouncing like Christmas morning, heading out to the blueberry bushes. Fortunately, The Dear One had the camera out, and captured all the glory. We brought the pail back in, and I made up a huge batch of fluffy blueberry "pankies" (as they are called in Stately LLama Manor). Someday I might even give up my sooper sekrit pankie recipe.
Pa from Little House would have been proud, I'd like to think.
"Fat, Drunk and Stupid" Watch
I see that the coppers have raided Dartmouth's Alpha Delt, the real-life original for the infamous Animal House.
I smile because I happen to have been an Alpha Delt at the People's Glorious Soviet of Middletown back in the day. (Actually, I suppose I still am since the national organization tried to hit me up for money not that long ago.)
Of course, the place being what it was and Yours Truly being the kind of contrarian he is, our house was nothing like the one up at Dartmouth. For one thing, we were one of a half-dozen coed chapters around the country. (There was one at Brown as well. Also one of the New York City schools and a couple schools out West.) This brought a whole new dimension to rushing and initiation.
For another thing, we were always called the Wine & Cheese house because we held poetry readings and the like. And before you snigger too much, just let me tell you that my English Department advisor did a Poe reading every Halloween that was tremendously popular. He had a deep, baritone voice and could give you the absolute creeps.
But despite all that, the main thing I remember were the annual theme parties - the "Vortex", the "Decadence" and the like. And I am here to tell you, friends, that Brother Bluto and his crew had nothing, nothing on what went on at these gigs.
I'd tell you all about it, but of course those records are permanently sealed.....
EEEEEEEVVVILLLLLLL BLACKMAIL YIPS from Steve-O: The bidding opens now.
I've got pictures.......
FURTHER YIPS from Steve: Zoinks!
June 09, 2006
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Outdoor Division
Busy morning around the grounds of Orgle Manor as we get ready to host yet another end-of-year soccer party with yet another moonbounce tomorrow.
Meanwhile, in my ongoing effort to cause INDCent Bill to jab his own eyeballs out with a pen, here are a couple more gardening snaps.
Last year, I planted three foxglove in this corner of the garden. Foxglove are among my very favorite of all flowers. I did not cut them back, but instead allowed them to go to seed. You can see the result this year:
This photo was taken about two weeks ago, so this crop is now going to seed as well. My plan is to let them continue to spread as much as they care to and, indeed, I am helping them out by sewing some more seed procured from Burpee as well. These are all biennials of the variety known as "foxy", but I intend to seed in several other kinds, including the perennial strawberry colored mertonensis, the yellow one whose name escapes me at the moment and the spangled kind known as "Pam's Choice" or something like that.
Meanwhile, on the rose front we have this:
It's an heirloom varietal known as pink abundance and I apologize that the pic doesn't really do its color much justice. This is one of four roses I brought down from the 'rents house in Maine last summer. As you can see, it seems quite happy in its new digs. (The green posts are what hold the wire netting around it most of the time in order to keep the deer off.
So there you have it. Mine is primarily a summer garden and I'm happy to report that the coneflower and butterfly weed are getting ready to gear up.
June 08, 2006
I have seen the future, and it's Allahpundit tee-vee
Remember the Dean-O photoshops? So 2004.
It helps that it's set to one of the most kick-ass-est songs of all time, The Beastie Boys' Sabotage.
Seriously, can you imagine how much fun oh-eight is going to be with people ripping commercials in real time---up on you tube before the debate or event is even over?
Or, better yet, ambition counteracting ambition.
Hey, Waaaaaait A Minute!
***LLAMA EXCLUSIVE - MUST CREDIT LLAMAS!****
You know, up to this point I've been as big a cheerleader of the GWOT as anybody, but staring at this "photograph" of the alleged "body" of "terrorist mastermind" Al-Zarqawi (if indeed he ever actually existed) has caused me to have a serious revelation about the truly EEE-vile Sith-ness of the Bush Administration. It is now clear to me that Chimpy McHitlerBurton and his evil Overlord Dick "Shotgun" Cheney have completely fabricated this "successful operation". Why? Because one look at the photo above convinces me that the U.S. military has actually knocked off Luciano Pavarroti and are simply trying to use him as a body double:
Of course, those spineless cowards in the MSM would never dare report this. But face it, Amerikkka, you're being duped!
UPDATE: Well. Sorry to fly off the handle. A sooper-sekret source of mine high up in the Pentagon emails in to say that in fact they popped Pavarotti as part of the Global War on Tenors, but that owing to a typo, some strike orders got transposed. He also suggested staying away from opera houses for the next 48 hours or so......
Gratuitous Llama Book Review
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz.
As I had hoped when I first mentioned it, I was very pleased with this book, in which the author retraces Cook's three exploratory voyages across the Pacific, visiting the places where Cook made first contact, including New Zealand, Australia, the Aleutians, the Hawaiian Islands and various other parts of Polynesia, as well as visiting Cook's boyhood home in Yorkshire and his adult haunts on the Thames.
Horwitz obviously admires Cook for the magnitude of his scientific and maritime achievements. At the same time, he does not shy away from exploring Cook's weaknesses, including his apparent mental breakdown on the final voyage which led to his killing at the hands of Hawaiian natives on February 14, 1779.
Of course, one cannot write a book about contact between Western explorers and indigenous populations and their modern day fallout without getting tangled up in political debate. Here I think Horwitz does a very creditable, balanced job. He certainly is sympathetic to the conditions of the various people he talks to, many of whom live none too well, and he doesn't flinch in describing what happened to the locals once full-scale Western invasion began, but he politely refuses to buy into the more virulent mau-mauing and the tendency of his more radical interlocutors to paint Cook as an genocidal maniac. In a time when identity politics and White Guilt might cause an enthusiast of Cook to shy away from defending him, Horwitz holds a firm line. It is very refreshing, indeed.
I remember reading some very good reviews of Horwitz's Confederates In The Attic a few years ago, a book that attempts to explain the undying fascination with the Civil War, particularly among Southerners. As a Civil War buff myself, I'm thinking again about buying it. Anybody out there read this? Recommendations? Yes? No? Maybe?
Two new video games
Somehow I have a feeling neither of these will keep me from Age of Empires II, but hey, I'm a Schumpeter/Hayek/Hume/Smith sort of guy, so why can't fundamentalist Christians and Muslims have RTS games too? There's an interesting element of irony in how each of the target markets for these games are playing out their fantasies, though...
Speaking of which, isn't it about time Command & Conquer: Generals allowed the GLA to deploy media units as a weapon against the US?
Anyhoo, this new blog looks to be a regular read.
Oh, Do Get That Funky Rhythm, Would You Jeeves?
The Llamas: #4 Google hit result for dancing Episcopalians.
One of the few things that makes me leery of the LMC's open invitation to come back to Rome is the lurking fear of being bushwhacked with liturgical dance.
I dunno about some of the more progressive Palie churches, but in straight-laced parishes like my own, We Don't Dance. Although we've been known to stagger from time to time.
But that's a different story.
Mecha-Streisand Rides Again
Babwa! has announced she's going back on the road in order to combat global warming:
Singer Barbra Streisand announced her first U.S. tour in over a decade on Thursday, saying that she planned to play 20 concerts in October and November to raise money for charitable causes.
"The increasingly urgent need for private citizen support to combat dangerous climate change, along with education and health issues was the prime reason I decided to tour again," Streisand said in a statement announcing the tour.
"This will allow me to direct funds and awareness to causes that I care deeply about," she said.
20 concerts in two months and I'm guessing she's not walking to any of them. If she really wants "private citizen support to combat dangerous climate change," why doesn't she instead vow an immediate moritorium on her own use of private jets, fleets of limos and other support vehicles? I imagine her fuel consumption, even when she's not touring, is considerably higher than mine in my lowly six mile trips back and forth between Orgle Manor and the metro.
Furthermore, how many BTU's is it going to take in order to light, heat/cool and generally operate each of these venues in which she plans to perform? Perhaps she'd set a better example by stating that because her concerts are such a waste of energy, she will not be touring. And while she's at it, she could announce her own immediate cuts in home energy use by, say, 50% in order to set an example. And she could dip into her own pockets for the Cause instead of, how does she put it, "direct funds and awareness to causes that I care deeply about," which translates into hoovering such funds out of her fans.
I'd assume this isn't going to happen any time soon.
Hmph. Limousine Liberals. Can't stand 'em.
Parson Weems, rolling over in his grave
Yet Steve-O the LLamabutcher, rolling on the floor, laughing his arse off.
WARNING: You can't get the damn song out of your head. IT BURNS! YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHRRRRGGGGHHH!
Pshop of the year
Who else but Allahpundit?
But I'm biased---The Caine Mutiny is one of my top 5 all time greatest movie picks.
Bad guy finds out the hard way what it means when we say "reach out and touch someone."
Yips! from Robbo: How sweet is that? Here's Dubya's statement. And at the same time, let's not forget that Prime Minister Maliki also announced the completion of his cabinet yesterday, appointing Ministers of Defense, Interior and State. We're getting there, people. We're getting there.
UPDATED YIPS! from Robbo: Dr. Rusty has a great round-up, including video footage of the airstrike. I understand the Big Z wasn't killed outright in the blast but died later on. Hope nobody wasted any morphine on him.
June 07, 2006
Light LMC posting notice
Busy as hell for the rest of the week, then down to Fort Bragg to fight GWOT, followed by a two-day trip to Chicago, and then complete the move out of the old post headquarters. After that we will be homeless for a few days before we close on the purchase of the new post headquarters, which, although not as grand as The Butcher's Shop or stately LLama Manor, is more than enough to control the vast real estate holdings which comprise Fort LMC.
Sooper Sekret Yips! from Robbo: Must I watch your six all the time?
Courtesy of Special Agent Bedhead
Phoebe Cates of Fast Times at Ridgment High fame. Still smokin' after all of these years.
Gratuitous Montessori Posting
As regular readers know, I like to indulge in a moderate amount of baiting concerning St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method. This gets to be a bit hard on the Missus (a Montessori teacher) since she invariably goes for it and removing the hook from her throat can sometimes be a painful operation.
So in the spirit of barblessness for a change, allow me to pass on the fact that her class of lower elementary students just got back their national testing results. Of the thirty-odd kids that she and her co-teacher manage, only two tested to their own grade levels. All the rest tested above, some significantly so. Well done, indeed.
And just by way of a bit of gratuitous Proud Parent bragging, the eldest Llama-ette is finishing up her second grade year. On a battery of eleven different subject fields, she tested to an average fifth grade equivalent. Her reading vocabulary was at the sixth grade level and in "mathematical processes", which the test defines as number facts, computation with whole numbers, computation in context and computation/symbolic notation, she tested to the ninth grade, acing the section. Yikes.
It's that time of the year: school, Brownies, soccer and other activities are all winding down and with their ends come the inevitable ceremonies, parties and programs. Today is the graduation ceremony for the elementary classes at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method and it's perfectly timed so that slogging down to the office and back either before or after just isn't worth it. (I go through a fair number of banked up PTO hours about this time of year.)
This year, the eldest Llama-ette is participating in a class play. It seems to focus on two sisters in Zimbabwe back in the good old days. Beautiful princesses they are, one good, kind and sweet and the other vain, proud and grasping. Take a wild guess at which part the Llama-ette opted for. She told me several times that she likes the bad sister part because she gets to do a lot of shouting at people. Being diplomatic, I refrained from suggesting that there might have been some type-casting involved. Well, mostly.
We'll see how it goes.
In praise of Grover Cleveland
Why? Because it's not healthy for democracy to have one of the two major parties gone totally insane.
Funny, yes, but not healthy.
The libs will claim victory
even though they lost, again, this time in special election to fill the congrerssional seat formerly occupied by Duke Cunningham. This was supposed to be the bellweather, the turning of the tide, the moment that Americans, in their righteous indignation, would start the process that would end with a Democrat landslide in the fall, throw the Republicans out and restore the libs to their rightful control of the House--Speaker Pelosi, etc. Oops, nevermind. The libs will claim a symbolic victory, the MSM will pretend the defeat never happened, and then on to the next bellweather, the turning of the tide . . .
June 06, 2006
Kelo comes to conflict
Bizzyblog on the latest insanity from the New London city government.
This is sick
Econ geek humor
Hat tip to future blogger to be KeithS.
Let Us Also Remember...
I don't have much of anything useful to say in commemoration of the June 6, 1944 Normandy Invasion and the amazing men who risked (and often lost) their lives that day, but I did think it appropriate also to remember another group.
Sherman Tank is a website devoted to remembering the tragedy of Exercise Tiger:
In the early hours of the 28th of April 1944 eight Landing Ship Tanks (LST's), full of American servicemen were in Lyme Bay, off the coast of Devon, England. Their purpose to take part in Exercise Tiger, the realistic rehearsals for the D-Day landings in Normandy. The night turned into tragedy as a group of patrolling German e-boats discovered and attacked them. At the end of Exercise Tiger 946 American serviceman had lost their lives.
The Sherman tank pictured above was on one of the LST's that went down. It was eventually discovered and recovered by Ken Small and placed by him at Slapton Sands, the location of the practice D-Day landing, as a tribute to those soldiers and seamen lost in this unfortunate incident.
In the Some-Things-Never-Change Department, a flurry of accusations about a sinister U.S. Army cover-up of the incident flaired up in the mid-80's, ironically enough started by Mr. Small's ill-informed, but nonetheless sincere interest in the matter and fueled by some apparently malicious members of the press. However, according to this article, the alleged cover-up was so much bunkum, easily dispelled by some fairly basic research.
As we remember the guys who hit Utah and Omaha and the other beaches of Normandy today, let's also remember those who never made it.
What will they think of next?
This could persuade me to put my "feet and knees to the breeze" one more time.
Just my luck
The Army is ditching the green Class "A" uniform and the dress blue uniform for a blue service outfit that seems to be a modification of the current dress blues. Nobody liked the Class "A" so its passing will not be lamented. Of course, it means I will have to buy yet another uniform at a point in my Reserve career when I am far closer to the end than the beginning. Once again, Uncle Sam found a way to separate a soldier from his paycheck.
YIPS! from Robbo: For those of you unable to crack the secured website linked by the LMC, I happen to have a pic of him in his green Class "A's" for your viewing pleasure:
LMC YIPS: This is a non-password site.
Sick, Sick, Sick
Well, I see where our ever-vigilant medical researchers have pinned down Road Rage Disorder. Apparently, the condition isn't restricted to losing one's temper on the road, but can manifest itself in any number of life's daily circumstances, thereby prompting researchers to give it the broader moniker "Intermittent Explosive Disorder" or IED.
This got me thinking that I'd like to see the day when these same scientists are able to research, quantify and diagnose the intermittent loss of temper associated with parenthood. In anticipation, here are some suggested names for such condition as appropriate for its manifestation during the kindergarten/elementary years:
10. "It's 5:30 AM - What Are You Kids Doing Up?" Syndrome
9. "But I Just Swept In Here!" Disease
8. "Brush. Your. Teeth!" Disorder
7. "That Effin' Cat!" Malaise (not strictly the same thing, but a closely-related variant)
6. "No, We're Not There Yet" Disease
5. "You Still Don't Have Your Jammies On?" Syndrome
4. "But If You Knew You Had To Go Potty, Why Didn't You Say So?" Complaint
3. "Where's The Sodding Remote?" Disorder
2. "I Told You To Put Away Your Toys An Hour Ago!" Condition
1. "You Girls! Stop That Screaming!!" Syndrome
Sign me up for the meds. And note to Child Protective Services: It wasn't my fault!
UPDATE: Speaking of things that are good for what ails ya, the Missus brought home an early "Father's Day" present this weekend consisting of a bottle of gin, a bottle of tonic water and a fistfull of limes. Am I the luckiest guy in the world or what?
To dream the impossible dream....
Phinneas goes all Don Quioxte on us, tilting at the windmill of home drudgery.
I'd have to go with Durkheim here and say that they'd just discover all new forms of chores we'd have to do.
New season, new skin
Which is great, because truth be told I hated the tame taupe look. Not "white hot intensity of a thousand suns" or "I hate to say it, but Ann Coulter is kinda hot" sort of hate. Just a not visit the blog quite as often sort of thing.
Personally, I prefer the old school look, but hey, we all evolve.
1. Driver's seat or passenger seat? Driver's. I'm a bit of a control nut. Part of the reason I hate flying so much, I think.
2. What was the first car you owned (could have been purchased by someone else)? The first one I drove regularly was Dad's old '66 Mustang (hard top). The first one I "owned", although the 'rents bought it, was a late 80's Ford Tempo (known as the "Econo-car".) The first one I bought was a '96 Jeep Wrangler.
3. What is the first car you paid for yourself? See above.
4. How many cars are currently housed in your place of residence? How many are still operable? We're a two-Jeep family now. I drive a Wrangler and the Missus drives a Cherokee.
5. If money were not a factor, what kind of car would you own? I have to admit that I'm pretty happy with what I have. Other than that, I really don't know. I've never had a "dream" car, per se. And I'm not much interested in the luggggshery cars flogged by Benz, Lexus and the like.
6. If a police investigation was not a factor, what kind of car would you destroy any time you see it? Why? Heh. PT Cruisers because I think they're fuggly - the rag-top looks like the old Volkswagen "Thing", which in turn was a commercial version of the WWII German Army Kubelwagen, basically a field staff car. On the other hand, one of my guiding principles is that anybody who feels the need to drive a Hummer has obvious feelings of inadequacy, so some tough love might be appropriate. All in all, thought, I'd most like to set phasers on kill every time I come across another car with its bass cranked up to maximum thumpa-thumpa mode, regardless of its make and model.
7. Does driving in big city traffic fill your veins with adrenaline or your pants with something a bit worse? Usually fills my head with a pounding ache. We hates city driving.
8. What is your biggest pet peeve regarding driving and/or your fellow drivers? I'm convinced that the Maryland Department of Transportation coats its driver's licenses with some kind of brain-eating bacteria before handing them out. It's the only explanation. You never, ever know what a Maryland driver is going to do next.
9. What's the most expensive traffic ticket you've ever received (could be monetary or jailtime)? I only ever got the one, thanks to the Albemarle County VA Sheriff's Department. I think it was about 70 bucks or so.
10. What is the name you've given to your current vehicle (be honest, everyone names their car)? Well, it's known around Orlge Manor simply as "Daddy's Jeep".
Gratuitous Blogging of the Beast
I'm not saying I buy into any of this 6/06/06 stuff, but I did have a dream that I had to go and meet with the Devil last night.
I didn't actually come face to face with him. Instead, the dream centered on a rather bureaucratic set of preparations - passing through various security points and stopping for various preliminary meetings and inspections. Meanwhile, with the vision one sometimes gets in a dream, I was also aware of what Satan's people were doing in anticipation of my arrival at his personal office.
It all seemed complicated in a rather pointless way.
I guess the Civil Service is the same wherever you go.
"Buy a gun, make a rug."
The Instapundit ethos in one simple post.
If David Hume had a blog, and access to all sorts of tech geekery and home-beer brewing equipment, the end result would in effect be indistinguishable from Instapundit.
(Side note, the thought just came into my head of the podcasts that Hume would have done: Today we have on the line that nouveau charlatan Ed Burke, who is going to talk about his new book about what's wrong with France. Later, we'll have my essay montage about quirky lady spinners in Edinburgh, and the introduction of beer into Roman Briton by a guy named Philipi. As always, my delightful co-host J.J. will be taking comments and suggestions. Music by the John Witherspoon Experience.)
Way too subtle for me
I think the Colossus needs to up the ante and start flying the Maltese Cross, and perhaps the Lion Heart's Banner.
June 05, 2006
Gratuitous Wodehouse Googling
The Llamas are the #2 search result for Death, where is thy jolly old sting?
The quote of the day
Speaking of which, it's almost time for Medium.
What's a truly bad films-luvin' right-wing blogger to do?
Hollywood's biggest supporter of Dubya---wait for it, wait for it
There was a profile of Mickey Rourke in the New York Times Magazine, this would have to have been around 1991, where they got the diamond quote from someone. At the time, Mickey was Le Rage of Paris, where his movies were showing non-stop at some left-bank nasty cigarette beret filled dive. The quote, from memory, went something like this:
France hates America, so they sent us Derrida. America hates France, and needed to get even, so we retaliated by sending them Jerry Lewis and Woody Allen. Stung by our bitter blow, they upped the ante and sent us Foucault. But America gets its ultimate revenge, as we deploy our latest and most deadly cultural weapon of them all: Mickey Rourke.
It had to have been from 1991 as I framed it and had it over my desk, right next to the quote from PJ O'Rourke (which, after spending a half hour digging through the extensive boxed archives here in Orgle Manor I found):
Back in London, I was having dinner in the Groucho Club---this week's in-spot for what's left of Britain's lit glitz and noveau rock riche---when one more person started in on the Stars and Stripes. Eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about "Your country's never been invaded." (This fellow had been two during the Blitz, you see). "You don't know the horror, the suffering. You think war is..."
"A John Wayne movie," I said. "That's what you were going to say, wasn't it? We think war is a John Wayne movie. We think life is a John Wayne movie---with good guys and bad guys, as simple as that. Well, you know something, Mister Limey Poofter? You're right. And let me tell you who those bad guys are. They're us. WE BE BAD.
"We're the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We're three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock-market crash on our mother's side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them together and it wouldn't give us room to park our cars. We're the big boys, Jack, the original giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d'Antibes. And we've got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go.
"You say our country's never been invaded? You're right, little buddy. Because I'd like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who'd have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying 'Cheerio.' Hell can't hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I'd rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen and jack of all you Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.
"Of course, the guy should have punched me. But this was Europe. He just smiled his shabby, superior Euro trash smile.
"God, don't these people have dentists?
Chai-Rista, don't you think it's about time we got ol' P.J. to speak on campus?
Anyhoo, Mickey Rourke's support of the president throws the kibosh in my usual japery at Mickey's expense. So, from the LLamas, no more bashing of 1991's Harley Davidson and the Marlborough Man, perhaps the most ridiculously bad movie of all time. Here's how we described it in April of 05:
Plot? Something about at the level of a live action extended video for the Village People, featuring the has-been heaven of Don Johnson, one of the hairier Baldwin Brothers (does it really matter which one? I think it was "Chip" Baldwin, or maybe "Tito" Baldwin), Tia Carrere, the late, great, pro-wrestler Big John Studd, Giancarlo Esposito, and the pre-noveau virginal Vanessa Williams.
The only nice thing you can say about Rourke's participation in Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man was that it was really a movie before its time: it in many ways would be the perfect comeback vehicle for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
Since it looks like CHiPS 04 aint going to happen...
So here's what the Mickster has to say:
The former boxer says, "George is doing a hell of a job during very difficult times, more power to him. Screw all them people who don't like him."
So let me get that straight: side with Dubya, and you're agreeing with Mickey Rourke; oppose him, and you're siding with Andrew Sullivan and Ben Affleck.
Talk about your being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea...
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM) - Weekend Roundup
Some impressions and recollections in no particular order:
- I really liked this place. For one thing, I felt curiously like I had come back to a very familiar haunt, even though I'd never been before. Shrine Mont is an old resort, originally built in the 1870's and picked up by the Diocese in the 20's, tucked up in the foothills on the Alleghany side of the Shenandoah Valley. The feel of the place - the old buildings, the slight shabbiness, the relatively primative guest accomodations, and the topography, brought back vivid recollections of my days in law school not that much farther down the Valley.
- For another thing, this was about the most kid-friendly place you could imagine, the perfect location for simply letting them off the leash for a while and not paying too much attention where they got to. All told, there were probably 50 or so kids ranging in age from two to twelve - they swarmed and streamed and played about on the lawn and buildings all day long and well into the evening with only minimal supervision, the sort of thing we used to take for granted in my day but which is becoming much more rare.
- As a matter of fact, the Llama-ettes spent the vast majority of their time down at the pond, fishing and hunting for salamanders. All three of them caught the angling bug something fierce, using their "Barbie" rods, with bobbers and earthworm-baited hooks, to catch bluegill and bass. There was a guy there, a fanatical bass fisherman, who every year sets up at the edge of the pond and helps the kids - teaching them how to cast, baiting hooks, retrieving the fish, etc., with infinite patience and goodwill. He also took pictures of every kid who made a catch and then (as a suprise), laid out blown up copies of those pics in the dining hall on Sunday afternoon for the kids to take home. He told me that the Llama-ettes, between them, probably caught more fish than he'd ever seen, a testiment to the maniac way they have of throwing themselves into things.
- Yes, I fished, too. And yes, I used one of the Barbi rods, not having anything else. And yes, in addition to looking silly, it's the very devil to try and set a hook with a two and a half foot rod. And no, I wasn't the only dad borrowing his kid's toy fishing gear. Next year, I plan to take my own equipment, and perhaps to let the gels try out somewhat larger rods themselves.
- Most of the time, the adults sat around on the porch of the main building, swilling wine and chatting. (That's what Palies do bestest!) Our parish has its own make-shift brass band that serenaded us at cocktail time with such old-fashioned favorites as "A Bicycle Built For Two" and "The Band Played On". I remarked to somebody that I felt I should have a straw boater on.
- There was a talent show Saturday night with over 30 acts entered. Despite the fact that it was well past their bedtime, the eight and six year olds, plus one of their friends, got up on stage and belted out a number they knew from school. Later, I was congratulating our church's talent coordinator for the impressive showing we had made. (We are part of a two-church parish and the other church routinely wipes our eye in the talent show). Both of us must have been pretty far gone by then because what she remembers me doing was volunteering for next year's show. It appears that I am now trapped.
- The one sore spot of the weekend came when I found myself (to my horror) in a late-evening political discussion about Iraq. The folks I was talking to were mushy Left-Center types and while they said we never should have gone in, they also agreed that we had no choice but to succeed. But the alarming thing was their recipe for bringing peace to the entire Middle East and ending the terror war against the United States tomorrow: Require Israel to pull back to its 1967 borders and fully recognize the right of the Palestinian State to exist. Frankly, this appalled me: here were a pair of intelligent, generally progressive guys blaming all of the region's woes on the JOOOOOOOOOOOS. I had thought this kind of thinking was generally confined to the fringes (of both parties).
- Finally, all concerns about snake-handling and other outbursts of religious enthusiasm proved completely unfounded. It's true that we celebrated Eucharist in an open-air shrine (hence the name) on Sunday morning, but I wound up sitting at the back and couldn't really hear anything anyway.
All in all, a very good time. And we are definitely making plans to return every year.
Moo Knew Ker-Choo
It appears that the Munivian Home World got hit with another DOS attack, thus taking all of us out for a while. (Actually, I don't even know what "DOS attack" means, but this is what I've been told.) I assume it was the jihadis going after Dr. Rusty again.
I wonder if this is connected with all the crazy "Blog Verification" links we've been getting lately.
Anyhoo, sorry 'bout that.
June 03, 2006
Kelo v. New London Latest, umm, developments
The latest from New London where the imperial machinations of the City of New London on behalf of Pfizer roll on: Bizzyblog has the update.
Is it just me?
Or is AgentBedHead particularly x-tra bitchalicious lately?
I've got a horse right here, name is Guenevere, and a guy who says when the weather's clear...
I think of him as more of a Sky Masterson type, myself.
But hey, throw in a talking, crime-fighting car, and a chimp sidekick, and you've got movie potential here....
Nigerian scam of the day
I guess my bon vivant friend and neighbor Scott Peterson has been up to more than authoring new Batman comics:
DR mohamend Sula,
HEAD OF INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT,
OCEANIC INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC,
OZUMBA MBADIWE AVENUE,
SUBJECT: BENEFICIARY SUM OF US$16,850,450.68MILLION.
I AM SEEKING FOR YOUR COOPERATION TO
PRESENT YOU TO MY BANK AS THE NEXT OF KIN TO MR SCOTT PETERSON, A FOREIGN CONTRACTOR WITH NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM COOPERATION
SO THAT THE SUM OF US$16,850,450.68MILLION WILL BE PAY TO YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY. FOR YOUR INFORMATION,
I AM THE HEAD OF INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT WITH OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC,
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF OCEANIC BANK INTERNATIONAL PLC, MANDATED ME TO LOOK FOR ANY KNOWN RELATION OF MR SCOTT
PETERSON, SINCE, AFTER HIS DEATH 5/1/05, HOWEVER ALL MY EFFORTS TRACES ABORTIVE, THAT IS THE MAIN REASON I AM WRITING YOU THIS TO ASK FOR YOUR COOPEARATION FOR US TO CLAIM THIS MONEY, SINCE YOU ARE A FOREIGNER. I ONLY HAVE TO APPROVE YOU, THIS FUND WILL BE PAY TO YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY .
WE ARE TO SHARE THIS MONEY BETWEEN OURSELVES (I AND YOU) IF YOU ARE REALY INTERESTED IN THIS OFFER YOU SHOULD CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY
FOR DETAIL OF THIS TRANSACTION AND PRECEDURE. PLS DO FORWARD ME YOUR FULL NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, YOUR COMPANY NAME OR OCCUPATION THESE INFO ARE VITALTO THE SUCCESS OF THIS TRANSACTION. NOTE THAT THIS IS RISK FREE BUSINESS, THIS TRANSACTION WILL COMMENCE IMMEDIATELY THERE IS INTEREST FROM YOU.CONTACT ME
DR mohamend Sulu.
The "and 68 cents" part is priceless.
I'm sorry Scott, but I've got to rib you on this one: I mean, it's one thing to share a name with a wife-killing scumbag, but a telemarketer/email scammer? Yikes.
SOOPER SEKRIT MESSAGE TO SCOTT: Ets-lay oh-day omething-say is-thay eek-way, kay-ohtay?
Here's an interesting Saturday task
Melissa Wiley has a link to a compilation of cool girl heroines in literature that is looking for nominations.
Right now, we are pulling together the summer reading library for the kids, and we are always on the lookout for good books for our eldest, Little Miss Somersault, who is finishing 3rd grade.
And yes, I had ulterior motives in this post to corner all the traffic from dyslexics looking for Olson Twins info....
June 02, 2006
Gratuitous Plum Blogging
The latest massacre
THIS is indeed frightening....
June 01, 2006
Gratuitous Hypothetical Sci-Fi Musing
While I'm away this weekend, ponder this question:
Han Solo and Mal Reynolds get into a bar fight. What happens?
Assume that Chewie and Zoe provide appropriate backup.
Assume also that the fight has to do with the relative virtues and merits of Leia and Inara.
I know what I'd like to see happen.......
With a mug like that . . .
it would take a lot more than a Benz to attract the interest of the average 16-year old. But that is just my opinion. H/T to the fine folks at The Jawa Report.
Gratuitous Llama Netflix Movies - What Robbo Won't Be Watching This Weekend
Well, I'll be away most of the weekend, so won't get around to them 'til late Sunday at the earliest, but Netflix is sending along a trio of new-to-me movies:
How to Steal A Million (1966) - With Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. This was strongly recommended to me by a good friend. O'Toole has always been one of my favorite actors.
The Ref (1994) - With Denis Leary, Kevin Spacy and Judy Davis. I've always liked Leary's boozy, slightly psycho, Irish wit.
The Rundown (2003) -With Christopher Walken and The Rock. I've an idea this'll probably be the lamest of the picks, but I like Walken and, God help me, I like the Rock, too.
Anything any of you have got to say about any of these flicks is more than welcome. And, of course, I'll let you know what I think, too.
The Sands of My Lai
Jed Babbin on the coming political storm over the Haditha killings:
No matter how quickly military investigators work, and no matter how firmly any crimes are punished, the anti-war left won't be satisfied unless Haditha becomes the lever that pushes President Bush to admit the war was wrong and set a time to withdraw from Iraq. My Lai - the March 16, 1968 massacre of about 500 Vietnamese by US soldiers - was first covered up and then exploded in headlines, courts-martial and congressional hearings. (Maureen Dowd, one of the New York Times's hyperliberal columnists, has already labeled Haditha a "My Lai acid flashback.") Screamed about by protesters, shown endlessly on television news, My Lai and the court-martial of one of the perpetrators, Lt. William Calley, provided the final political nail in the coffin of American involvement in Vietnam. We withdrew from Vietnam in 1975, abandoning our allies and hanging our heads in shame. This is the political result the left wants from Haditha, and we cannot allow it to happen for one very big reason. The Vietnam War ended in Vietnam, leaving America incapable of taking action in defense of itself or its allies for decades. The end of the war against the terrorist nations won't occur in Iraq, and we must be prepared - psychologically and politically - to continue the fight. When we lost Vietnam the enemy didn't follow us home. Radical Islamists will. If they win, we will literally lose America.
Read the rest, which includes a sobering analysis of why the military will not be able to fight back in the arena of public opinion.
No doubt about it, it's gonna get bad. But I can't help wondering if the anti-war crown may not very well overplay their hand. Iraq isn't Vietnam, despite what many on the Left wish. (And on that subject, be sure to read James Taranto's Best of the Web analysis from yesterday - first item.) Furthermore, I think the public attitude towards the military is both better informed and more sympathetic than it was back then. If the anti-war crowd pushes too far, I think they could very well provoke an unintended backlash against themselves.
Of course, this may just be wishful thinking. Because I shudder to contemplate what happens if we do cut and run.
Happy Birthday, Jonathan Pryce!
One of my favorite moderately obscure actors was born this day in 1947 in Holywell, Wales.
He seems to be doing fairly well at the moment, having got in on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and being otherwise employed in various period and art films. This is good news after his failed Hollywood breakout attempt in the mid-90's. Evita (with Madonna) spun in and nothing much came of his role as the villainous Elliot Carver in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. For a while there, he was reduced to doing Infiniti car commercials for which, he unabashedly said, he was just grateful to get the money.
But I like him primarily for his earlier collaborations with Terry Gilliam in Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. And the more I think of it, the more I see his Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson in the latter movie as a good screen representation of Patrick O'Brian's Stephen Maturin:
Am I not right about this? Huh? He's probably a bit too old now, but if they ever do an Aubrey/Maturin sequel, he'd make an intriguing choice as the Doctor.
Robbo's Rules of Etiquette
Reading about Hillary Rodham Clinton Rodham's acceptance speech for the
2008 Democratic Presidential nomination 2006 Democratic nomination for Senator from New York reminded me of a question that seems to be causing quite a bit of confusion. Specifically, in the event the Hill does become president or, for that matter, any other married woman wins the office, what title should her spouse have?
Well, surely the answer is "First Gentleman".
I fail to see why this is so difficult. And yet, I see all sorts of references to "First Spouse" and the like.
Yes, yes. I know that with Bubba in particular, saying "First Gentleman" is wholly absurd. But think of all the senior weasels in government whose titles begin "The Honorable" and you will see a) that it is not perhaps as far-fetched as all that, and b) that we must remember we are honoring the hat, not the person on whose head it is perched.
So there it is.
More Gratuitous Royal Navy Geekery Posting
Today is the anniversary of the frigate duel fought off Boston in 1813 between U.S.S. Chesapeake, commanded by Capt. James Lawrence, and H.M.S. Shannon, commanded by Capt. Philip Broke. The battle lasted no more than fifteen minutes or so, during which time the Shannon simply out-gunned the Chesapeake. Captain Lawrence was mortally wounded in the first minutes of the fight. His final order was "Don't give up the ship!"
Captain James Lawrence
Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke
Patrick O'Brian fans will know that this battle is vividly described in The Fortune of War, in which O'Brian places Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin aboard the Shannon just before the climactic duel (having opened the story with them aboard H.M.S. Java, commanded by Capt. Lambert, when she was taken by U.S.S. Constitution, commanded by Commodore Bainbridge). As always, O'Brian's technical description of the battle is riveting. Further, his description of the psychological importance of this victory to the Royal Navy, coming as it did on the heals of three successive and virtually unthinkable single-ship action defeats at the hands of the American Navy, is superb and is a splendid example of how a work of fiction can teach important historical fact. (This psychology is explored further in O'Brian's next book, The Surgeon's Mate.)
In hunting around, I discovered a song commemorating the battle (from the British perspective, of course).
O the Chesapeake so bold
Out of Boston she was towed
To take an English frigate
Neat and handy, O;
And the people in the port,
They came to see the sport,
Whilst the music played up
Yankee doodle dandy, O.
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Now the British frigate's name,
0 that for the purpose came
To cool the Yankees' courage
Neat and handy, 0,
Was the Shannon, Captain Broke,
With his men all hearts of oak,
Who for fighting was allowed to be
The dandy, 0.
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Just before the fight began,
Said the Yankees with much fun:
We'll tow her into Boston
Neat and handy, 0;
And then afterwards we'll dine
With our sweethearts and our wives,
And we'll dance the jig called
Yankee doodle dandy, 0.
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Now the fight had scarce begun
When they flinch-ed from the guns,
Which they thought that they would fight
So neat and handy, 0;
Then brave Broke he drew his sword, crying:
Now my lads we'll board
And we'll stop them playing
Yankee doodle dandy, 0.
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
They no sooner heard the word
Than they quickly jumped on board,
And haul-ed down the ensign
Neat and handy, 0.
Notwithstanding all their brag,
Soon the glorious British flag
At the Yankee's mizen-peak it looked
The dandy, 0.
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Here's a health, my boys, to you,
With your courage stout and true.
Who fought the Chesapeake
So neat and handy, 0;
And may it ever prove
That in fighting as in love
That the true British sailor
Is the dandy, 0.
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Hi! Yankee doodle doo,
Yankee doodle dandy!
Here is a midi-file of it.
Episcopalians Gone Wild
We're headed off to a Church retreat this weekend at a place called Shrine Mont, a little resort owned by the Diocese out in the Shenandoah Valley.
I've never been to a Church retreat before.
On the one hand, I don't expect much by way of wild religious enthusiasm. No snake-handling, for instance. And no Personal Testimonies. (We're Episcopalians, after all. Despite the encouragement of some of our more enthusiastic clergy, our 11th Commandment is still "Thou Shalt Mind Thy Own Bloody Business.") And I don't see anything about the kind of progressive religious thoughts seminar that the Church sometimes likes to spring, like "Jesus: Okay, He Wasn't A Lesbian, But He Could Have Been", or a discussion of Oolon Colluphid's blockbuster theological trilogy, Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who Is This God Person Anyway?
On the other hand, I can smell forced fun from a long way off. The programme for the weekend seems to include several "disco theme" events, including a costume parade, a dance and a talent show. Our parish traditionally shares Shrine Mont Weekend with one of our neighboring parishes and they apparently bring many more people and always outclass us in these events, a subject of some soreness in certain sections of our own little flock. People have been dropping hints to me for weeks that we all need to really pitch in and show 'em this year. Well, to quote Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Don't bother trying to engage my enthusiasm, because I haven't got one." Disco, indeed. Feh.
So what do I hope will happen? Well, this is supposed to be a nice, quiet, relaxing place. Lots of hiking trails, swimming (although it will probably be too cold and rainy), some tennis, a fish-pond (we've outfitted all the Llama-ettes with Barbie (R) fishing rods. If I know them at all, this'll keep 'em happy for hours.) Plus (I certainly hope) a great deal of sitting about on the porch, gossiping and getting slowly squiffed, which is after all what Palies do best. The one encouraging note in the programme is the instruction to bring a great deal of wine and beer.
Anyhoo, I will of course let you know how it goes.
YIPS from Steve: Dude, you are going to have a great time. Maximum porch sitting, very good homestyle food, no 20-21st century bothers. You will love it (and that is an order; no seriously, I think you are really going to like it, as the speed is your pace).
In particular, I have a feeling you'll like that part of the valley and the drive in through Mt. Jackson. Serious Shelby Foote geekery will ensue.
I only wish we were going too...
FURTHER YIPS from Steve: Oh, and the hard-learned lesson on my part is to grab the snakes very close to their head, and use your thumb to judiciously clamp down. The Holy Spirit is great n' all, but not as great as a nice, secure grip.
I'm kidding, of course.
YIPS from Steve: Don't believe him---he's telling the truth!
YIPS from Steve: Hush!
Yips! back from Robbo: Yikes! It's snakes on agape!
Gratuitous Royal Navy Geekery Posting
(Yips! to me.)
HMS Defense at the Battle of the First of June, 1794 by Nicholas Pocock
Today is the anniversary of the Glorious First of June (also known as the Battle of Ushant), the 1794 sea battle between the Royal Navy and the
Jacobin swine navy of Revolutionary France off the coast of Ushant in which Admiral Lord Howe (known as "Black Dick") took on a French fleet escorting a grain convoy from America. Here is a description of the events leading up to the battle and of the fighting itself.
Here is a diagram of the battle:
(Image lifted from The Wargamer.)
Tactically, the battle was a draw - the Royal Navy captured or sank seven French ships without suffering any permanent loss itself, but the grain convoy made it to France, the British fleet being too battle-damaged to mount an effective pursuit. Strategically, it was an enormous psychological victory for the Brits, as simmering fears of Revolutionary invasion of England were soundly quashed. Furthermore, the French never tried to run another grain convoy past the British squadrons guarding the coast, instead relying on singleton blockade-runners and thus drastically cutting the rate of food importation.
Here is a celebratory engraving of Howe at the point of victory, issued shortly after the battle:
(Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Print Shop.)
One of the more famous ships to fight at the Glorious First was HMS Bellerophon, known in the service as the "Billy Ruffian". Mom just finished a book about her called The Billy Ruffian: The Bellerophon and the Downfall of Napoleon by David Cordingly, about which she has been saying many enthusiastic things. I haven't read the book yet, but in celebration of the day, I've just ordered it from the Devil's Website.
One of the lieutenants of HMS Bellerophon is supposed to have penned a song commemorating the battle (although it actually describes events leading up to it):
The First of June
Twas on the twenty-eighth of May, the morning being clear,
A fleet to windward we espied, they Frenchmen did appear.
The signal for the same being made, the chase was soon begun;
And then for battle we prepared to show monsieurs some fun.
Our ship being cleared, the foe we neared, with expectations high,
That we should show the murderous foe,
That British courage still will flow, to make them strike, or die!
The famed Bellerophon began her cannons first to play
Upon a three-decked ship of theirs, which could not run away.
Our hearts of gold their shot well told, in showers about her side,
‘Til the Leviathan came up, the battle to divide.
Then seeing plain ‘twas quite in vain the contest more to try,
She struck, and this does show,
That British courage still will flow, to make them strike, or die!
Night coming on the battle ceased, ‘til Phoebus rose again,
When we beheld this traitorous fleet still vaunting on the main.
Our line being formed, and all hearts warmed, the fight was soon renewed,
Determined to hand down that flag which with contempt we viewed.
Lord Howe engaged their hottest rage; he broke their line to try
If such maneuvers would not show
That British courage still would flow, to make them strike, or die!
The battle warmly was maintained, much valor was displayed,
‘Til night with all her sable train the action still delayed.
Now since again all o’er the main these rebels can’t be found,
We’ll toast our admirals in our glass; our girls, too, shall go round.
Each heart shall sing, “Long live the King!” and each again reply,
“If e’er we’re called again we’ll show
That British courage still shall flow, to make them strike, or die!”
(For you Patrick O'Brian enthusiasts, I believe the Glorious First is one of the very few major battles Jack Aubrey did not participate in during his long career. However, he and his friends certainly sing "The First of June", as would any other self-respecting Navy man.)