Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Regular Features’ Category

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.

— Samuel Johnson

###

You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

— C. S. Lewis

###

It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.

— Maurice Switzer

###

Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

— E. B. White

Johnson Samuel

Johnson

White EB

White

 

Read Full Post »

Giraffes

Crazy voices

Honk if

Alcohol

 

Read Full Post »

The Questions…

1. How old was Louis Braille when he introduced his reading/writing system for the blind?

2. Slaughterville, Oklahoma, founded in 1889, is named for its founder, James Slaughter. In 2004, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered to give $20,000 worth of veggie burgers to the school system if the town would change its name to what?

3. The color puce is a sort of dark red or reddish brown with maybe a hint of purple. Think of a spot of dried blood on a white t-shirt. How did this rather yucky color get its name?

4. What is cerumen?

5. When the British Army put the first tanks on the battlefield during World War I, they officially called them “landships.” So, where does the name “tank” come from?

The Answers…

1. 15. Braille lost his sight at age three and started working on the dot system at age 12.

2. PETA suggested Veggieville. The citizens of Slaughterville declined.

3. The word puce is French for “flea.” It was first used in the 1770s to describe the color of a flea as well as the blood upon which it feeds.

4. Earwax.

5. When the prototypes were under development, British Intelligence referred to them as a “water tanks” to mislead the Germans, and the name stuck.

Braille

Tank

 

Read Full Post »

Pop music was never my thing, and for years, my practice has been to ignore it. I may have missed a few good songs that way, but I spared myself from enduring the huge mass of bad ones.

However, occasional exceptions get through and get my attention. Such was the case in 1979 with “Just When I Needed You Most” by Randy VanWarmer.

VanWarmer said he wrote the song six months after a painful breakup with his girlfriend. That’s probably why it rings so true.

He never became a major star, but he kept recording, and, during the 1980s, he began writing songs for a variety of country singers and groups (The Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Charley Pride). Sadly, he died in 2004 of leukemia at age 48.

If your legacy is a heartfelt love song, well, that’s pretty cool.

VanWarmer

Just When I Needed You Most

By Randy VanWarmer, 1979
Written by Randy VanWarmer

You packed in the morning, and I
Stared out the window, and I
Struggled for something to say.
You left in the rain
Without closing the door.
I didn’t stand in your way.

But I miss you more than I
Missed you before, and now,
Where I’ll find comfort, God knows.
‘Cause you left me
Just when I needed you most.

Now, most every morning, I
Stare out the window, and I
Think about where you might be.
I’ve written you letters
That I’d like to send,
If you would just send one to me.

‘Cause I need you more than I
Needed before, and now,
Where I’ll find comfort, God knows.
‘Cause you left me
Just when I needed you most.

You packed in the morning, and I
Stared out the window, and I
Struggled for something to say.
You left in the rain
Without closing the door.
I didn’t stand in your way.

Now, I love you more than I
Loved you before, and now,
Where I’ll find comfort, God knows.
‘Cause you left me
Just when I needed you most.
Oh, yeah, you left me
Just when I needed you most.

You left me
Just when I needed you most.

 

Read Full Post »

Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards.

— Søren Kierkegaard

###

What we have done for ourselves alone, dies with us. What we have done for others and the world, remains and is immortal.

— Albert Pike

###

When in doubt, tell the truth.

— Mark Twain

###

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

— Mary Anne Radmacher

Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard

Radmacher MA

Radmacher

Read Full Post »

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA — A late-night police chase ended last month when a GMC Yukon Denali ran off the road and four men escaped into the darkness. When officers searched the vehicle, they found a goat tied up with an electrical cord.

The goat was identified as Gordy, a member of a herd rented by the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department to eat invasive plants on a bluff along the Mississippi River. Earlier that day, several goats had escaped through a break in a fence, and all but Gordy had been found.

Two 29-year-old men later were arrested in connection with the crash. They were charged with gross misdemeanor theft and fleeing police.

A police spokesman said the department’s Facebook post about the incident has received an unusual amount of attention. Among the comments: “It was a ‘kid’-napping” and “Stealing really gets my goat.”

Gordy

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — While a TV news crew taped footage for a story about an increase in crime in downtown Albuquerque, a thief drove away in the station’s news truck.

The news director of KOB-TV said the crew saw the vehicle being stolen, but could not prevent it. The vehicle was equipped with a GPS tracking device, and it was found abandoned about 30 minutes later, undamaged. It was locked, and the keys were missing.

“I have a rule that you can never be the lead of your own newscast,” said the news director. “So this violates that rule.”

News truck

PARIS, FRANCE — French performance artist Abraham Poincheval succeeded in hatching a basket of chicken eggs with his own body heat after personally incubating them for three weeks.

The incubating occurred inside a glass vivarium at a Paris art museum. For the endeavor, Poincheval sat on a chair, wrapped in a traditional Korean cloak, with the eggs in a container beneath him. He left the chair for no more than a total of 30 minutes per day.

A spokeswoman for the museum said nine of the 10 eggs hatched, and the chicks were taken to a farm.

Earlier this year, Poincheval lived for a week inside a large piece of limestone with a space carved out for his body. He explained that he was trying to escape from human time and experience mineral speed.

Incubator

 

Read Full Post »

One day back in 2002, my mom called and said excitedly, “Rocky, have you heard that new Johnny Cash song, ‘The Man Comes Around’?” I had not.

“Oh, you need to hear it. Johnny Cash is always good, but this song is something else. It’s… biblical.”

She tried to explain, but it was futile. I had no idea why the song had her so amped.

When I finally heard it, I understood her enthusiasm.

The song was the title tune on Johnny’s 2002 album “American IV: The Man Comes Around.”

Wikipedia explains it thusly:

“There are numerous biblical references in the lyrics. A spoken portion from Revelation 6:1–2 in the King James Version introduces the song. The passage describes the coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, each heralded by one of the ‘four beasts’ first mentioned in Revelation 4:6–9.

“The musical portion then begins with Cash reciting that ‘the man’ (Jesus Christ) will one day come to pass judgment. The chorus indicates that these events will be accompanied by trumpets, pipers, and ‘one hundred million angels singing.’ The voice of the Lord in Revelation is often likened to the sound of a loud trumpet. Revelation 5:11 states that John saw that there are millions of angels in Heaven.

“The song also alludes to the Parable of the Ten Virgins from the Gospel of Matthew with the lyrics ‘The virgins are all trimming their wicks,’ a reference to the virgins’ preparation of the Second Coming of Christ.

“The phrase, ‘It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks’ cites Acts 26:14, where Paul the Apostle describes meeting Jesus while traveling to Damascus. It is a reference to a Greek proverb where a kicking ox only injures himself by attempting to kick against a goad, intended to represent the futility of resisting the Lord.

“Elsewhere, the song mentions the wise men who bow before the Lord’s throne, and cast their ‘golden crowns’ at the feet of God. Revelation 4 refers to elders who worship the Lord and ‘lay their crowns’ before Him. ‘Alpha and Omega’ refers to Jesus Christ. ‘Whoever is unjust… etc.’ is a quote from Revelation 22:11.”

Mom was right. Johnny Cash going Old Testament biblical is something else.

The Man Comes Around

The Man Comes Around

By Johnny Cash, 2002
Written by Johnny Cash

And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder:
One of the four beasts saying: “Come and see.” And I saw.
And behold, a white horse.

There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names.
An’ he decides who to free and who to blame.
Everybody won’t be treated all the same.
There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down
When the man comes around.

The hairs on your arm will stand up
At the terror in each sip and in each sup.
Will you partake of that last offered cup
Or disappear into the potter’s ground
When the man comes around?

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers.
One hundred million angels singing.
Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum.
Voices callin’, voices cryin’.
Some are born and some are dyin’.
It’s Alpha and Omega’s Kingdom come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
The virgins are all trimming their wicks.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Till Armageddon, no Shalam, no Shalom.
Then the father hen will call his chickens home.
The wise men will bow down before the throne.
And at his feet they’ll cast their golden crowns
When the man comes around.

Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still.
Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still.
Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.
Listen to the words long written down
When the man comes around.

Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers.
One hundred million angels singing.
Multitudes are marchin’ to the big kettle drum.
Voices callin’, voices cryin’.
Some are born and some are dyin’.
It’s Alpha and Omega’s Kingdom come.

And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
The virgins are all trimming their wicks.
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

In measured hundredweight and penny pound.
When the man comes around.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts,
And I looked, and behold: a pale horse.
And his name that sat on him was Death.
And Hell followed with him.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »