Friday, September 29, 2006

(Happy) Canine Trails (to You)

Dear folks,
Stupid me.
I changed one of the settings regarding comments that would allow me to moderate them. Please don't ask why; I'll simply claim the ol' reliable Alzheimer's kicking in at an early stage rule. (No offense intended to you or anyone you know possibly affected by the dreadful Alzheimer's Disease.

Needless to say, once I changed the setting, no comments appeared. I forgot that if one wants to moderate must, ahem, moderate them, i.e., look at them. Instead of looking, I squished my hands wondering what idiocies I've been writing as entries recently that no one wanted to leave some verbal traces behind. I felt like the excremental matter a dog sniffs at and doesn't bother wasting his marking fluid on; there's only so many markings the discerning Bow-Wow will leave each day.

So, things should be back to normal. I hope. Thanks to Alcessa for pointing out my idiocy; she has a gentle touch in matters of that nature.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Is it just Whisky Prajer and I who are having troubles with Blogger posting the last few days (and, at least in my case, have had problems in the past week)? It is brutally slow. Is the lack of speed an attmept on their part to get you to switch to or at least to try out their new and improved Beta version? Anyone out there who's tried the Beta version? Comments. Opinions.

Or is it time to round up all the posts and bring them over to Typepad? That sounds like an unpleasnt thing to be doing.

Useless Inventing

Borat's slingshot swimming pouch was a picture I'd hoped to erase from whatever part of my brain it's taken up permanent residence. I was hoping for a more appealling replacement. Now comes this from Michael at Glory of Carniola. Hard to erase this. It was bad enough (and hilarious) when Seinfeld tackled the delicate issue of Man Bras (manssieres?). But that was comedy. This is...well, this is embarassing.

Oh, how the might have fallen.
I remember the days when Croatians were famous (and not just to themselves) for inventing useful things like automatic pencils, light bulbs, the torpedo and the airship.

Now, the nationality is tied to a piece of clothing Baldrick (of Black Adder fame) used to wear. A posing pouch. (I'll let you google at your own pace). What has independence done for the fame of Croatia? Nicola Tesla is spinning in his grave.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wear Ya Frum?

You remember those WW II movies where a Yank is seperated from a Yank-wanna-be via the Big Question? It usually concerned someone or something in baseball, like say, " What was the name of the manager who mailed a blank check to the League office each spring to cover the fines he'd pile up for getting ejected from games in the coming season?"

Since baseball is not the sport most Amerticans are embrolied with these days, perhaps a different wheat-from-chaff seperator is necessary.

Well, try your hand at this quiz. What part of the country are you from? Luckily this test didn;t have life-and-death consequences. My score was such that I would have been shot halfway through the quiz. A paltry 50% score. I should've just guessed with each choice. How'd you do?

Oh, yeah. That baseball question? None other than Jimmy Dykes.

Calming the Savage Beast

The old man, as a regular custom, would have music on for every Sunday afternoon dinner. He had amassed through the weekly mailed harangues from Reader's Digest quite a few shelves worth of boxed sets. Musicals, semi-Classicals, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Romantic Strains, Latin Tinges, and, of course, Nat King Cole. We knew when another boxload of tunes was coming; we heard the mailman cursing 5-6 houses away. Before Amazon, before CDUniverse, there was Reader's Digest Music. To a kid just off the proverbial boat, this music was stunning. Keep in mind that this (thanks to Carniola for unearthing these...treasures) is what was offered in the old country. The cutting edge was quite blunt.
The sound quality coming off of this American vinyl, however, was piercing in its clarity; no clicks, scrapings, no unexplained blips. Even the color of the LP was superior, a wet-looking jet black as compared to the greyish matter I'd been used to.

My father would plop on a whole box worth of LP's onto the self-loading record player (this was in the days before they were called turntables but after the days of the Victrolas). Limit was 6 but, Hey!, this was an American-made product, it'll handle 10 (some record labels advertised their product as being "extra lite(sic)" which allowed you, Law of Physics speaking, to stack at least 12 LP's at one time). We knew when we reached our stacking limit when a screach of plea would emanate from the record player as a direct result of the post mechanism weakening and dumping all of the suspended records on top of the needle (they weren't called "stylus cartridges" until there were "turntables" ). Of course, pushing the limits on these record players promised an early demise. One spewed out smoke before freezing up. Another, sensing the stacking methodology in our household early on, refused to allow us to stack more than 2 albums at a time. A third wreaked revenge by blowing out our mutiple-plug wall outlet as it spun its last time. If the record players had unionized I doubt we ever would have had the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th record player in the house. Not without some nasty negotiations and give-ins on our part. "Dainty" and "Music playing" were not a combination heard in my parents' house until I got fancy-dancy and bought my own single play turntable. My father couldn't believe it! Why buy something that did only thing, although admittedly quite well, he thought, when you could have a record player that did many things well, although admittedly not well at all? I tried to explain it to him on multiple occasions. He just laughed and wrote off the arguments to that loser dustbin of Youth. Even when I told him I could hear the albums sanding each other down as they plopped on the record player pad, he questioned the state of my auditory faculties.

But, I've strayed a bit here. The music he tended to favor was the Reader's Digest Glenn Miller Box Set, a clarinet-lover's "I've Died and Gone to Heaven". If the mood struck him on a particular Sunday, mid-meal he would sweep my mother from her place of serving and dance around the living room while their kiddies would stare from their dinner seats, assured that all Sunday family dinners operate this way. If Mr. Miller wasn't playing Pennsylvania 6-5000, then it was "Reader's Digest Latin Favorites" on the platter. For a chemical enginner, the old man was quite inventive with the feet and the hands.

Carrying on the music 'n meals tradition (and the album, well now CD, accumulation tradition), I've found it difficult not having some background music. Usually, it's instrumental, tending toward something like this or this. On occassion, though only he will do. And would you believe that the seeping-off-one's-feet tradition also continues? I'll entice my ever-loving wife to the small dance floor that is our dining room, wrap my hand around hers, and we'll float way to another place.

So, how about yourself? A little night music for dinner? Or is the clacking and clanging of utensils enough background noise? If it's music, what've you got in the background?

Addendum (10/01/06):
Whisky Prajer gives a different interpretation of Spinal Tap's Thin line of Clever and Stupid jag. Only he can throw in ABBA, The New Pornographers, and Van Halen and make sense of it all. His daughters are lucky to have him as a dad.

Alcessa adds an entry about the (old) Yugo tunes her young mind was affected by here. You could spend a good deal of your morning or evening going through her entry as she's diligently added links to YouTube versions of many of the nightmarish musical events.

Still waiting for Cowtown Pattie's dinner music memories as well as Mr. F. C. Bearded. Both are probably polishing off their versions to land on Michael's favoured Elsewhere list, where new blogging stars are born.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Let me count the...

Prairie Mary had a Sept. 14th post in which she enumerated 10 Reasons for Blogging. A lesser version will be presented here, with my poor aim intended to those folks who may see me, flesh & bone, on occasion and still ask me, "And so, you’d rather blog about it than talk to my face about it?".
Even Mary scoffed at the number 10, so I’ll just list and stop at whatever number the reasons do. No importance should be assumed by the order. Like most things I enumerate, a random number generator determines their order. Random numbers, I’ve found, eliminate the discomfort caused when asked "Who do you love more?".

#6) Writing v. Talking. It’s much easier backspacing/deleting what I’ve written. Alhough I still need to apologize from time to time about a written word, the quantity of apologies number less than when I part my lips.

#3) Gestation period for thoughts. A corollary of #6. Quick-frying doesn’t work for me; spontaneity is over-rated, specifically when it comes to words. In my case, slow-cooking is the way to go. Low heat. Frequent tasting of how the stew’s coming along. The opportunity to throw in additional spices and complimentary ingredients is always present.

#9) Blogging's anonymity’s freedom allows for the peculiar but effective combination of intimacy and distance.

#2) My son, at college at the time, was legitimately sick & tired of the plethora of fatherly advice of the complete works of What/how/who/where/when in college. He was assigned to set up his own blog in one of his college courses. He suggested, quite effectively, that I take my harangue elsewhere, specifically to the Internet, where he thought a possible audience of 1 or, maybe even, 2 may be present desirous of reading a father's advice.

#1) There is an incredible quantity of interesting people out there in the Land of Blog who write with wit, intelligence, passion, and integrity. Blogging’s a club I’d love to be part of.

#5) It may not be The New New Thing. Perhaps it was at one point in time, even for a nanosecond, on some cutting edge. Blogging is, for me, a self-indicator that aging does not mean retreating. It let’s the kids know their old man is still full of vim and vigor (and vinegar).

#8) Blogging is the cocktail party without the cocktail, without the olives. It allows me to stay and linger as long as I want at one site and scoot out as fast as I can muster speed from another, if a topic's discussion is trite or boring. And, again, all with relative anonymity.

#4) Blogging's a porch where you can bring out your opinions, your verbal skills, your life experiences and, usually, have positive connections and comments from folks climbing those 3 short steps from the Internet street.

Addendum 10/10/06:
While I'm here playing stickball there's some major players swinging for the fences with their reasons for blogging.
There's the gemutlich Whisky Prajer, the contestaire Cowtown Pattie, and the berrieh Searchie. All-Stars, all. Please remember to read Prarie Mary's entry; she's the one who started this lagniappe.

Sincerely, Mr. Attaccabottoni

Labor of Love

A much beloved and read blogger, Mr. Whisky Prajer, is on the cusp of releasing his collection of stories. Here's the tentative cover.

He's lived a full life at an early age and the stability and love that marraige and fatherhood have brought him are sure to wrangle his youth into a collection of concentrated observations that will have you rolling your tongue over the texture of his mind's eye. Hmmm, that last bit sounded a bit gross, certainly not the intent. Let me just say that if his blog entries offer any clue, I'll be re-reading the stories shortly after the first read-through.

Darrell, congratulations on completion. I'm sure Labor of Love doesn't cover the full gestation and development process, but this delivery is coming to a happy conclusion.

I'll be posting a link for ordering Mr. Reimer's book as soon as it's announced.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A New Addition to Daily Clicks

Aside from posting some easily understood information regarding photography, Mike Johnston also has occassional posts like this and this that are good a laugh and a "Hmmmm". The latter link was pointed out to me by a comment on Carniola left by Jernej Burkeljca.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

1, 2, 3, Taping

From Eric at East Ethnia, here's his take on the Hungrian PM Gyurcsany situation. One of his links got me to dreaming.

Dreaming of the possibility that a recording of our leader would be discovered and the first words would be a carbon copy of P.M. Ferenc Gyurcsany's.

"There is not much choice. There is not, because we screwed up. Not a little, a lot. No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have.

"Evidently, we lied throughout the last year-and-a-half, two years... "

Yes, this and bringing me the head of Dick Cheney would be a most wonderful dream to have happen.

Let me now slip off to sleep.

Friday, September 15, 2006


A simply gorgeous entry today by Searchie.
A line, "Whenever I watch that scene (from My Best Friend), I cry for the gentle Kinski who was obscured and consumed by the raving, unhinged madman within. We – all of us – contain such multitudes.", to persuade you over here to read. In a five minute read (I tend to dawdle whe I read her entries), she somehow ties in Jonathan Franzen, birdwatching, Klaus Kinski, and the World Trade Center. A succinct cleverness here.

Personally, I'm at an age where my proclivities tend to be classified as character addendums. Not faults or flaws. Not quirks. Addendums. Birdwatching has been an addendum since my son reached his walking/talking stages. Throw in the fact that he proclaimed our feathery friends as "dirbs" and I was hooked on the strolls he, my wife, and I took in various bird-residing areas. If I was in a foul or down mood, a trip into the woods in search of kingfishers or my 2 favorites, the Flicker and the American Kestrel would usually let my mind wander to watching these birds flying or stalking by.

After a particularly tiresome day at work, before I pull onto the interstate, there's a small overgorwn pond by the side of the feeder road. If I'm lucky, I get to see this gorgeous bird or this beauty. Makes the drive home more pleasant. Luckily, I never catch a glimpse of this; that would be a long drive home.

Oh, and Searchie's fav is the tufted titmouse. A pleasure to say. A pleasure to see.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

An Entry, so to Speak

A commenter on Glory of Carniola linked to this Wikipedia entry after commenting on this entry. Quick, before the definition police get their erasers on this! A quick quip from Wikipedia: "However, they are extremely popular in the low-IQ community of rural Slovenia, and are very welcome at any "veselica" that the local volounteer Fire Department might organise."

And to think some folks think Turbo Polka too staid! Shake that...thing.

Flags at Half Mast

The governor a lot us wish we had and that Texas fortunately did have, has died. She was the first major political figure that felt the wrath of Texas' Darth Vader, Carl Rove. What we thought was a question of local politics back when Dubya had the job, has subsequently brought in 6 years and counting of darkness to our land. Ann Richards was surprised and then overwhelmed by the wrath of Rove and Bush. Afterwards, she tried to warn the Dems and the nation and most of us didn't listen. We didn't take him seriously as a presidential candidate.

Here she is in an interview regarding governship.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Take a gander at this and let me know if you wouldn't like to punch Wiki in the schnozzola. Check out Tip#2 to set you straight as to where Wikihow is leading to. Sounds like they're having a drought of available contributors to Wikipedia and Wikihow, so they're looking for deserters.

Wonder what Jimmy Wales' take on this is?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Should ".ss" be a Destination?

As pointed out by Dictionary of the Serbian Mess and East of Ethnia, the proposed new internet domain for Serbia is "ss".

Please!!! Someone has got to tell these folks politely that this may be perceived as a problem to EU entry. Not that EU Entry should be the pinacle of a country's recognition.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Too Many Meetings

Today is the first true day of professional football. Yeah, yeah, I know that the Steelers beat Miami on Thursday the 7th. But today, almost every team in playing. I enjoy watching the NFL. Well, actually, I enjoy watching the first five minutes and the last five minutes of the game. See what tone is set and then see if that tone's the same at the end of the game. In between? Well, for my taste, there's way too many meetings. The huddles, the time-outs, the malingering after tackling. I'm just too impatient. I get enough of that time-wasting soul-sucking activity at work. Why would I want to see a less personal substitute at home?
My mother, an off-the-boat immigrant if there ever is one and a person well-oiled to, in her words, "speak her minds", once commented to my father and I as we feverishly studied this American version of football one Sunday long ago, "Again a discussion!? Don't they remember what they just talked about a minute ago? These boys must have been in the back row at school. Now, turn that off and let's all iron. Tomorrow's work and school."
I keep the game on, but I'm doing something else most times. It's my Sunday Muzak.

Though relegated out to the t.v. hinterlands, hockey's still my favorite. Players always thinking on their feet, well, uhm, skates, a minimal stoppage of play for injuries (and usually that stoppage is for collecting a player's teeth or contact lenses), and head coaches that aren't wired up for sound or handicapped with play cards or clipboards, like their counterparts in the NFL who seem to use the latter to disguise the fact that they didn't brush their teeth that morning. I don't want to hear about the intricacies of the NFL game either; just plain hogwash propaganda. I'd only seriously consider watching an entire NFL game if one of the teams had as head coach or, even better, if the NFL had as its commissioner the wily and explosive Don Cherry.

Otherwise, NFL game on and I'll be balancing my checkbook or filing my fingernails.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


In today's (Saturday) Wilmington News Journal, an article caught my attention. A candidate for the Delaware State House, a Mr. Fred Jeffrey Boykin, was arrested. Now in Delaware, at least, arrests of political candidates is not something out of the ordinary. I'm no sure if it's a reflection on the flies that are drawn to the flypaper that is public service in the Diamond State or the sad state of the general pool of candidates willing to have their pusses plastered on flyers on telephone poles. But whatever the reason, Delaware has its share of out-of-bounds characters. Mr. Boykin comes from good stock, namely, politics runs in his family's veins. His mother, whose address Mr. Boykin, a mature 53 yr old, lists as his residence for election records, is a former State Representative.

But, politics has changed since then. It's gone, note that I didn't say "risen", to a new level. Candidate Boykin was arrested for allegedly threatening to set fire to a church if the church removed his campaign signs from its lawn. Dot Haislett recounts this voicemail left for her by the alleged candidate.

Identifying himself as God, the alleged candidate said, "All he wants to do is put a sign on your stinkin' lawn. Let him do it. The last church that wouldn't help him burned down." I wonder if God was using a Blackberry or a Razr? Now I realize that God is a smothe-ing kind of guy, but I don't recall him being an arsonist, unless you count the "burning bush" as an act of arson. Andstinkin' lawn? Unless God's a real fan of The Treasure of Sierra Madre, I don't think He'd be using "stinkin'" as an adjective.

(Former) candidate Boykin seems to have a problem with signs and the law. In a prior year, he pleadd gulty to criminal mischief charges for running his truck into a sign outside The News Journal office.

Ms. Haislett was obviously not impressed with the stump speech, be it God or be it the alleged candidate. "He's not somebody I'd vote for", she said, after recounting her phone tale. Tomorrow's sermon at the church, as posted by Silverside Church is "The Complexities of Forgiveness".



Remember how we laughed and cringed simultaneously when George Costanza had his "shrinkage" debacle in one of the Seinfeld episodes? So much (mental) anguish. So much (physical) pain.

What can be a worse blow to a man's ego? Can't get worse, right? From a link at Carniola (Corrected! Thnx to Alcessa (where I was once listed as a "beloved commentater and blogger of readable content" but am now just a distant and floating in the fog. Michael! I swear. I do have a valid Slovenian blogging passport!) comes this truly painful episode in a man's life. Oh, Shrinkage, I curseth ye! Oh, Expansion, your pride doth giveth me such pain!

Please note that this story is from the Land of Croats, where women are women and men are perpetually hoisting themselves by their own petard. Yes, we even make sitting in a lounge chair an adventure.

Addendum: When the ever-loving wife heard about this incident she wrote if off to tow things:
1) The infamous Urban Legend scenario.
2) The "crack" news reporting capabilities of the Croatian Fifth Estate.

With a nod in her direction, I'll just pretend to believe it's true. It gives me another reason, though a potentially painful one, to think about the homeland.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

One Book Meme - Finito!

Apologies to all (of those interested).
Here’s the One Book Meme balance of the required Oneness.

One book I've read more than once: Richard Russo’s Nobody’s Fool

One book I'd want on a desert island: The fattest volume around. I was a lousy Boy Scout and firewood collecting wasn’t my badge speciality.

One book that made me laugh: Confederacy of Dunces got me thrown out of the N.C. State library. I’m serious! But I think I laughed deeper, longer, and louder when enwrapped in Joshua Then & Now

One book that made me cry: In the privacy of a book, I tend to the Big Boo-Hoo more than I care to admit. The most waterlogged book in our collection is Goodnight Moon, since it was a nightly read to the kiddies for, I’m estimating, 2 decades.

One book I wish had never been written: The Baltimore Catechism, a book whose possible intentions, in theory, was to explain and illustrate, but, which, in practice, turned the Catholic faith into a rote-learning based religion.

One book I wish had been written: Impossible to answer because whatever idea I may have in mind is sure to come up with at least one book to deal with it. So, rather than wish for a book that had been written, let me wish for an improved light-speed Google software specifically aimed at matching all books currently available, out-of-print or not.

One book I'm currently reading: Chris Ayres' War Reporting for Cowards

One book I've been meaning to read: Rory Stewart's The Places in Between.

N.B.: The film versions of Joshua Then & Now and Nobody’s Fool are exquisite.

End of Summer News Dregs

Nick Nolte, not the posterboy for Good Health or Got Milk?, was caught, literally, in Dubrovnik recently. Seems the affect of allegedly consuming 40 liters of wine and a "significant" amount of whisky in a 4 days stay in this lovely city was a loss of short term memory.
Here's where the story gets truly wierd. Waiters allegedly had to "chase" him down to pay the tab. When they caught him, he did not object to the waiter about paying.
Making something out of nothing in the Land of Croats.
He paid up, no questions asked, no problems caused.
The fact that they used the words "chased" and "Nick Nolte" in the same sentence stretches the bounds of credulity. Aside from his age, his well-known bum legs, his consumption of mass quantities of fermented grape juice, his fame, how and why would he have taken off on a brisk trot and thus caused the word "chase" to even come up as a plausible verb when connected with the noun, "Nick Nolte", in a sentence?

It's the End of Summer news dregs. Livelying up oneself.

Worse? Bad Taste or Poor Taste

Come on.
Just like the week after 9/11, you know you're waiting for The Onion to come out with their version of the truly bizarre Steve Irwin situation. Somebody named Tony Pierce has already come up with this. If you read the comments, he should not be leaving his house anytime soon. Or at least without a disguise. This fellow, commenting on Mr. Pierce's story, noted his own situation regarding a fairly tame entry.

My own take? I feel sorry for his kids. As for Mr. Irwin, outside of the vigorous pain he must have gone through, his death came as a direct result of doing what he truly loved. He was well aware of all of the dangers he was involved in. I think most of us were surprised some other over-involved action with nature hadn't ended his life earlier. Tragic? Unnecessary? Perhaps, but how many of us wouldn't mind if our lives ended in pursuit of what we vitally needed.

This is tragic.
This is unnecessary.

This is a human interest story blown out of proportion. At least his father has been able to keep a sane perspective on the sad event.

Addendum; Here's a small Onion piece on the matter.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hooked & Caught

Stumped for well over a week with this One Book Meme thing, I’m resorting to the true measure of self-deluded importance by tracking the Dad, you’ve told us this ,(insert one of the following :"story", "advice", "tale of caution", "Book/cd/album", "Old family saying", here),before pontifications.
While there were many worthy candidates, Blood of the Lamb, East of Eden, Good Soldier Svejk, Joshua, Then & Now, Slaughterhouse 5, Running in the Family, and even On War, the one coffin of a tome I’d been repeatedly nailing with my kids was Catch -22. Yes, I even attached that clichéd tag “Life Changing (complete with 3 or 4 ) !!!!" to my seemingly eternal pronouncement.

One of the kids even read it! Who sez you can’t wear down the stone of teenagedom? And he enjoyed it! Huuzzah.

I was a punkish boulevardier (to borrow Mr. de Vries’ description of a teenaged boy) living in a ‘burb town on the tracks to NYC. Yes, I was Verging on Pertinence, even then. While bicycling around town one sticky Jersey summer day, I ditched the transportation into some bushes and loped into the town’s library, seeking some free a/c. No need to buy a drink or a magazine or comic here to just hang out in the 70 degree weather. I simply needed to appear library-like; scrunch up the uni-brow and then proceed to eye the stacks with the perceived intention of reading.

Perusal always gets me somewhere and where it led me this fateful day was to the "Military" section of the library. I was in the transitional years of teenagedom; still interested in blood & guts but not willing to surrender to the comic book/illustrated version. Like Norman Mailer’s interest in Jack Abbott, I was toying with something dangerous and beyond my comfortable black and white moral understanding. Slowly looking across the shelves and then elevatoring my stare upwards at the end of one shelf, Catch-22 appeared. I’m sure that it was a misfiling on a staff’s part. Why else put such an anti-war novel in the non-fiction military section? The title was the first attraction to the book; I thought it some shorthand for a secret military organization, say M-1.

I pulled the book out, slumped in the aisle, and started reading. Joseph Heller’s picture was on the back of the book. He looked like a man with a secret he’d be willing to share with whoever jumped into his collection of words. After the first page, I knew I’d crossed over into an unfamiliar world. After the first chapter, I closed the book, scooped up another book from the WW II section and proceeded to check-out. "Catch-22" was an adult book, I thought. They wouldn’t let me take it out right? I slipped the other book over it, to hide my intent. Two people in front of me; I started sweating. Would she reprimand me for even thinking of leaving the library with this book? Soon, I was next. Gave her my library card. She took out the book cards from both books, stamping a return date quickly on the first and then hesitating on the second.
With the date stamp hanging over her head, she gave me the librarian’s once-over.
"Do I let this cretin out of my sight with this book or do I deny him this adult pleasure?"
I mumbled something about research, military, how orderly her books were laid out. The usual Eddie Haskell drivel a teenaged boy would have laid out to oil the action. She smiled. Crookedly. Then she stamped "Catch 22" and I was off! The book was on a 2 week parole with yours truly.

I read and re-read the book 3 times during those 2 weeks. The timeline was confusing at first. The characters were neither noble nor worth emulating. The version of the war was not an event involving good, evil, or the triumph of one over the other. Everything was a mess. The moral bowling pins I’d crafted, each one separate, each one able to stand on its own were repeatedly knocked down. Everything was seemingly thrown into doubt.
My first reading left me confused. What was happening when Snowden repeatedly died the same nauseating death? Who was Milo Minderbinder working for? What was he fighting for? Was this the real World War II that I wasn’t seeing in the war movies?
The second reading left me laughing. Everything was a joke; nothing should be taken seriously. Rules were meant to be re-written. Over and over again.
The third reading left me mildly depressed, though it was a depression evidenced by a goofy smile. How had Heller done it? How had he taken a tragedy of global proportions, minimized the heroism, and concocted a premonition of the mind-set of the post World War II era? And then, thrown in a B-25’s worth of humor to coax you through the horrors?

Catch-22 was my tipping point, the demarcation from being a flighty head-in-the-perpetually-blue-sky teenager to the perpetually overhanging clouds of adulthood. It was a mega-dose of cynicism that I’m still digesting.

For more interesting takes on One Book Memes:
Whisky Prajer
Texas Trifles
Bleak Mouse
(I'e dubbed it such...)Stephenesque
Lost in the Grooves
Mindspinner, who had tagged Searchie and had the (non-literal) cajones to tag Outer Life. We are holding our collective breath about the latter.

Squibbler through the Middle

Searchie, is Wahconah Park, (Pittsfield of course, is most famous for it's sun delay. Let me explain... you may not have ever realized this, but most baseball stadiums (in some way), face towards the east. They almost never face the west. Why? ... the answer is simple), where ol' Bob played?

You're so right about that band. They must have been unbelievable. Down here in Blue Rocks country, Bob, unfortunately, did not show up. We're Single A. Way down in the minors. Even Bob would only slip down low so far.

Oh, yeah, and why build a ballpark with the homeplate facing west?
Well, this site gives a very good explanation.

p.s. Searchie, this commenting from afar (i.e., from a distant satellite in the Blogosphere) is bizarre. I know. I know. Cuts down on the quackerie. But, still.....

Addendum: While I'm talking about ballparks, one of my all time favorites (and no longer used for minor league baseball) was DuffY Field in Watertown, NY. Watertown, just 20 miles or so from the St. Lawrence River in upsate NY, is one of those hard luck towns where manufacturing has slowly pulled out of town. Frederick Exley, author of the excellent "A Fan's Notes" is from this area; you can taste the depressive airs of Watertown in his book. I was working on short assignment up here in the mid 1980's and went to Duffy Field to catch the single A farm team for the Pittsburgh Pirates play. Like most minor league teams, inning give-aways were common. The usual free meals or movie tickets. Then, one night, when the air was sufferering the first chills of autumn, tire chains were handed out as grand prizes. That and tickets for towing, specifically from the ditches of the treachorous side-roads.
Tire chains. Can't get more specific and local than that.
I loved watching games at this field. The sky was so different up north. Fat clouds rushed by like birds racing south for the winter. Folks had their baseball hats pulled down tight; some even had a hand on their head just in case. Even in late summer, the wind gusted an occassional chill up your shirtsleeves, warning you of the early winter always insisting on pushing its way into town.
Tire chains. Packed in the trunk next to the pile of blankets and ball pein hammer (to hit the starter on those truly freezing days).

Friday, September 01, 2006

Upscale Diss Session

At a shopping mall in the toney town of Greenville, Delaware where the hoity and the toity mingle over Breve Lattes it seems something else was brewing this past Thursday. Two women were having parking space issues which led to dissing which led to pepper spraying which then led to possible assault charges. The blow by blow detail is here. Greenville, DE is noted for duPont estates, rolling hills, the Winterthur Museum, and genteel displays of wealth.

Now, there are catfights.

There goes da 'hood.

I'm Official

Thanks to the sharp-eyed and ever-on-the-cutting-edge-of-esoterica Isoglossia and his link to Official Seal Generator, I am now classified as official in the blogosphere. I have a seal!
To commemorate the, now official, country of Verging on Pertinence, there will be some things happening.
Shortly, I'll be printing my own currency, tentatively to be issued as units of Nemam and my borders and flag will be announced within a month or so. Passports will be issued, naturally, but I have final say on the mug shot you want to be pasted inside. proof of residency is immaterial; we are all blogocitizens.

The country of Verging on Pertinence (VOP) traces its origins to Xeno's Paradox. Like the paradox, VOP is always striving forward, always attempting to get to the point. Unfortunately as we, meaning I, cross over the half-way point to comprehension, we are faced with the second half of that comprehension. Our constantly moving wordy feet strive on, only to, again, come to the half-way point. The infinitesmality of half-way is our daily destination here @ VOP.
It's half-way point haven here @ VOP. Damn that Xeno/Zeno and that Hare & Tortoise, while we're at it.


Verging on Pertinence: Almost, But Never There

The One Book Meme

Seems that One Book Meme virus is still going around. I almost caught it from Whisky Prajer, but the right medications (bidding kiddies off to college) kicked in to take my mind off of it. Good thing, that. I felt the virus' pressure in my head; the search for the One was too much.
Now, Searchie's been infected. Her choice, Reading Statistics and Research, is a bit (and not a tiny bit) beyond my level of comprehension. In her entry, Searchie elegantly describes a transformation via a textbook. I don't know about you, but I can list off in my head at least 10 books that in some way, minor or major, have changed me. However, I'd be lying if I had even one textbook on that list. I applaud her for her choice. I think the authors of that textbook should be informed...immediately! Really, what textbook author would ever dream of changing a reader, transforming a person's mindset with their book. As she phrases it so well, "It dawned, is how I describe it now. Any preconceptions about my mathematical limitations lifted away, and I found myself writing furiously in the margins of Huck et al."
With her usual wit, she concludes her One Book Meme with, "I guess I’m just a grown up über-geek with good shoes, yes? If so, it's a very, very good thing to be." (A comment noted later: For anyone familiar with Searchie's entries, good shoes has got to be an insider's joke for her readers. I can't imagine her putting up with merely good shoes. She teases with that glibness.)
My own fond memories of anything statistical were confined to these two fine books,
Lies, Damn Lies, & Statistics and A Mathematician Reads the Newspapers ,neither of which occupy the head-throbbing classification of Searchie's choice. While I'm at it, I also thoroughly enjoyed another of John Allen Paulus' books, Beyond Numeracy, but I'm stretching the statistics connection with Searchie a bit much at this point.

Will I be joining Searchie, Whisky Prajer, or Texas Trifles in the One Book Meme? I'm still chewing over the limitation of the solitary. Perhaps after my fever drops and the dust settles on the meme, I'll slip in a list. Another meminfection will have hit the fevrishly hot item list by then.

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