Reach out and violate someone

August 15, 2014

Remy summarizes everything the TSA is doing wrong, in less than two minutes. (Are you listening, Homeland Security? No, I didn’t think so.)

 


Advertisements from long, long ago

August 15, 2014

care


At some point, you’ve played enough golf

August 7, 2014

King Putt has an unusual notion of what is meant by not resting.

 


Happy birthday, Alfred

August 6, 2014

Alfred Tennyson was born in Lincolnshire on August 6, 1809. He knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a poet, but the road was never easy for him. Throughout much of his life he was plagued with poor health; mental illness, seizure disorders, and alcoholism seem to have run in his family. He was dogged by financial difficulties, exacerbated by his penchant for making very bad investments with what little money he had. But through it all, he continued to write. He was approaching middle age by the time he began to find success as a poet.

Tennyson’s better-known poems include Idylls of the King, a retelling of the stories of King Arthur and his knights; “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” about a British cavalry charge against Russian forces during the Crimean War; and the book-length poem In Memoriam A.H.H., which Tennyson composed over a period of seventeen years after the sudden and unexpected death of his best friend, Arthur Henry Hallam.

“Crossing the Bar” is not the last poem that Tennyson wrote, but it’s usually the final one in every collection of his poetry, since that was his express wish. Unlike the very long In Memoriam, in which Tennyson explores in detail his loss, grief, anguish, and crisis of faith after the death of his dearest friend, “Crossing the Bar” is very short and succinct: a calm acceptance of his own approaching death, and the quiet, confident hope that when it arrives, he will see his Pilot face to face.

Here is “Crossing the Bar” set to music, sung by the Hopeful Gospel Quartet.

 


Hunting and gathering, circa 1962

August 6, 2014

If you’re as old as I am, this will be a little trip down memory lane. Remember going grocery shopping with Mom when you were a little kid? This Encyclopedia Britannica film captures the experience. If you watch all the way to the end, you’ll see how much an average mother paid for a shopping cart full of groceries in 1962 (warning: not for the faint of heart).

 


Today’s vocabulary word

August 4, 2014

barry


Take me out to the ball game

August 2, 2014

Two baseball lovers, George and Fred, had been friends all their lives. As children they played little league baseball together, as teenagers they were on their high school team, as grown men they played in their church league, and as retirees they spent their summers watching baseball games together on TV or at the park.

When both men were very old, Fred began to feel his life slipping away from him. One day when George was visiting him, he asked Fred a favor.

“Sure, old pal,” Fred said.

“Fred,” George said, “when you get to heaven, you have to let me know if they have baseball there.”

“George, I promise you, if there’s any way I can do what you’re asking, I will.”

Fred died soon afterward. After the funeral, George went home and sat down in an armchair to rest, and soon he fell asleep. He was awakened by a blinding light, and heard a voice calling his name.

“Who is it?” George asked, frightened.

“George, it’s okay. It’s me, Fred.”

“Fred! Is it really you? Where are you?”

“I’m in heaven. I have some good news for you, and some bad news. Which do you want first?”

“Give me the good news first.”

“Well, the good news is that there’s baseball in heaven! And all of our old buddies who died before us are here! And we’re all young again! And every day is warm and sunny! And we can play baseball all day long without ever getting tired!”

Naturally, George was overjoyed.

“That’s wonderful!” he said. “So what’s the bad news?”

“The bad news is you’re pitching Tuesday.”


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