Archive for November, 2013

Indian Summer

Advent decorating at the church yesterday, so I had to meet the Litugical Environment Committee and do some ladder climbing. Banners to be hung, high window sills to be dusted, and on the lower level wreaths to be affixed. Charlie and I were the only males present, and Charlie wisely and helpfully chose to stick with me, away from the clucking circle. He moved altar furniture, footed my ladder, and lent his cheerful wit and manner….all much appreciated (I rewarded him with a package of Grabber handwarmers). We encountered Fr. Smith in the icy parking lot on our way out, and for the 2nd or 3rd time this week Fr. said “Think Indian summer”. While Wikipedia notes that certain notions of Indian summer may extend through January, my notion of it does not. I’m not sure we’ve had a couple warmish days since frost killed the hardiest dandelions 2 weeks ago, so technically we may still be eligible, but this morning dawned at 5F (-15C) with windchill at -22C.  8 inches of snow on the ground.

Grabberworld.com

9F (-13C) with howling wind this morning. Up at 4am to clear Church lots and walks of snow. Thankfully only 2 inches (predictions were for up to a foot). Tried new air activated toe and finger warmers, Ingredients: Iron, activated carbon, and salt. They work well for several hours….wish I’d tried them years ago.

Countermarch

The EXPRESS LANE
..10 Items or less please  sign was papered over with Thanksgiving Special data, there was one woman in line and her items were already bagged.  I swept in behind her for a pay/dash (while fellow shoppers further lengthened the other check-outs) and realized she was trying to describe to the Express Lane cashier the type of cigarettes she wanted. The Express Lane is the only lane featuring tobacco products, which are otc only. If a shopper’s first choice in smokes is not available or easily located among several hundred types, much discussion and finger pointing and option sorting needs to ensue. Typically enqueued with two tiny packages, swelling with deja vu, I glimpsed the beginnings of the ritual.
What would happen next, once agreement was reached on brand, length, diameter, flavor and filtration options was certain: Lottery tickets. Available only otc in the Express Lane, with nearly 100 games to choose from.  Ms. CorkinBottle actually retreated to a place in line behind me to make her many and varied selections, chanting her number prayer:

“1 of 56, 2 of 23, 1 of 8”, etc.

With the cashier attempting to satisfy her:

“One, Two? 43? 23? Two? No?” etc.

I had nothing to do but ponder what the “M” in Big M Supermarket stood for.

Big Money? Mess? Mammary?

11/19/63 Gettysburg Address by A. Lincoln

On the occasion of dedicating a cemetery to fallen Union soldiers, following the largest battle ever waged in the western hemisphere:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field  as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it  far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Killed in the action:
………………………….8000 men
………………………….3000 horses
………………………….1 civilian (woman killed in her house by a stray bullet)

Manhandled by the Brits

I thought my British blogpals Robbie and Sir Hugh would appreciate this, first posted as “Count your fingers, lads” in June 2012. I do not want anyone thinking I’m completely ignorant of British military history.

In this video British Royal Navy teams commemorate the task of hauling heavy guns overland to free Ladysmith, South Africa from siege during the Second Boer War.  Tradition at The Royal Tournament. Weight of the game pieces: Limber…..345 lbs. Wheels…..120 lbs. each.  Carriage…350 lbs.  Gun barrel….900 lbs.

 

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Ombra Mai Fu

Written by Handel, this is arguably the first music ever broadcast via radio.  A Christmas Eve 1906 transmission from an experimental radio station in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, where  CJ  Reginald Fessenden opened the show with a recording of this aria, followed with his own rendition of “O Holy Night” (violin and vocals), then closed with a Bible reading (Luke 2:14). Ombra Mai Fu translates to “Never Was a Shade” and is in regard to a plane tree, a widespread genus I’d never heard of.
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Jackie Evancho, 11, sings here. Static free.
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or……a mature, sophisticated take.

and still another, for those who prefer trees, trills, and “tra”

the penultimate,  tenor, trills, tra and trees version, with spruce and maple again holding court.

and the finale, back to kids and keys, with no regrets.

Anglo-ideation

Of course the hits were her.  United States. Hours that coincided with her waitress job. She read him before six then again around three, as soon as she got home. Tall hits on multiple posts. He’d turned her on to JakeBrake a couple months ago:

“Yeah, sometimes I get lucky with the blog, write something not terrible. It’s fun. You should blog!”

“I’ll check it out Alex, definitely.”

And she had, a verse from years ago:
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………I ponder the sweet distant look
………the regal poise of one, and wonder:
………Does the glow of day’s last ember
………Gone blue-green as fruitwood flame
………habit the folds where dreams are kept?
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.……..1 comment…….“this is awesome Alex!!!”
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He was at the diner for breakfast or lunch nearly every day, and  she charmed him. Doll faced but not too. A daring  farm girl with a mod do,  a gifted mover.  Kids, yeah, husband, yeah, whatever. Young.  Just a morning flirt. They didn’t talk blogging again until she announced:

“I started a blog too, like, three weeks ago thanks to you.”

“Wow, no kidding!”

“Ya, check it out, it’s named Lisa screams.”

Every day for a month now.  Lisascreams. Mostly pictures of her kids and dogs, sometimes a recipe:
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……………Extreme Banana Nut Bread….click here….so AWESOME!!!!!
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She even wrote poetry:
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……………You be straight man
……………Little man too big for britches
……………Someday you’ll need another mom
……………But she’ll make me a Gran
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…………..7 comments

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His had been: “Cute! You’re a good poet!”

No more mention of blogs at the diner though. Not lately. No comments. But today he hit Lisascreams as usual, around five, and found:
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…………….It all rhymes, it all makes sense
…………….I fill the cups for all the gents
…………….I turn away and keep their eyes
…………….X is the only one who sighs
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……………0 comments
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He set the laptop aside and fell back into his chair. Tried to remember sighing. If. When. He sighed aloud softly, then louder, then grabbed the comp and the bookmark to JakeBrake:
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……………..Why are people still dying in the Philippines? 

……………..0 comments
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Nothing. The bookmark to Lisascreams:
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……………..It all rhymes, it all makes sense
……………..I fill the cups for all the gents
……………..I turn away and keep their eyes
……………..They tip me and nobody cries
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……………..0 comments


She was editing  after posting.  He’d done this himself.