Friday, December 26, 2008


You may not know that Erich Wolfgang Korngold won the 1939 Oscar for the best musical score for Robin Hood. Flynn, Rathbone, and Korngold. How can you beat it?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If any of my female acquaintances are into scrapbooking, I have quite a number of pictures of ministers and church meetings that I would love to get properly preserved.

Crime and Punishment

I read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment when I was a sophomore in high school. Read it if you have LOTS of time on your hands. Otherwise, forget it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lives with great variety may be more exciting, but lives with routine are usually more productive.

Monday, December 01, 2008

We are really enjoying our set of old Our Miss Brooks TV show episodes.
I am very thankful for God's providential deliverance. I was on I-540 last night in all that traffic jam-up, and got home with only a dented fender.

Friday, November 21, 2008


One night this week I went to the pump house at night to get something out of the freezer. As I stepped out, I saw a possum jump off the AC unit where he had been stealing from the cat's bowl. As I was crossing the yard back to the house, I stepped on the cat, who threw a scratching, biting fit, naturally. At first, all I could see was that possum, so I was dancing around pretty well. My ankle hurt for several days.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lonely goodbye

One of the most poignant scenes Hollywood ever produced is that from Fiddler on the Roof when Tevye and his daughter are sitting on that isolated bench out in the middle of the vast plains of Russia at the train stop. She is about to leave to join her fiance who is in Siberia. She says, "Father, God knows if we shall ever see each other again." He replies, "Well, then we will leave it in His hands." It is heart-rending.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Subordinates have to "push back" to make companies better

No company can ever expect to improve if employees do not "push back," that, resist bad management decisions. They may have to end up doing them, but if the folks doing the work are discouraged from having input into the processes, the company will never improve beyond the level of management, which usually is puffed up with its own importance.

Friday, October 31, 2008

If you need to fall in love all over again, just listen to the second movement of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mr. Belveders Goes To College

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Persimmon seed forecast

The persimmon seed weather forecast is for lots of wet, heavy snow this year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wouldn't it be fun to play the piano well enough to entertain yourself indefinitely by just noodling along?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One of the great sources of stress is having responsibility without the requisite authority to get it accomplished.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Grandpa said this week that he supposed that Hogan's Heroes was his all-time favorite TV show.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Thanks, Harry, you're nice to old folks." Great line by Fibber McGee (Jim Jordan) at the close of an appearance by him and Molly on the Bing Crosby radio show.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The financial crash

Actually, at least so far, the financial crisis has been pretty good to me. Gas prices have come down a good deal, and my 401K is buying shares at greatly reduced prices right now.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I have nothing but utter, absolute despite for the criminal negligence of the business executives who, through untramelled greed, ran their companies into the ground in the current crisis. NO EXCUSE for that.
If you enjoy old-time fiddling, I recommend the John Hartford CD: Wild Hog in the Red Brush. Very nice. 19 tunes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

In case anyone cares what I think about Sarah Palin, there is no way in the world that I would vote for a woman who would leave an afflicted child to go off to seek fame and fortune.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How to hold CEOs accountable

I have a cure for the current financial crisis in America. Whenever a CEO runs his company into the ground, let him appear on national television having hot splinters driven under his fingernails. I am guessing that business management would improve markedly and immediately.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Does anyone still read this blog?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Presidential candidates are all calling very loudly for change - principally a change from them not being President to them being President.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A great irony is that when a nation gets large enough to defend itself in today's world, it has become so large that it is basically ungovernable.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Dave Byrd was the credit manager at the toy company when I was there. He graduated from Branch High School before it consolidated into County Line. He told me that his senior year Branch and the school they played in the finals of the district basketball tournament were the only two schools in the district who had only outdoor basketball courts.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It is not enough to do things well; we must do the right things well. How many famous people were greatly skilled a things that really were not very important in the greater (scriptural) scheme of things? This is true in natural as well as spiritual matters. How many religions today are congratulating themselves because they are busy, busy, busy doing things that the Lord neveer commanded or authorized to be done?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is communication a virtue in itself?

Is ease of communication necessarily a good thing? Think about when you are forced to sit by someone who is a non-stop talker. Communication is a means to an end, and the end is more important than the means. In society today we have made the means too easy, and we glory in our technology as if the means were all-important.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When my wife's grandfather died

One of my favorite memories of my father-in-law is when his father-in-law died. He was on the road selling at the time, and so Nana had to bear up by herself for a little while, which she did with remarkable composure. However, when Papaw got home, she met him on the walk in front of their home and dissolved into tears in his arms. It was a very touching moment.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Extreme temperatures I have known

I can tell my grandchildren that I have seen 110 degrees plus and below a minus 10 degrees - in western Arkansas.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Does adulation hinder performance? Performers who become very famous - are they hindered in their subsequent performances because of the high level of distraction and lowered motivation that fame brings?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Converting radio shows to CDs

The Old Radio Show Conversion Project is coming along nicely. It will take a long time, but some day I may have all the shows we want to switch over into digital format on CD's. We have some real "keepers" among them.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Old detective movies

As most of you know, the wife and I are great fanciers of old detective movies. Any of you who like them, come over and we'll pick out a scintilating example for your watching pleasure.

Colonel Klink in a western TV show

Colonel Klink in a western? At Jason's last night we watched an old episode of Have Gun Will Travel in which Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink on Hogan's Heroes) was the guest star.

Old radio shows

OLD RADIO SHOWS. As most of you know, Pam and I have collected thousands of old radio shows - most on cassette tape - over the years. With the held of Rachel, I am in the process of converting the better of them over to CD's, and thus digital form. If any of you want to make copies, you are welcome to do so.

I am counting on my wife to keep up with the CD's so they don't get lost after I go to all the trouble to get them converted. Great weight on her shoulders.

Which party will help with gasoline prices?

Neither of the major political parties has a driving incentive to reduce gasoline prices. The Republicans are tightly tied to big business, and right now Big Oil is making record profits (and presumably making record contributions). The Democrats (and Republicans to the extent they have jumped on the global warming bandwagon) want fossil fuel use to decline, and nothing will do that quicker than the prices we are seeing. But both McCain and Obama trumpet "change." Hmmmmpf! Not likely in this instance.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One of the things that irritates me is when you are at a stoplight with a long line of cars backed up behind it, and people just ease through the intersection when the light turns, as if they were the only one there and no one else could possible have anything to do or anywhere to go.
That is a pleasant word that has very positive connotations, but I do not recall offhand ever having heard anyone named that.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For her 18th birthday I got Sarah an 8X10 of Basil Rathbone. How's that for being out of your generation?

Monday, May 26, 2008

SENIOR CITIZEN. It is now officially my privilege to be married to a Senior Citizen. Pam turned 55 yesterday. Needless to say, I am thankful the Lord has spared us to have been married 35 years, as of next month.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We trumpet our communication capability today, but I declare that we are grossly over-communicated today, and that has become a huge negative of our society.

Monday, May 19, 2008

We are in an era in which no one shows respect for anything. One of the ways in which this is manifested is by a total disregard for appropriate attire. It does not matter how formal the event is any more, it is considered acceptable to wear the most informal attire. I find this most offensive and disrespectful, and I wish folks would show a great deal more consideration for others than to show up in clothing that basically says, "You don't matter."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

We have a new Green. Clayton James, born to Jessica and Seth last night.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I got to hold Eily again last night, and she is a pretty little lady. Good set of lungs, too.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I have in my possession (but I have to give it back) an original copy of the 1942 valedictory speech of Magazine High School. My father gave it. Interestingly, my uncle, his twin, gave the salutatory speech.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Eily Edith Sacran. Born today, 6 lbs, 14 oz. Good lungs. Mother and baby came through it in fine fashion. Father holding up well.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

SHEET MUSIC. For those of you who visit my house and play the piano, I got in a batch of old sheet music. I have only played one of them, but they look enjoyable.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earl Grey tea

If you like hot tea in the British manner, I recommend the Earl Grey variety. I drink a cup each morning at work (not that I like hot tea that much, but it is supposed to be good for you). I picked up a tin of Earl Grey at Tuesday morning, and it is not bad.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

General Pershing

In 1919 Congress honored Pershing for his wartime service by permitting the President to promote him to General of the Armies of the United States, which he held until he retired in 1924. He chose his own insignia, which was four stars. Nobody else has received that rank during his lifetime. In 1976 Congress authorized the President to posthumously appoint George Washington General of the Armies of the United States and specified that he would rank first among all officers, of the Army, past or present.

Friday, April 11, 2008

If I haven't mentioned it, I HATE loud cell phone rings!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Too Late Now

Too Late Now.

Here are the lyrics. The song is from the Fred Astaire movie, Royal Wedding.

Too late now to forget your smile
The way we cling when we danced awhile
Too late now to forget and go on to someone newT
oo late now to forget your voice
The way one word makes my heart rejoice
Too late now to imagine myself away from you
All the things we've done togetherI relive when we're apart
All the tender fun together
Stays on in my heart
How could I ever close the door
And be the same as I was before?
Darling, no, no I can't anymore
It's too late now

Friday, April 04, 2008

Timeless - by Diane Schuur

Let me highly recommend the CD entitled "Timeless" by Diane Schuur. I am not a huge fan of her singing, although she is very good. The arrangements on this recording, however, are tremendous. It includes some swaggering big band pieces like "Come Rain or Come Shine," (one of the all-time great arrangements, IMHO), and "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me". But probably the real strength of the album are the slower numbers: "How About Me,"  "Too Late Now," "A Time For Love," "How Long Has This Been Going On?" On the last three mentioned, the sax solo is by the all-time great, Stan Getz, who could play romantic obligato lines like no one else.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Janice Holt Giles

JANICE HOLT GILES. Has anyone read any of her books? I remember reading one (her first one) years ago and enjoying it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Diplomatic Courier (1952)

When undercover secret agent Tyrone Power is thwarted in his efforts to obtain a vital document with details of the Russian invasion of Yugoslavia by the death of the courier at the hands of two Russian agents, played by Mario Siletti and Charles Bronson, it becomes his duty to go after the murderers and retrieve the papers. With more loops and turnabouts than a snake, the plot has surprises with agents, double agents, mistaken information and is, all in all, a surprisingly exciting spy vehicle.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fight the convenience syndrome.
We live too close to town, and it is too easy to dash down to the store. How much gas (money) do we waste every year because we do not plan our shopping?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mary Ann arrested?
Did you see where Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island was busted for drugs? (The actress, not the character.)
What is your favorite Bob Hope movie?
Mine would be either Road to Rio or Monsieur Beaucaire.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One of the disadvantages of having lots of family and friends is that you have to go to a lot of funerals over time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I WANT IT CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD that I expect all these grandkids to be taught to pamper their grandparents in their old age.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lots of sickness going on around here. Has anyone avoided it?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

OLD IRON GUT. Grandpa was throwing up Sunday, sick enough that he did not go to church. However, by Sunday night he was snarfing down pizza like a dog after a biscuit.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

When you are watching a basketball game and nine players have their jerseys outside their shorts, but one has his jersey neatly tucked in, what is the name of the one with his jersey tucked in?
Buyer's market. When prices go down, there are wonderful opportunities for buyers - but you can't be a buyer if you are already loaded down with debt. The borrower is servant to the lender.

Some Day My Prince Will Come

If you want to hear a really beautiful, tasteful arrangement, get Chet Atkins playing "Some Day My Prince Will Come."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bling-bling. I had to have it explained to me today by the ladies at work that this term means some sort of adornment. And all along I thought it was the name of a Siamese cat.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


By Rick Reilly

On Tuesday the best man I know will do what he always does on the 21st of the month. He'll sit down and pen a love letter to his best girl. He'll say how much he misses her and loves her and can't wait to see her again. Then he'll fold it once, slide it in a little envelope and walk into his bedroom. He'll go to the stack of love letters sitting there on her pillow, untie the yellow ribbon, place the new one on top and tie the ribbon again.

The stack will be 180 letters high then, because Tuesday is 15 years to the day since Nellie, his beloved wife of 53 years, died. In her memory, he sleeps only on his half of the bed, only on his pillow, only on top of the sheets, never between, with just the old bedspread they shared to keep him warm.

There's never been a finer man in American sports than John Wooden, or a finer coach. He won 10 NCAA basketball championships at UCLA, the last in 1975. Nobody has ever come within six of him. He won 88 straight games between Jan. 30, 1971, and Jan. 17, 1974. Nobody has come within 42 since.
So, sometimes, when the Madness of March gets to be too much -- too many players trying to make SportsCenter, too few players trying to make assists, too many coaches trying to be homeys, too few coaches willing to be mentors, too many freshmen with out-of-wedlock kids, too few freshmen who will stay in school long enough to become men -- I like to go see Coach Wooden. I visit him in his little condo in Encino, 20 minutes northwest of L.A., and hear him say things like "Gracious sakes alive!" and tell stories about teaching "Lewis" the hook shot. Lewis Alcindor, that is. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

There has never been another coach like Wooden, quiet as an April snow and square as a game of checkers; loyal to one woman, one school, one way; walking around campus in his sensible shoes and Jimmy Stewart morals. He'd spend a half hour the first day of practice teaching his men how to put on a sock. "Wrinkles can lead to blisters," he'd warn. These huge players would sneak looks at one another and roll their eyes. Eventually, they'd do it right. "Good," he'd say. "And now for the other foot."

Of the 180 players who played for him, Wooden knows the whereabouts of 172. Of course, it's not hard when most of them call, checking on his health, secretly hoping to hear some of his simple life lessons so that they can write them on the lunch bags of their kids, who will roll their eyes. "Discipline yourself, and others won't need to," Coach would say. "Never lie, never cheat, never steal," Coach would say. "Earn the right to be proud and confident."

You played for him, you played by his rules: Never score without acknowledging a teammate. One word of profanity, and you're done for the day. Treat your opponent with respect.

He believed in hopelessly out-of-date stuff that never did anything but win championships. No dribbling behind the back or through the legs. "There's no need," he'd say. No UCLA basketball number was retired under his watch. "What about the fellows who wore that number before? Didn't they contribute to the team?" he'd say. No long hair, no facial hair. "They take too long to dry, and you could catch cold leaving the gym," he'd say.That one drove his players bonkers.

One day, All-America center Bill Walton showed up with a full beard. "It's my right," he insisted. Wooden asked if he believed that strongly. Walton said he did. "That's good, Bill," Coach said. "I admire people who have strong beliefs and stick by them, I really do. We're going to miss you." Walton shaved it right then and there. Now Walton calls once a week to tell Coach he loves him.

It's always too soon when you have to leave the condo and go back out into the real world, where the rules are so much grayer and the teams so much worse. As Wooden shows you to the door, you take one last look around. The framed report cards of the great-grandkids. The boxes of jelly beans peeking out from under the favorite wooden chair. The dozens of pictures of Nellie.

He's almost 90 now, you think. A little more hunched over than last time. Steps a little smaller. You hope it's not the last time you see him. He smiles. "I'm not afraid to die," he says. "Death is my only chance to be with her again."

Problem is, we still need him here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Some history of University of the Ozarks basketball

If he feels like it, I plan to take my 83-year-old father to the Ozarks game at Clarksville tomorrow night. It has been several years since he has been to one, and he did not get to come with us to the Jack for our first game this year. I printed off some of the old coaches and their records, and their all-conference honorees to show to him, and his face lit up immediately. He remembered them well. He said the starters were dubbed "The Mighty Five" because they played the biggest part of the minutes. Incidentally, Gale Kaundart, long-time Northside H.S. and Westark College coach, was one of the starters. Their center, Bob Barolin, was 6-7, which was very tall for that time. Ozarks had a pharmacy program especially designed for WWII vets, and there were quite a lot of them on campus those years.

In 48-49, three of the five were All-AIC and the other two were honorable mention. Ozarks went 20-6 that season and (I think) won the conference title. That year really stuck out in my Dad's mind, and after looking at their record book, I can see why. Since 1983-84, Ozarks has had 15 seasons over .500, so they have had a fairly successful program. However, before that, from '47-'48 through '82-'83, that had been one of only two winning seasons in Ozarks history (they were also 14-11 in 49-50). They had suffered through 1-15 in 54-55, 0-12 in 56-57, 1-21 in 69-70, and 2-25 in 73-74. So, it is easy to see why that one big season stuck out in his mind so vividly. Dad's short-term memory has slipped a little, and old memories have become more important to him as is often the case. Obviously, the 1948-49 season was one of his good memories.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Here Is My Heart

HERE IS MY HEART. Pam and I watched this early Bing Crosby movie last night. 1934 vintage. The plot was not all that great, but Bing had some nice songs, and it was very interesting from a historical perspective to see him in the beginning of his career. His voice was somewhat higher in timbre than it was in later years.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Lord Bagot

Sir William Bagot, 4th Baron Bagot of Bagot's Bromley

I love it! Who makes up these names, anyway?
Flame of Araby. Pam, Joshua and I watched this last night. Save your time and money. It was awful. Unless you like to watch horses run. There were some pretty nice horse race scenes.