Tuesday, September 02, 2014

An ill-tempered mount?

The first was a grulla, a mouse-colored mustang who, judging by disposition, was sired out of a Missouri mule by a mountain lion with a sore tooth.  That grulla was the most irritating, cantankerous bit of horseflesh I ever saw, and he could buck like a sidewinder on a red-ant hill.

(from The Daybreakers, by Louis Lamour)

Monday, September 01, 2014

Underrated Presidents?

I absolutely am no Presidential scholar, and I am going on little more than a gut feel based on what I have read over the years and observed in my own lifetime. However, I think it is likely that among our Presidents are a few whom history has underrated. Here are three.

John Adams. Anyone who was sandwiched between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson is naturally going to be overlooked somewhat. Adams was one of the great statesmen in the formation of our country, and it can be assumed he brought that ability to the table as President, even if he did not bring a winning personality.

James Monroe. Many of the "great" presidents are considered so because they served in times of stress, and therefore had a crisis to which they could rise and make their mark. Monroe had no such crisis, but the national scene was so smooth during his two terms that it is called the Era of Good Feelings. The credit may not all have been his, but we must assume he deserved some of it.

Theodore Roosevelt. He had the gumption to take on not only the powerful industrialists of his time, but the pro-business wing of his own party which had held largely a political monopoly since the War Between the States. Whatever else he had, he had courage.

What we are doing to our memories

"Cap knew that country, knew every creek and every fork. There were no maps except what a man had in his skull, and nobody of whom to ask directions, so a body remembered what he saw. Cap knew a thousand miles of country like a man might know his kitchen, to home."

This quote is from the Louis Lamour novel, The Daybreakers. It illustrates the active, vigorous memories men had in those days because they had to have them. Their very lives depended upon their memories. Now we have machines to remember for us, and we are allowing our brains to atrophy. That cannot be a good thing.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A poetic view of Kansas

Have you seen those Kansas plains? Have you seen the grass stretch away from you to the horizon? Grass and nothing but grass except for flowers here and there and maybe the white of buffalo bones, but grass moving gentle under the long wind, moving like a restless sea with the hand of God upon it.

(from The Daybreakers, by Louis Lamour)

Rita Hayworth - perhaps the most famous Hollywood royalty wife

She was married for a while to Ali Salman Shah, Prince Aga Khan. He was the son of Sultan Mohamed Shah, Aga Khan III. Being one of Hollywood's most glamorous stars at the time, it got a lot of press, needless to say. Prior to Hayworth, Khan had been married to the daughter of John Reginald Lopes Yarde-Buller, 3rd Baron Churston of Churston Ferrers and Lupton, whose lineage went far back into the bluebloods of England.

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Pain hinders concentration

It has been my experience that it is very difficult to concentrate when I am uncomfortable. The mind finds it difficult to rise above the matter. This is true regardless of the nature of the pain, whether it be physical discomfort or mental anxiety. Our nature is such that our attention goes to the factor that in our mind demands it most stridently. I suppose it is one of the features of a truly disciplined person to be able to focus his mind in the midst of such things.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Write it down

Perhaps I am not the norm, but I have found that my memory works better when I write things down - the old-fashioned way, on a piece of paper. The tangibleness of the act seems to help me remember.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A little joke from Peter Gunn

She's had her face lifted so many times, when her neck itches she scratches her nose.

One way to make friends

"I'm looking for the boss of the B Bar B."

"What might you want with him?"

"Business talk. I'm friendly.

The chuckle was dry. "Ever see a man covered by two Spencers who wasn't friendly?"

(from Silver Canyon, by Louis Lamour)

Useless

No doubt it is good for us to go through periods in our life when we are unable to do those things that we normally do to contribute to our family and community. It is then that we feel useless. And although that is never true in a relative sense, in the absolute sense, in ourselves, we were worse than useless. So far from having merit, we had only the infinite demerit of sin, and it is good that we be reminded of that occasionally.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Never bargain with God

How could you? What assets do you have with which you could bargain. All your righteousnesses are as filthy rags. In Him we live and move and have our being. No, we cannot bargain with God, but we can get Him for his tender mercies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pain causes contortions

I am finding very quickly that physical pain causes the body to twist and contort its normal  structure to get away from the positions that cause the pain. Short-term that is not a problem, but if it goes on for very long it can lead to deformity.

So it is with emotional pain. The mind can twist away from pain just as much as the body does, and if that develops into a pattern, the result is some sort of emotional or mental deformity that can scar us for life, if not corrected.