Monday, December 31, 2012

Cold, rainy days when you don't have to work

Very nice. Just stay inside, stay warm and dry, and catch up on what you want and need to do there.

Waking up to happy little boy voices

It is a very nice sound. And a lot of fun - especially if you do not have to roll out when they do every morning.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Torchy Blane movies

a rare moment of peace between Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane in 'Smart Blonde'

There were nine of them. Glenda Farrell (above) starred in most of them as the brassy newspaper reporter with Barton MacLane as her police lieutenant boyfriend.  Well worth it. My wife and I have enjoyed them greatly.

Why do little boys like to open and shut doors?

I have a couple of grand-doorshutters who are about to wear mine out.

After the snow comes the mud.

Another reason I do not like snow.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Avert a fiscal crisis" ?

Mr. Obama and the congressional leaders are supposedly working to "avert a fiscal crisis," as one news service called it.

We owe how many trillions of dollars? It seems to me that raising revenue and lowering spending is exactly what we ought to be doing. Sure, it will hurt. Sure, it is going to eat into our prosperity. But when you owe that kind of money it is our moral obligation to tighten our belts and get it done. Looks to me like it is more like a "fiscal obligation."

Long weekends are very nice

if you have nothing particular to do. Or at least devote them to doing what you need to get done instead of what your employer needs for you to do.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ruth Hussey - Hollywood rarity

Actress Ruth Hussey (Oscar nomination in The Philadelphia Story) was married to her husband for 60 years. A really unusual Hollywood Story.

Another famous actor born in Arkansas

Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs. (We have already noted, some time ago, that Dick Powell was born in Mountain View.)

Not my day job

but a lot of fun. "The Voice of the Rattlers."

Photo: Hanna Sage Curtis Homecoming 2012

Deanna Durbin turned 91 this year

On December 4.

Watching "It Happened One Night"

With my son and wife. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, who each won Best Actor in this film. Incidentally, this was the only Oscar that each of them won.

Navy Commodores

I have heard a few very good jazz bands live, including the Stan Kenton Orchestra. One of the most enjoyable was the Navy Commodores, one of the military bands. I remember that one thing that impressed me greatly was their bass trombonist. He laid a strong bottom to the whole sound, and it made a big difference.

Contentment

A roof that doesn't leak, enough to eat, a wife to keep me humble - why should I complain?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nice quote from "Let George Do It"

"Richard, your father and I worked hard, not so you could grow up and make a lot of money, but so you could grow up and be a good man."

Oh, that all parents could be similarly motivated!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pappy's Proverb (Number Whatever)

If a man insists on straddling the fence, I may be patient and wait until he crawls down; but that does not mean I am going to get up there with him.

A Sheldon Leonard CD?

I wish someone would do a CD of nothing but Sheldon Leonard bits. His voice was so distinctive and intriguing.

"Let it snow, let it snow, let . . ." Humbug!

Whoever wrote that did not have to drive in it - before daylight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

So Soft, Your Goodbye

If you want to hear a really pretty tune, listen to this one. My brother found it, and we played it (fiddle and piano) at my daughter's wedding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S79DxWnq-M4

Monday, December 24, 2012

We are watching The African Queen right now

and I can see why Bogie won the Oscar for this one. Wonderful job of acting.

Just how scroungy could Bogie look?

Pretty scroungy, judging by the African Queen. Amazing how a leading man could look just like a wino without having to work at it much. Compare below:



Wonderful cooking specialties

Where a man wants to be is at the table of a woman who is particularly good at cooking a particular dish. My mother's fried okra. My wife's sweet and sour meatballs. My Grandma Green's shortbread cookies and chicken and dumplings. My Granny Davis' apple cobbler.

A man eat pretty well if he has the right connections.

Rhys

This the Welsh equivalent of Reece and Reese. Usually it is a given name. I wonder why we do not see this spelling used more in America.

There is not much I like about the Hippie era, BUT

one thing I did like, very much, was the way girls wore their hair then. Long and straight, and beautiful. My wife's hair in those days was just gorgeous.

Two Tickets to London (1943)

Two Tickets to London is a very nice film from 1943 involving drama and romance. Two of the main supporting roles are done by the inimitable Barry Fitzgerald as a sea captain and C. Aubrey Smith as an Admiralty detective. Enjoyable and well worth watching.

C. Aubrey Smith was a lantern-jawed actor with a magnificent handlebar moustache who epitomized the British empire in the Victorian era perhaps more than any other actor. He is one of those character actors who is instantly recognizable to fans of movies of his era, but whose name always escapes us.


c-aubrey-smith1.jpg
Smith

069-michele-morgan-theredlist.jpg
Morgan

Freedom or slavery? The biggest factor

How to enable the military and the police to be our servants to protect us without allowing them to become our masters to rule us: that is the single biggest question that faces nations with regard to their continuance as free societies.

Dangers seen and unseen

"Deliver us from dangers, both seen and unseen." The old brethren who offered public prayer in my childhood would frequently use this expression. As the years have passed, it has come to mean more and more to me. I know certain perils that face me, but there is much out there that could hurt me of which I am not even aware. But God knows, and He is able to deliver us from what we see, and what we do not see.

Stability in government

About the only comment the apostle Paul made about civil government other than to "obey the powers that be" and "honor the king" was to pray for leaders that we would be able to live "a quiet and peaceable life." In other words, we ought to pray for stability in our government. John Leland, perhaps the most insightful writer on the role of government this country has produced, commented that evil produced by government is just intolerable, we ought to put up with it for the moment rather than foment revolution and social upheaval, because that happens we have no idea where things are going to go.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A faithful skunk?

Well, there was one. "True, blue Odie Cologne," the sidekick of King Leonardo the Lion on the cartoon show.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Selfridge Wickerknight

Now see - if you had read the book, "Gomer Pyle, USMC," you would have known that a reporter for one of the TV stations near his hometown was named Selfridge Wickerknight.

A really good night's sleep

just makes everything look a lot brighter. And I am sure that is not just coincidental.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Epidemic business negligence

Computers have installed in American business the attitude that we no longer have to plan.

"Calf rope!"

I wonder how many modern-day kids know that this meant, "I give up."

If you want to cut down drastically

on your cost of living, then ignore fashion and convenience. Those two things probably drive up our costs by more than anything.

I don't mind getting up early

but I surely would like to get up early because I want to instead of because I have to.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We ought not to complain about a lack of time

until we are making full and proper use of the time we have. And besides, all of us have the same amount of time - 24 hours a day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Interesting pattern of names

Caleb DeLa Paz is a member of the UALR cross country and track teams. His sisters are Marissa,  Theresa, Karessa and Alyssa.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - the book

There was a book written back during the days when the TV series was popular. It is not overly long, easy to read, and hilarious. You can find it on eBay.

Unity of Command

There is a very basic principle of Management 101 that you learn very early in the book. "Every person should receive his orders from an immediate supervisor." That principle is routinely and flagrantly violated in business today. Your boss gives you orders, your boss's boss gives you orders; your bosses dotted-line boss gives you orders; supervisors in other departments give you orders. None of the others bothers to go through your boss, so you do not know how to prioritize your work. Thus you become inefficient. There is a reason for the rule. It is also a reason that American business is not more efficient than it is.

Chester Morris as Boston Blackie

Chester Morris was somewhat miscast as Boston Blackie in the series of films. He was too short, for one thing, and not nearly suave enough, for another. (Kent Taylor on the TV series was much better in that respect). However, he did manage to create a real personna for Blackie, if not one that was particularly realistic. Wise-cracking, humorous, full of sleight-of-hand tricks.

Sir Bob on radio

In some respects, Bob Hope was even better on radio than on film, because he was free to do more ad libbing on the radio, at which he was unsurpassed.

Stand By For Action (Operation Petticoat?)

The general idea for the movie Operation Petticoat may have come from the movie Stand By For Action. It involved a destroyer instead of a submarine, but they do pick up a lifeboat with a group of women and children, and a baby is born on the ship.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I actually saw an old radio star once. Jester Hairston

Jester Hairston was perhaps the world authority on Negro spirituals. I got to see him conduct a class on that subject in Dallas once at a convention. He was one of the stars of Bold Venture, which also starred Bogie and Bacall. He played King Moses, the sidekick of hotel owner Slate Shannon (Bogart), and would play the guitar and sing a time or two each episode. (I assume he played the guitar.)

LINK to Hairston leading a choir

The Pharoah School of Management

Many businesses today subscribe to the Pharoah School of Management: "Make more bricks, but get your own straw."

Last sermons

It has been said often that a man ought to preach as a dying man to dying men, because we do not know but what it will be the last such occasion in any of our cases. It is my privilege to have recordings of the last sermons of three ministers that I knew personally. Two of them died relatively suddenly, but the third suffered severely from respiratory disease, and when he preached, he probably knew that there was a very real possibility that it was the last time. I listened to this sermon on the way to work today, and there is a peculiar sweetness about it that is difficult to describe.

Monday, December 17, 2012

No Call Zone

When our children began setting up their own households, we straitly charged them not to call us after 10 pm, because we would be in bed and did not want to be awakened by any call that could have been made earlier or that could wait until tomorrow. That seemed reasonable. The way things are going, though, we may have to move that "no call zone" up to 8 pm. Maybe even 7:30?

Pot bellies of the world, UNITE!

Are we to be the object of scorn just because we have enjoyed the benefit of years at the table of a marvelous cook? Perish the thought! Let us stand, arm in arm, in open defiance of those poor individuals who have not had the great privilege. (Is it suppertime yet, Honey?)

Bogey and Stewart

My son is heavy into Humphrey Bogart and Jimmy Stewart movies these days. Getting quite a collection.

Practice does NOT make perfect.

As my old music teacher told me, it is perfect practice that makes perfect. If you are practicing the same mistakes over and over, you are only learning how to do it wrong.

The acquisition of widsom

Thankfully, we are not limited to trial and error in order to obtain wisdom. I do not have to have a car wreck in order to know that driving too fast is dangerous. Just casual observation and a little correct reasoning should tell me that. The man who truly desires to find wisdom can get it without making a hash out of his life in order to do so.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Having lots of relatives has its advantages, AND

its disadvantages. The advantage is that you do not get lonely. The disadvantage is that you do not get lonely.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Random Harvest

I watched this classic movie this evening with my wife and son. Very fine old classic. I recommend it highly.

I wouldn't mind shaving so much

if it weren't for my neck. That is just a tough area to get to.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tendencies are no excuse

Any time we try to excuse misconduct by saying that we have natural tendencies in that direction we are saying that there is no standard of right conduct but our tendencies, however perverted they may be.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I am a man of considerable talents.

However, to my dismay, I have come to learn that there is not a large market for expert spit-bubble blowers.

The Clayton House in Fort Smith, Arkansas

I learned today that one of our regional financial executives in International Paper is a descendant, or at least a relative, of the Mr. Clayton who built this house.


This wood frame antebellum home served from 1882-1897 as the family home of William Henry Harrison Clayton, the federal prosecutor in the court of celebrated frontier judge Isaac C. Parker.
     Mr. Clayton purchased the home, originally built in the 1850s, and enlarged and renovated it, moving his family into the home in 1882. The home has eight main rooms, each containing an ornate coal-burning firplace. The detached servants' quarters and kitchen have been reconstructed on the original foundation.

Let's hear it for mediocrity!

I have not aspired to be a superior employee. I want to be an adequate employee. My observation has been that superior employees do not have time to be superior husbands and fathers. I must be the second, so I assume that I cannot be the first.

Without retirement, you never would have time

to devote first priority to the things that are of immediate importance to you. Previous to that you have had to devote your time to getting the money for them, and because of that did not have the time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I am eating lots of granola today

I wonder if it will make me healthy, wealthy and wise.

Ella Fitzgerald

In 1993, Ella had to have both legs amputated because of diabetes, which had also significantly affected her vision.


Mixtures of joy and sorrow

Have you ever noticed how often someone close to you will die about the same time someone close to you has a new baby? I believe the poet got it right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hope and Crosby in Road to Rio ending

One of the funniest scenes in all of movie history is the dance scene with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in disguise at the end of The Road to Rio. Hope is dressed up in a Carmen Miranda-style outrageous hat, and their hopelessly uncoordinated antics are hilarious. If you haven't seen it, you have missed a good one.

Stingy with chewing gum

When my brother and I were boys, we had a cousin who always had chewing gum (we never did). We were always hounding him to give us some, and he would tear off a strip about ¼” wide and give it to us. That always seemed a little stingy to me, but I guess if I had had a couple of kid cousins bothering me for gum, I might have done the same thing.

Cold?

It seems like it takes these old bones longer and longer each year to get aclimated when the first real cold snap happens.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The "fiscal cliff" was brilliant!

It is forcing politicians to do what they ought to have been doing all along.

Harriett and Lucy

Harriett Hilliard (Harriett Nelson of "Ozzie and") sounded remarkably like Lucy Ricardo on the radio.

Piggies

There is an age at which children will ask you to play "This little piggie" with their toes almost indefinitely.

Kreml Hair Tonic

This product sponsored some of the Sherlock Holmes radio shows. I have never seen it on the market, so evidently it has passed from the scene. Has anyone ever seen a container of it? The spelling is correct - KREML.

LINK

Whistling Sam on Duffy's Tavern

On one episode of Duffy's Tavern radio show, there is a mysterious criminal in the neighborhood called Whistling Sam, who is actually introduced only in the latter part of the program. The actor who portrays him? Who else? Sheldon Leonard.

R. E. Lee in 1980

The summer of 1980 was the hottest and driest in my memory. It was brutal. One other thing I remember from it, though, which was a real positive. I joined the History Book Club in order to get Douglas Freeman's four-volume biography of General Robert E. Lee, and read it that summer. I honestly can say it was one of the most profitable personal exercises I have ever undertaken. The general was an outstanding gentleman in every sense of the word.

Douglas Southall Freeman

For any of you who enjoy historical writings, let me highly recommend Mr. Freeman. He won Pulitzer prizes for his biographies of George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Plus, he also wrote a study of the other commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia called Lee's Lieutenants. Outstanding writer.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Claire Trevor in "The Lucky Stiff"

Actress Claire Trevor made her career by playing tough babes. However, in her role as Brian Donlevy’s legal secretary in The Lucky Stiff, she did an excellent job of portraying a loyal and efficient woman who, by the way, does win the heart of the boss in the end.

Results Inc.

Lloyd Nolan and Claire Trevor (two of my favorites) starred together in this short-lived detective series. I can only find three episodes available for downloading.

Doc Gamble as a policeman?

Unless I am badly mistaken, I just listened to Doc Gamble (Arthur Q. Bryan) as a police officer on a Frank Graham episode of the Jeff Regan radio show.

It is NEVER difficult to do

if you are not the one having to do it.

The Lion's Eye - Yeeeeeeeeesssss?

In the Frank Graham episodes of the Jeff Regan detective radio show, his boss, Anthony J. Lyon, is played by Frank Nelson, who was famous as the antagonist of Jack Benny on his radio show, and who first line was usually "Yeeeeesssss?

Buying crickets?

http://www.bekahsacran.blogspot.com/2012/12/crickets.html

How did Bogie look in a necktie?

According to his own assessment in an episode of  Bold Venture, he was "nifty and dapper."

Versatile Bogie

Humphrey Bogart could play all the way from an absolute scrounge in The Treasure of the Sierre Madre to a ladies' man in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. We often think of him in only tough-guy roles, but he was fairly versatile.

Expert at something

I am a very mediocre person. One might even say I am an expert at being mediocre - but then one has to be an expert at something, right?

The older we get

the more we value little things that we used to take for granted.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Barry Fitzgerald's broken Oscar

Wonderful character actor Barry Fitzgerald won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1944. During the war, the statues were made of plaster instead of gold, owing to metal shortages. Fitzgerald was an avid golfer, and while practicing his swing, he broke the head off Oscar.

Tell me, my friends who know

Is retirement really as nice as it looks from this perspective?

Passing away

I saw in the paper that a girl my brother had once dated in high school had died. That is a sobering thought. We are swiftly passing.

Belleville, Arkansas on old time radio

On the April 1, 1935 episode of Lum and Abner, they talk about moving the circus they own to Belleville. Not many towns of that size that got mentioned on national radio.

Burdensome names

Parents ought to be careful not to name a child something that will cause him problems. However, sometimes they cannot know that it will. For instance, my wife's grandfather's middle name (he went by his first name) was Adolph, which was natural because he was of German descent. He was a World War I veteran, and at that time Adolph had no more significance than any other name of that sort. Obviously, however, it quickly became the most despised name in the world in the second World War. Similarly, there were at least three Judases mentioned in the Bible. Two of them evidently were outstanding men, but the only one we remember is the one who ruined the name.

More HERE on strange names.

Native Americans

That is as pointless a designation as I can think of. "Native" means where one was born. Sure, those folks were born in America,  but so was I, so that makes me as much a Native American as they are. Some of their forebears may have been here before my forebears, but their forebears did not start out here any more than mine did. So there is absolutely nothing exclusive about "native" designation that they can claim.

William Monroe Green, Sr.

He is as far as I can go back in my direct Green line. He was my great-great-great-grandfather. I know nothing about him except that he moved from the east coast headed this direction with his son. Both father and son were Primitive Baptist preachers. William Jr. served Old Union Church near Hot Springs, Ark. as pastor. His great-great-great-grandson (my son Adam) now serves that church as pastor.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Purple Phantom

Bing Crosby now has told us that if there had been a hero named The Purple Phantom, his nickname would have been "Purp." It just would not have worked.

Betty Grable and Mary Beth Hughes



Do you suppose they were kin?

Doc Holliday

Like so many western figures, Doc Holliday has become more legend and almost no fact (other than that he was a dentist and was sick). It makes you wonder what he really was like.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Philip Marlowe on Maverick?

Well, not actually Marlowe, but we are watching Gerald Mohr as a guest star opposite James Garner on an old episode entitled "The Quick and the Dead."

Wild Bill Hickock radio

Great kids show, and I like it, too. It starts off with Jingles (his sidekick) yelling, "Wild . . Bill . . . Hickock!!!" Lots of fun.

The Lemon Drop Kid mugs

Perhaps the most lovable group of mugs ever assembled for a movie was in The Lemon Drop Kid, starring Bob Hope. Great fun.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Douglas Fowley

It is hard not to think of Fowley as a Sheldon Leonard knock-off, but he did have the second-best natural gangster accent in Hollywood in his day. His characters usually had a harder edge to them than Leonard, whose accent was so unique that it almost became a caricature.

Brian Donlevy movies

We are watching two from the 1930's this week. He played more of a ladies' man in those days, but more of a tough guy later on.

Stepin Fetchit

He was a black actor in the 30's and 40's. His character was later brought into a bad light because of the negative racial stereotype it was supposed to have portrayed. However, he also was the first millionaire black actor.

The Loyds and the Greens in Logan County, Ark.

Actually, the Greens and Loyds in Logan County were closely related. My grandmother (Loyd) and grandfather (Green) were second cousins.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Loyd Family in Logan County, Arkansas

is an extensive one. My great-grandparents had eleven children, and thus there are a lot of Loyds around. Pretty much everyone of that name in this county is kin to me, but I do not always know how.

Shaving

One of the prices I pay to continue to have my meals cooked and to keep from being rounded up by the dog catcher because I have the mange. But I hate it.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kiri

With all the trendy names we see today (and names always follow trends), I am surprised that we have not seen Kiri used more, given the fact that its most famous holder is now Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Each in its own place

Some people blame on faith that which is merely bad judgment. Living by faith does not absolve us from using our common sense. However, there are situations in which faith must override even good judgment. Sometimes responsibility requires us to move forward when judgment warns against it.

Pappy's Army

Everyone year I load up everyone who wants to go and pay their tickets to go to a Little Rock Trojans basketball game. This year we had 23 people. Lots of fun  for me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scrapes and scabs

I have an elderly friend who always seems to have scabs on the top of his bald head. My shins seem to be my point of injury. Ouch!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Our great lie

These days it is almost impossible that the public will get the real facts about gambling. First of all, the government sponsors it to feed their insatiable appetite for more revenue, so they have no interest in telling the truth. Second of all, government is smart enough to attach it somehow to education or some other positive endeavor to mute the criticism of it, so those who benefit in that way from it are not likely to complain. The point is that they do not care - not one whit - about the ill effects of gambling as long as the money keeps rolling in. Oh, of course, they have their little disclaimers about seeking professional help if you are addicted to gambling - as if that absolved them of all responsibility in the matter.

Do you suppose it is any coincidence that the only state with legalized prostitution is also the state most linked to gambling?

We have prostituted ourselves for the sake of money, money, money.

It takes courage to stand for moral right

All of us have a little coward in us, I expect, but if we do not resolve to live in a moral, upright way (as the Bible defines it), we never will accomplish it. At least, we need to give it our best effort.

Humbug!

Facebook = clutter.

Jimmy the bad guy?

You may never have seen Jimmy Stewart as the bad guy in a movie, but he was in After the Thin Man.

Thin Man

William Powell and Myrna Loy had some of the best on-film chemistry ever in this series of detective films.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Being married to mean old women

sure is hard on old men. (Just kidding, honey! just kidding, honey! just kidding, honey!)

Sherlock's conflicting wishes

Sherlock Holmes' great task in life was to fight against crime, and so he wished it would not happen. Still, at times you find him lamenting the fact that there are no cases worthy of his talents. Wish they wouldn't; wish they would.

Two boats

Bold Venture and Scarlet Queen were two radio shows based around a boat or ship. Can you think of any others?

There are such men

It may come as a shock to some people, but there are people in this world who are utterly without scruples of any kind.

I have the basic personality

of an ill-tempered rock. This admittedly presents certain difficulties in life. One thing on the plus side, though, is that the friends I have a true friends. Their affection is not because of my sparkling demeanor.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Humility, like love

The Good Book says that charity covereth a multitude of sins. Humility has a similar quality.

Neighbourly

Despite his slow start this season, it is still very evident that Will Neighbour is the one guy we have to have clicking.

Bogie and the General

My younger son has really  been getting into Humphrey Bogart and Jimmy Stewart movies here lately.

Reporting on Thanksgiving

I did moderately well on not over-eating. Not entirely successful, but better than some years.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Penmanship

I just saw an article, "Is penmanship still a skill worth teaching?" I say it is, because it teaches discipline and self-respect. Everything cannot be measured by or sacrificed to technology.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sir Thomas Nathaniel Edwards

If anyone can establish reliably that I am kin to Sir Thomas, I would be very grateful. I have seen a few indications to that effect, but nothing I could verify.

Nicest time of day

When I was a child, one of my father's voice students sang a song that had the line, "The morning is the nicest time of day." I think the author got that one right.

Friday, November 23, 2012

We were watching an old Jimmy Stewart western

and this question occurred to me: Did they have spell check on smoke signals?

The day after Thanksgiving

This is the day on which I insist on having NO schedule.

All Stations Call

Evidently, judging from Lord Peter Wimsey, the 1920's parallel to our modern All Points Bulletin was an All Stations Call.

Cartoons, but not for children

Some of the most-beloved cartoons could only be appreciated by adults. Have you ever listened to Popeye's muttering? Hilarious, and kids would never catch it. And few children would appreciate the subtleties of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Not always as it appears

There sometimes is a difference between that which looks organized and that which is organized.

The Fiscal Cliff - why the big deal?

It just does for politicians what they ought to have done long ago. Maybe the thing the politicians are panicking about is that they will not get credit for it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Classical music and film music

There has been some great film music that was turned into great classical music. Perhaps the most notable example is Alexander Nevsky by Prokofiev. I have often thought that a lot more movies could make use of some of the great classical themes.

Good line from a Lord Peter Wimsey novel

"Parker was one of those methodical, painstaking people whom the world could so ill spare." True assessment, if only regarding a fictitious character.

Better be careful what you post on a blog

because it immediately comes up in a Google search.

"I am a blogger"

That just has a bad sound to it, doesn't it? Sort of like some sort of an addiction.

Heroes

I suspect most people we think of as heroes would not be heroes to us if we knew them personally. People who stand up to close personal inspection are the  real heroes.

Oscar Peterson, about Art Tatum

"The greatest pianist I have ever heard - Classical or Jazz."

Even my grandson agrees

that the organ music on the Philo Vance radio show was hugely irritating.

Babies' rapid learning

One of the really pleasing things in life is observing the intense learning process of babies, and how rapidly they progress. And it is a good thing they do progress quickly, because they have a lot to learn. (Amazing the wisdom God displayed in the design of the universe, isn't it?)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Start spending

There is a point in our lives when we need to stop saving and start spending what we have been saving to the point. The problem is that we never know when that is because we do not know how much longer we will live - unless, of course, we have saved so much that it does not matter.

I can't read it

I have a book written in Old English, but I can't read it because I can't find and old Englishman to translate it. (That's a joke, son.)

Ceridwen

This is the middle name of my second daughter and her first daughter. It is Welsh name from a character in the novel, "How Green Was My Valley" (which is a real tear jerker, by the way). In that book there were three characters with the "wen" ending to their names: Ceridwen, Ceinwen and Bronwen - all thoroughly Welsh names. I have thought they were very pretty names.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Emotions

Emotions should never be our guide. To be steered by our feelings is to governed by that which is ever changing, and that is never safe. However, how sterile our lives would be without strong emotions. God made us that way, and a life without laughter and tears is a one-dimensional figure.

One of the best lines

"Be careful how you touch her, or she'll awaken; and sleep's the only freedom that she knows."

One of the lines from the popular song "Wildflower," by the band Skylark, from 1973.

Here is a link to the complete lyrics:
http://www.wildflowersong.com/lyrics.html

Here is the song as it was originally recorded. If I remember correctly, it got to #3 on the charts about the time Pam and I were married, and will always be the song I most associate with her. (It has no special significance to her, incidentally.) Listen to it, and notice the use of a harp in the orchestration, which is very unusual for popular tunes of that day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyKXW3ioY1Q

Will I be a glutton?

How much self-control will I exercise this weekend? Discipline is one of the most valuable natural attributes we can have. I enjoy eating, but I always feel much better when I keep it under control.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hi Ho Silver

There was just nothing quite like the introduction to The Lone Ranger. Rossini had no idea he was contributing so much to American culture.

The Lone Ranger was the guest on the Bing Crosby show in January of 1948. They did a skit in which Bing played the sheriff, Creepalong Crosby, with his sidekick, Droopalong. It was hilarious. In one spot, Crosby asks Lone, "What's that piece of rope dangling in your hand there, Ranger?" He replies, "I've either found a lasso or lost a horse."

Keep it in mind

This sounds morbid, but all our healthcare decisions need to keep in mind the fact that we ARE going to die sometime.

Not even treachery

You may have heard the expression, "Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill." I declare that some days I am not sure that even treachery will help us.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fried caviar

Evidently there is such a thing. Hard to imagine. I guess you can eat anything if you fry it in hog lard.

Teach them to think

Once they reach a reasonable age, do not strive to do your children's thinking for them - or at least do as little as is feasible considering your responsibilities toward them to keep them safe both physically and morally. The more you can teach them how to think correctly, both as to correct principles and proper reasoning processes, the better off they will be. A man who can think, and who actually does, is increasingly rare in this electronic age. If you teach them to think, you will have done them a favor worth more than gold.

No glory at all

Any man who finds glory in war is an utter, absolute fool.

America needs a third party - badly

As long as there are no viable third parties in this country, a lot of people will be voting for candidates they do not support. It cannot be a good system when the only way a substantial portion of the populace feel they can vote is against candidates.

Virgil Goode of the Constitutution Party

Presidential candidate. According to the party website, the state where he did best was South Dakota, with 0.65% of the vote. Not enough to be a factor. This ought to have been a good year for third parties, but it was not. The fear of President Obama made a lot of people vote for Mr. Romney who had no real enthusiasm for him.

Old-fashioned is good.

Say it over and over and over again. It might not always be right, but it won't miss very often. This old world is headed in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed.

I plight thee my troth

"I plight thee my troth," meaning "I pledge thee my faithfulness." From the traditional wedding vows. Very poetically expressed, but it is not used much today. I wish it were. I wish even more that it were strictly observed.

General Stewart

No, not Gen. J. E. B. Stuart of Confederate fame, but Brig. Gen. Jimmy Stewart (actor) of the Air Force Reserve.

Briscoe as a preacher

Denver Pyle (Briscoe Darling on the Andy Griffith Show) was the preacher in the movie Shenandoah. Just hard to picture him as one when you know him as Briscoe.

Remembering better?

I would like to see a study on it, but I am going to guess that our minds naturally retain more of what we read in a physical book than what we read on a computer screen. The reasons are probably cultural and subliminal, but nonetheless real.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Frank Nelson and Jack Benny

If you want to see some really funny outtakes, search on Youtube for Jack Benny and Frank Nelson. Hilarious.

Jack Benny TV

The early Jack Benny television shows were hilarious. They are available in collections.

One of the funniest of the Fred Allen programs

Absolutely hilarious. He crowns Jack Benny "King for a Day."

LINK

Fred MacMurray

For whatever reason, I have just never cared for him as an actor. Nothing specific, but we just never "clicked" as actor and audience.

Charles Russell as Johnny Dollar

Except for the audition broadcast with Dick Powell, Russell was the first of the Johnny Dollar actors, and he was very good. He had a little comic twist to his delivery that made it enjoyable. It reminds you just a little bit of Powell as Richard Diamond.

The episode today was about the theft of a painting of Duke Somebody, or "Who Opened the Season on Canvas-backed Dukes?"

Didn't Sydney Greenstreet have a great laugh?

He was a great actor, both on radio and in the movies.

I really did not want to go to work today

I had a lot of other things that needed doing. On the other hand, since it is time and a half, maybe I will need the money more than I think. So . . . I guess I had better go to work.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Anyone want to buy a camel?

No, I don't have one. I was just curious.

I am not a workaholic.

I admit it, especially when the job is making boxes.

Stress

Handling stress is largely a state of mind, but that does not mean it is easy to do.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Opposition needed

Every political party needs an opposition party, no matter how wrong the opposition party may be. Because inevitably a party without opposition, no matter how right it may have been, will become very wrong. Human nature.

Confusion in the ranks

Well, actually among the leadership. The Republican Party is in disarray. Not a good thing. We need a strong opposition party.

Virtual?

Human nature is such that tangible is much more satisfying than virtual.

Everybody had blue blood

One result of Hollywood's insistence that all actresses cultivate the stereotyped Boston blue  blood accent is that most characters in radio and early television, no matter what their social standing, had that accent. Everyone had blue blood.

Larry Dobkin

Dobkin was a very busy radio actor. Like many of them, he had a distinctive voice, which lent itself to criminals or psycho characters. However, he also played comic roles, such as The Saint's taxi driver sidekick, Louie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another quip from Digger O'Dell

"The friendly undertaker."

The Undertakers and Embalmers Life Insurance Society only has one policy: we cover you completely.

Digger's writer

Whoever wrote the script for Digger O'Dell's part on The Life of Riley radio show was a comic genius.

Considerate or polite

It is not necessary to be polite: not everyone can learn all the rules of etiquette. But you do not have to know etiquette to be considerate of others. Chewing with your mouth closed is just treating others with consideration. The Golden Rule. Thinking about others before yourself.

Never a convenience

People who expect their lives to go on conveniently as usual after they have children are fools. Children are never a convenience - a blessing, yes, but not a convenience. If you have children you are just going to have a time when your time is not your own time.

Good company?

Here is a simple question all young people ought to ask themselves before they become seriously romantically involved with someone. Did I enjoy being in the company of this person before I was romantically attracted to him/her? In other words, would I like being around the other person regardless of any social attachment. Marriage is like a small room. If you do not genuinely enjoy the other person's company, then do not marry that individual, because you are going to be trapped in that small room with him, as long as you both shall live, for better or for worse. "Do I like him?" Forget love. You need to find out about "like" first.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I have a good wife

In fact, an excellent wife. And therefore my job is about 80% done.

Stick around to see if I am right

The Republicans have a problem. Wall Street and white Southern males cannot provide them a majority. Therefore, they are going to have to change something. Whatever changes, they likely will become less of a conservative party, especially on social issues. (This has been true for a good while, but many do not want to admit it.) That means that voters who vote principally upon moral issues will be even more disenfranchised than they are now, having no candidate to vote for, since we have no viable third party.

Nick Carter movies

My wife mentioned in passing tonight how much she enjoys the old Nick Carter detective movies, starring Walter Pigeon. There were three of them. WP made a very suave detective.

The best insurance

I have tried to teach my children their responsibility to care for their mother if I die first, and I feel sure they will do their duty. The best insurance policy I could have.

Radio - we lost one

A year or so ago one of the local AM radio stations dropped Lum and Abner after having carried their programs for a number of years. That was a disappointment, as I really liked it. I suppose they lost their sponsor.

HERE is more on Lum and Abner.

How many times does it take?

How many times does it take doing something wrong before we learn better? Perhaps never, if we do not want to learn better. Perhaps never, if we know of nothing better. As the Good Book says, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." Two prerequisites for happiness: knowledge and obedience. We need to know what is right, and we need to do what is right.

Postal blues

I hope the US Post Office does not go out of business. We need it, even with electronic media. However, they deserve to go out of business. That has to be one of the most poorly-run businesses around.

Gilbert the Boy Trapper

An All-American hero evidently found only on the Lum and Abner radio program. This book seems to have had a great impact upon the lives in that community, but we never are able to learn much about Gilbert himself.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How many children do you know

who could answer this question: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

(The answer, of course, is, "The Shadow knows!")

One of my all-time favorite radio quotes

Fibber McGee: "Aw, they never pay any attention to those buzzers in hospitals, but shoot a shotgun into a bed pan and they'll come running every time!"

The need for quietness

We all need some degree of emotional and mental stimulation, but I refuse to believe that a person can be completely healthy without some degree of quietness and reflection in his life. True quietness.

Hurray! A third generation

My granddaughter just emailed me and asked me to burn some Fibber McGee and Molly radio programs for them to listen to at night. Great! Wonderful entertainment for the children. Much better than the trash they will see on television.

Eleventh month, eleventh day, eleventh hour

I wonder how many students today know what the means. At one time it was the end of the War to End War. And people actually thought that. It did not take long to show how wrong that idea was, but they thought it at the time. The carnage within a narrow strip of land running across Europe was horrible.

Old-fashioned

The further I go, the more convinced I am that the fashions of this world have nothing in them. Old-fashioned things are best. We have the advantage with them, because we can look back on them and discard that which was proven to be of no value. That which was of value has shown itself. Today our problem is that we are so enamored with technology that we do not even look up from it to think. Thinking is a lost art today. And if the human race does not use its minds, we sink towards the animals.

One way we have regressed

People used to seek entertainment through means that exercised their minds. Now, largely, we seek it through means that make it possible for us not to have to use our minds. I fail to see how this can be a positive trend.

A word of warning

Children's imaginations are so vivid and their understanding so limited that it behooves us to exercise the utmost care what we put before them. Allowing electronic media to "supervise" our children is a most dangerous practice.

Stars Over Hollywood

A nice series that included original scripts. Some very nice stories that did not have to be condensed like the "movies revised for radio" series did. (We went to sleep listening to this last night.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Effective radio advertising

My grandson, Eli, was urging his mother to buy some Kellog's Corn Pops today because he had heard them advertised on an old Wild Bill Hickock radio show.

Speaking of Jimmy Stewart on radio

He had a great radio voice because it was so expressive.

Marry a good cook

As I have said many times, marry a girl who can cook. One of these days your won't be able to see well enough to tell what she looks like anyway - but you will still like to eat.

I would guess she did not know about Booneville

The female lead of The Man From Laramie talking to Jimmy Stewart: "I know all about Daniel Boone - how many children he had - the towns that were named after him." Do you think she had heard of Booneville, Arkansas? Of course, we do not know for sure that it was named for Daniel. Some accounts have it named for a soldier named Bonneville.

The beginning of natural wisdom

is being able accurately to assess the situation. If you do not know for a fact what the reality is, you cannot know what you ought to do.

Not even a poor excuse

"I was just obeying orders" is one of the sorriest excuses ever for doing something wrong.

When you hear the phrase, "Aw, shucks!"

Jimmy Stewart is who comes to mind.

Gen. Petraeus. I may be overly hard-nosed,

but I figure if a man will cheat on his wife he might also cheat on his country. A vow is a vow, whether it is to love until death us do part, or to uphold and defend the Constitution.

You'll never guess Jimmy Stewart's middle name

Maitland

Old Radio Shows and Homeschooling

My wife and I raised six children, homeschooling them for most of their school lives. We also raised them without television. One of the things parents constantly face who try to limit the influence of modern entertainment upon their children is how to give them some sort of wholesome entertainment that does not contain all the objectionable features of modern media. One of the main ways we provided this was through old radio shows.

There is a huge body of radio shows that are available today for free downloading. They ran from the 1930's into the early 1960's. A couple of the main ones are:
http://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio
http://www.otrrlibrary.org/index.html

The quality of the shows varies greatly, of course, but many of them are really well done and extremely entertaining. In fact, this is a entire body of largely-forgotten entertainment that was an integral part of our nation's history, especially in the Great Depression and World War II.

Two of the main advantages of radio shows are the information they give about the lifestyles of our fathers, particularly the World War II generation, and the fact that they engage the minds of the listeners to a much higher degree than visual media. The hearer must use the eye of his mind to picture what is happening.

Any time we took a trip, we played radio shows the whole way, and believe me, it made the journey much easier to have Fibber McGee or Johnny Dollar traveling with you. The kids were quiet, and the adults also were entertained. Miles go much quicker with old radio shows.

After the children left home, my wife and I have continued to collect radio shows. In fact, we always play one when we go to bed, and have found them to be an excellent "sleeping pill."

I have become a bona fide old radio show enthusiast. Parents who are trying to raise children with the values that our grandparents had (but sadly have disappeared) should investigate them as a major resource. I highly recommend them.

Lux Radio

The series of movie transcriptions for radio sponsored by Lux soap was one of the best programs on radio, and it ran a long time. When we were listening to them initially, that was one of the things that got us also collecting old movies.

Steak, not sizzle

One advantage that non-tech people like me have is that people know that whatever you have will be real, not virtual. If you enjoy this blog, it will be because of what is said, not because of how it is presented.

One last chance to study them

A friend of mine once said (and I agree with him) that there is a distinct line drawn across the society of the United States between those who remember and those who do not remember the Great Depression. Perhaps more than any other event in the lives of those let living, that great economic hole molded the characters and the thinking of an entire generation of people - and had a profound effect even further along than that.

Those who remember the Depression are now in their 80's, and the number of them still thinking clearly is diminishing at a rapid pace. To learn what they learned would be a tremendous benefit to us, and our window of opportunity is fast closing. If you know one of them, I counsel you to talk to him and "pick his brain" while you can.

Oh, my aching back!

Old men and chain saws ought not to be allowed on the same property.

One way radio had it

One place that radio had it over visual media is that the actors/actresses made it on talent, not on looks. Granted, that talent did not include that of facial expressions or movements, but at least it was talent. In the visual era, so may make it on looks alone, or at least largely looks.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

They faded after radio

I wonder how many actors who were prominent in radio did not make it in TV and the movies, at least not nearly in as big a way.

Betty Lou Gerson was a very busy actress on radio. Her sultry voice made her a favorite as sophisticated characters. However, she was not a raving beauty, and while she was in a few movies, she never made it big there. The same for Bob Bailey, who was a heart-throb audibly as Johnny Dollar, but not visually - and so he never made it in films. The same for William Conrad, who starred in the long-running Gunsmoke radio show, but was not picked to be Matt Dillon on TV because he was short and stout. No doubt many more could be added.

The exceptions were the actors who were not leading men or ladies on radio, but who were character actors there and also on film. It did not matter so much what they looked like, so they just moved right over into the other media.

Provision for the body

We must make provision for the body. Meals have to be cooked, or we will have nothing to eat. We are told, however, not to make provision for the flesh, or for our sinful natures. That is a difficult task, as that nature always cries out to be supplied. We will be happier, however, if we let it starve.

Thorn

I just got a thorn point out of my finger which had been there for four days. I was glad to be rid of it. The apostle Paul never did get rid of his.

It keeps us humble

Looking at ourselves in the mirror first thing in the morning reminds us that we are not such great things after all.

What is done is done

We cannot change past conduct in our lives. What is done is done. Where possible (and it is not always possible) we can attempt to mitigate the effects of our misconduct, but we cannot change it. "Learning from our mistakes" is good, but it is a poor second-best to listening to our elders and learning from them and doing things right to start with. All the learning from our past conduct that we could do cannot remove scars.

Friday, November 09, 2012

If you cannot read this blog for the wisdom

it might contain, then read it just out of curiosity to see how stupid I really  can be.

Lt. Ybarra

Of all the many police officers who were regulars on radio detective shows, probably the most professional and no-nonsense was Lt. Ybarra on Philip Marlowe. Whereas many policemen were parodied on these shows, Ybarra was allowed to be the prototype of an efficient, honest policeman.

You can tell it is just party politics

when people have little use for a candidate during the primaries, but then suddenly he is THE MAN in the general election.

Opera - contrasts

Operas have some of the greatest music ever written, and some of the most boring - even in famous operas. But, of course, the boring parts provided opportunity for naps.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Maybe this is why it has no taste

1. When you get the table set, stop setting it, and sit down to eat.

2. When you get to the straightaway - sprint!

3. There is a point when there is enough food in your mouth. That is when you need to start chewing.

Sleep - I'll say it again

Take a Melatonin tablet, and listen to old radio shows when you go to bed, and you will be amazed how much easier you sleep.

Radio detectives and old movies

Any fan of radio show detectives also needs to be acquainted with the movies from the same period about the same characters. Frequently the actors were different, and thus characters changed somewhat; but it is interesting to make comparisons, pro and con.

A Case for Dr. Morelle

This is an interesting series about a doctor/detective. The lead character is played by Cecil Parker, whom you might remember as the suave villian on The Saint's Vacation (1941).

Small town distinction on radio

Mena and Mount Ida are two of only a few real-life truly small towns to be referenced in network radio shows. Lum and Abner, of course.

Want to sound hoity-toity?

Just don't sound your R's (or maybe I should say your Ah's). Radio actors affected that sound all the time.

Sunrises

Artists need to paint more sunrises and sunsets. Just had to beat as subject matter.

Crime and Peter Chambers

This was a well-done radio detective series. It had all the usual features - a police lieutenant who was a close friend of Chambers, a beautiful dame in each episode (who was either in distress or the criminal), and lots of hard-boiled action.

Rochester

Eddie "Rochester" Anderson had to have been one of the funniest characters on radio. He was hugely talented, and really was the star of the Jack Benny show from a comedy standpoint. Just a hilarious character.

If you want to get your blood stirred

on the way to work, just listen to a good recording of the final movement of Saint-Saens' Third Symphony (the "Organ").  It will make you want to join the army, confound the heathen and salute the flag.

I think I have commented before that brings back a lot of memories to me. While I was at Arkansas Tech, they got a transcription for symphonic band of that movement, and Dr. Rolland Shaw played the big pipe organ in the concert hall.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

My dress code

My dress code is very simple. Approximately 30 minutes after we were married my wife informed me in no uncertain terms that I was not ever - under any circumstances - to buy clothing unless she was present to "guide" the selection. Her opinion was that whatever little taste I had was abominable. Alas, I am a sartorial slave.

I have to do better on my post topics

I try to get too cutesy and abbreviated, which does not indicate the content. (Imagine my using "cutesy" about myself!) All that, of course, assumes that there is anything worthy of the word "content" contained in these posts.

The Republicans' problem

Just looking at it objectively as someone who does not care one way or the other, the Republicans have a real public relations problem. No matter how they try to posture, they come across as a party of rude, obnoxious, self-serving men whose main concerns are to have their own way and get rich doing it. In other words, Rush Limbaugh has become the face of the party. They have lost the gentle eloquence of Ronald Reagan and have again become Wall Street with some Southern beer-drinking rudeness thrown in.

We are talking here, not about what they may or may not be, but about how they are perceived. They ought to have blown Mr. Obama out of the water, and instead ended up botching what should have been an easy win. There is a lot of work to be done, boys. You shot off ALL your toes in this one.

Mixtures of joys and sorrows

Happy that Mr. Romney was defeated. Sad indeed that it was Mr. Obama that defeated him.

They don't get it - but it is true

The Republicans will bemoan Mr. Obama's abuse of executive power for all extra-legislative things he does in the next four years; then they will forget all about it when their man gets into power and the Democrats will start the moaming. However, they will be right. The President of the U.S. has far too much power for unilateral action. That is one thing about our system that needs to be fixed - and quickly - but probably will not be fixed because the party in power does not want to fix it - at least as long as it is in power.

Easy does it

Old guys can get a good bit done if they are able to work at their own pace and take breaks when they need them.

This blog is not fancy, and pretty boring

But then I am not fancy, and pretty boring. I have often said that I have the personality of an ill-tempered rock.

Just take a deep breath, everyone

America has had bad Presidents before - quite frequently, in fact - almost constantly, in fact. And we have the advantage of a divided Congress.

Whatever we have is far better than we deserve, so just smile, thank God for His forbearance and mercy, and go about our business in a country that is STILL the safest, the most free and the most prosperous in the world.

Oh my aching back!

Chain saws and 59-year-old men do not go together. I am sure there are exceptions, but I am not one of them.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Pleasant evening

spent watching a basketball game, and then home to watch some old TV westerns with Jason.

Garner

Maverick was the first big break for actor James Garner. Almost immediately it made him a household name.

Grandchildren (for those not in a position to know)

My header says, "Grandfather of an increasing number." The number is up to 14 so far. By today's standards that seems like quite a few, but my parents have 22 grandchildren, and I was one of 32. Numbers going down as time goes by.

I actually know a man in Georgia whose father was one of 45 grandchildren, from three men, all of whom lived within a three-mile radius.

Solid gold

Good deacons are worth their weight in gold. More than gold, because their worth is spiritual, not material.

Maverick

The old Maverick TV series was really well done. Jason and I recommend it.

If you like this blog

tell your friends. Nothing special. As the header says, just random thoughts from a worn-out man who was no great shakes even when he was in his prime (which was a long time ago).

Hardshell political history 101

It may seem incredible to many young Primitive Baptists that so many of their forebears within the faith have an alliance to the Democratic Party. A quick summary of political history among our people may help explain it somewhat. Until recent years, Primitive Baptists (even since before the split) have been largely favorable toward the more liberal of the political parties as measured by economic philosophies. For example, they generally supported Jefferson against Hamilton, and Andrew Jackson against his opponents. In other words, they generally supported the candidates who favored the common people as opposed to those who favored the privileged classes.

Those who are under 50 years of age may not realize that it was only with the election of Ronald Reagan that the social conservatism and fiscal conservatism were united in the same party. With the exception of Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson, the political landscape from the War Between the States until the Depression was controlled by the Republican Party, and the Republican Party was the Wall Street (Rockefeller) party. Business tycoons were not overly concerned with moral issues. Social conservatism was, until Reagan, found largely in the old-style Southern Democrats. There was a fairly abrupt change in that reality about the time of the Vietnam conflict, but it has taken a much longer time for many people to realize it.

Further, those who did not live through the Depression cannot possibly imagine what a devastating thing it was. Thousands of men would have been glad to have worked for 50 cents a day if they would have found such jobs. President Roosevelt's policies may not have been (and probably were not) good economics, but men whose families are starving are not overly concerned with the niceties of economic theory. Mr. Roosevelt gave them hope, and told them, in effect, "We are not going to let you starve." As a result, he had a huge amount of good will among the common people, some of whom are now found among the older generation of Old Baptists.

Manuel Labor today

That is one of my Mexican friends, of course. It is an inside joke. Years ago when I worked at the toy company in Booneville, one of the girls in our department typed up some procedures, one of which was how to handle "manuel invoices."

I apologize in advance

Is someone who buys votes bipolar?

(buy -poll - er. Get it?)

I am so proud!

My wife let me buy a new cell phone. I are now high-tech (or something).

When you marry a mean woman

you had better be light on your feet.

Old age and infirmity

They go together. You expect one with the other. It is sad, though, when the second comes before the first. May God have mercy on those.

Old

I'll let you in on a secret: the reason old men act old is because they feel old. The reason they feel old is because they are old.

Eat your hearts out!

all you wage slaves that are having to work today. I am enjoying flaky biscuits with Canadian bacon and eggs in the middle. And getting to look at a cute lady, to boot.

And when we finally get to retire

and have time to do all that stuff, our bodies are so worn out that we can't do a lot of them.

Speaking of leisurely coffee

It certainly will be fun to be at home, under foot, in the way - in other words, wall to wall husband.

Old writings

One great value of reading old writings (as opposed to more recent productions) is not that there may not be value in the recent writings, but that time has allowed the merit and demerit of old writings to settle out so that they are more readily evident today. With new writings we are perpetually mining. With old writings we already know where the gold is hidden.

Enjoying leisurely coffee with my wife at home

I certainly am looking forward to retirement!

Monday, November 05, 2012

How you say it

That which is not particularly noteworthy may be accounted wisdom if it is expressed in the right manner.

It's OK

I am married to a mean old woman, but fortunately her aim is not very good.




(I am, of course, speaking in jest.)

The bard got it right on this one.


"Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care." Give a man a good night's sleep, and all his problems are a little smaller.

Minority

Standing for principle is rarely a difficult thing when one is in the majority. And when one is in the minority but is in the right, the majority will almost always try to make it appear that theirs is the holy course. And because the majority controls the pen or the press, they have an easy time winning the battle for popular opinion. However, truth never has counted on popular opinion for its veracity. "That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

Here's a job for you blog/Facebook picture mavens

My granddaughter Lillie somewhat resembles actress Marsha Hunt, and my granddaughter Audrey, from certain angles, resembles the legendary Dorothy Lamour. Now find pictures of each of them that illustrate the resemblance.



Simple is best

The best way to make a real, lasting impact upon anyone's life is to live in a godly, upright way. As the apostle put it, "we should live sober, righteously and godly in his present world." Anyone who has the self-discipline to do that is capable of great things. Most people in whom the grace of God lies are able to understand and recognize that.

How about this cool weather!

Feels great!

How did they do it?

When someone was making dog noise sound effects on one of the old radio shows, how did the other actors keep a straight face? Maybe they didn't.

Old-fashioned

I know it is old-fashioned and reactionary, but I still try to write letters to our overseas servicemen. I may communicate electronically, also, but I think there is something very positive about a tangible letter. Just my opinion.

Connected

There may be cases in which it is true, but my experience and observation is that being more electronically "connected" does not result in more holiness, but usually just the opposite.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Yard salesmanship

You have never been to a yard sale until you have been to one where super-salesman Eli Wayne Jones is plying his trade.

Nice present

My grandsons gave me a present of a DVD of Boris and Natasha cartoons. Wonderful! Some of the cleverest cartoons ever made. Incidentally, the talented radio actor, William Conrad, was the narrator of the carton. He played Matt Dillon and many other roles on radio, and the detective Cannon on TV.

Too late

It is a pity that wisdom usually comes at such a late age that there is no energy left to support it.

Sounds and smells

My wife and daughter are in the kitchen this morning, arguing (discussing) about various points of whatever it is they are cooking. Nice sounds and nice smells. Home.

Childhood memories

When I was in early grade school, my father taught music in the school system and often he would have to stay after school to teach voice lessons. At the time his older brother lived about two blocks from the school house, and I would walk there to wait until Daddy got through. We did not have a television at that time, so it was great fun to be able to watch The Three Stooges at Uncle Garvin's house. I also remember watching Peter Gunn, the detective series. Interesting memories.

Fixing by formula

The average Primitive Baptist today gets to attend church several times more per year than the average member a hundred years ago. Yet all my experience and research indicate that the average member today is much more ignorant of the content of the Bible than his grandfathers. We came up with our nice, neat formula that meeting more often would produce better results - that greater quantity would produce better quality. If I am correct in my assumptions, once again the best calculations of men failed to produce what we aimed at.

Towels

One ability that women seem to acquire at a fairly early age is to wrap towels neatly around their heads.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Speaking of eternal things

We often use analogies from natural things to illustrate the spiritual. But to use the fads and fashions of the world in such a way seems to me to trivialize those things - things that ought to be most holy to us.

Too much laughing

There is far too much levity in our worship services, and I am as guilty as any. Way too much laughing going on - and it is not laughing for joy, but laughing at humor. Folks, we are in the Lord's presence!

Friday, November 02, 2012

My wife has chosen new carpet

for our bedroom. Now, only a complete fool of a man gets involved in that decision, as long as it is within the budget.

Young couples, remember

You can never have "too much" storage space.

Rocky Jordan and Capt. Sam Sabaaya

Jack Moyles as Rocky Jordan and Jay Novello as Capt. Sam Sabaaya played off each other exceptionally well in the Rocky Jordan radio show. Really well done and enjoyable program.

HERE is more about Jack Moyles.

Cost of cars

I saw a billboard today with a car costing over $31,000. It reminded me that that is more than what we paid for our house originally. Time have indeed changed. Of course, I think Mom and Dad paid about $8500 for theirs.

Leichtenstein

This is a principality bordering Switzerland and Austria. Its area is about 62 square miles. (That is about 7.9 miles square.) The current monarch is Hans-Adam II F├╝rst von und zu Liechtenstein.

valuable DNE notable

That which is valuable in life almost always is not that which is notable. That which garners the headlines is not  that which has the real merit in life. Those who do the truly important things rarely get noticed by the media.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Time

Old guys don't necessarily know more, but they have had time to come to grips with what they do not know.

Matches up

Conservative dress usually indicates a conservative philosophy. Not always, but usually.

Very bad, but not as bad

There is nothing to recommend being a sheep in wolf's clothing. That is a most reprehensible situation; but it is not as grievous as that of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

$ Gen

The only thing that keeps Dollar General from completely blowing Walmart out of the water is that they are too cheap to keep enough checkout clerks working. Penny wise and pound foolish. But it is typical of the short-sighted methods management many times adopts.

Which rule?

Management generally treats employees as they are required to by the law. But there is a higher law that says, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." It generally gets ignored.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back and forth

The banter back and forth between Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, and between Fred Allen and Jack Benny provided some of the funniest material in radio history. If you haven't heard them, you are missing something.

Become a UALR fan

http://michaelspappysualrblog.blogspot.com/

(We don't oink.)

Thanks, Rebekah

for helping to spruce up my  blogs.

Solace

"Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease" (Ps. 85.4). I continually find myself coming back to this psalm for comfort - not for the country, but for myself.

Andy Devine

He appeared in over 400 films. Andy and his wife, Dorothy House were married on October 28, 1933, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and remained united until his death on February 18, 1977.




Hickock, according to Wikipedia

On July 21, 1865, in the town square of Springfield, Hickok met and killed Davis Tutt in a "quick draw duel" –the first of its kind. Fiction later popularized Hickok's "quick draw gunfight" as typical, but Hickok's is the first one on record to fit the portrayal. During the duel, rather than the face-to-face fast-draw as is commonly shown in movies, the two men faced each other sideways in the historic dueling stance, drawing and aiming their weapons before firing.

I cannot verify the accuracy of this, but it is interesting.

Almost everything worth eating

is fried in lard.

Enjoying Barney's favorite food

Good food, that is. Better than bad food any old day.

One day at a time

Divine wisdom is fully illustrated in the scripture, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Life's burdens would be unbearable if we took them all at once - and often that is just what we try to do. Each day has its full weight. No need to buy trouble on credit.

No case made

The stupidest argument against voting for third parties is that "they have no chance to win." If that argument is true, then you should not have voted for Barry Goldwater against Lyndon Johnson, for her certainly had no realistic chance to win. Besides, until just before the War the Whig party was the other party, and the Republican party as we know it today did not exist; they were a "third party."

What percentage?

I wonder what percentage of the words in the English language I actually know. Given how thick dictionaries are, I suspect it is a very small number. Of course, both numbers are constantly changing, so it would be hard to pin down even if you could determine the numbers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tough questions

Zero once asked Sgt. Snorkel why we wash up but we scrub down. He didn't even know how to look up the answer.

While we are on the subject of tough questions, a fellow I used to work with would ask what chairs would look like if our legs bent the other direction. Meditate on that one a while.

I like cold weather better than hot weather

except when it gets really cold. Then I like hot weather better than I like cold weather.

Another Digger quote

from Digby O'Dell, the Friendly Undertaker: "You may not like flowers now, but eventually they will grow on you."

Retirement

It gets harder and harder to get back up after I have to squat down to get something out of a file here at the office. When it gets to the point that I have to use a come-along to get back up, I think I will need to retire.

Secretary

If I could have my wife as my secretary, I might want to be a radio private eye. (All private eyes had cute secretaries, of course.) On the other hand, I might not want to get knocked out once a week, come to think of it.

Bad accents

Of the affected foreign accents on old radio shows, the French was undoubtedly the worst. Actors just couldn't pull it off convincingly.

Not common

Dignity is a characteristic not frequently seen in modern-day Arkansas society.

Overtalk

Some people just cannot seem to stop talking. They are always monotonizing the conversation.

Just today

This is my assignment for today, and I am not going to worry about tomorrow.

Philo Vance

This was a pretty fair radio detective show. The plots and characterizations were interesting, if not always exactly realistic. However, the organ music is terribly irritating. I cannot imagine why they possibly wanted it on the show. Organ music was always a less-than-satisfactory background for radio shows, but the way this guy plays is obnoxious.

Proverbs

The process of an old sloganeer like me is to observe and encapsulate or generalize. Admittedly this involves a great deal of oversimplification, but it is a rule of life that you must understand the basic principles before you can comprehend those that are more complex.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shutting it down

As we do most nights, my sweetheart of over 40 years (wife of almost that long) are going to bed long before we have everything done that needs to be done, snuggling up on the bed, and watching a movie that is older than we are (which is going some). Scandalously irresponsible, but one of the few luxuries a man of modest means can provide to his wife for her decades of toil.

Just flesh

My voice is very tired this week, after a long weekend of meetings. I am reminded that we are but flesh, and that our strength has it limits.

Routine

I work much better in a pattern.

In reality

Young men need to learn that if they are indeed the heads of their households, everyone will know it, and they do not have to make a big production about it. Young women need to learn that if their husbands feel the need to let it be known, then maybe they need to work harder at making it be the truth.

My new office looks very nice

Thanks to all my womenfolks.

Richard Diamond: Mrs. X's husband

One of the funniest and cutest episodes of the Richard Diamond radio program was the one entitled, "Mrs. X's Missing Husband. A women comes to Diamond, looking for her husband. She won't give her name, but everyone in the program says, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" It turns out the she and the husand went to see a doctor, and what he told them gave the husband such a shock that he had temporary amnesia. The long and short of it was that the woman was June Allyson, Dick Powell's real-life wife, who had just found out she was expecting and evidently was taking off from show business until after the baby came. A unique way of announcing a baby.

Listen to it HERE

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spread the word

I am telling you - old radio shows are a wonderful resource for entertaining children, helping adults go to sleep at night, making long trips shorter - all without the objectionable content so common today (if you do a little screening). Absolutely a great resource in this degenerate age.

I am too old for this

For what? It doesn't really matter. Mention what you will, I there is a good chance I qualify. (Makes life a lot simpler, though.)

Grandfather's birth

Generally speaking (at least since the Industrial Revolution), going back to the birth of your grandfather will mean the things people experienced at that time will be somewhat foreign to you. That makes me stop and consider.

Casablanca - Jordan

If you like the movie "Casablanca," you might also like the old radio show "Rockie Jordan." He owned a cafe in Cairo called The Tambourine.

Keep after it

Perseverance is a greatly underrated trait. Great things have been accomplished by men of meager talents who kept after their tasks until they were accomplished.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In case you hadn't noticed

The king at the end of The Road to Bali is Leon Askin (General Burkhalter from Hogan's Heroes).

The "older" Crosby

Bob Hope is always razzing Crosby in the "Road To" movies as being elderly. How much older was he? Crosby was born May 3, 1903. Hope was born May 29, 1903. So Crosby was 26 days older.

Aunt Emma, our chaperone

Bob Hope's name for Crosby in The Road to Bali.

Road To


The Hope/Crosby "Road To" movies were perfectly awful movies - and hugely entertaining. Just pure fun. Not intended to be anything else.

Sir Thomas Nathaniel Edwards

If any of you ever figure out for certain that I am kin to this gentleman, please let me know.

Scootledyboot

You remember Scootledyboot, don't you? That canine hero of the cartoon series? At least that is how Mr. Eli Wayne Jones once pronounced it.

Wild eglantine

In the hymn "Bower of Prayer," the plant wild eglantine is mentioned. I have wondered for years what that was, so I finally looked it up.

These are hybrids of Rosa eglanteria, the old 'Sweet Brier' of Shakespeare. They share with the wild European parent handsome small foliage that is scented of green apples. On humid mornings the air around them is heavily perfumed, and when the passer-by brushes them or crushes their leaves, the scent appears. A crop of bright red hips in the fall provides a winter bonus. At the turn of the century Lord Penzance bred a number of fine hybrids, all in the classic mold of the wild Eglantine. 

Little things, huge things

My youngest grandchild is discovering her hands. It is a wonderful thing watching little human beings to whom little things are such huge things. Learning is taking place at a high rate of speed at that age.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Their place

I feel sure that the vast majority of famous people much more pleasant to talk about than actually to know. Being catered to brings out the worst in most of us.

Opportunities

If it takes a man to admit he is wrong, just think how many opportunities I have for manliness!

Fits me

One expression from a hymn that I find fitting my case; "I am tired, I am weak, I am worn."

At least something

I am not good for much, but at least I am good for something, because I suppose I can read my own handwriting better than anyone else.

Faith

Does faith, in its truest definition, require that that which is believed be true? Mull that over for a while. Sincere belief concerning something which is false may be a genuine sentiment, but does it fully qualify in the absolute sense?

Not original with me, but . . .

A friend of mine had a business card given him that had this motto on it, which I thought pretty well describes a lot of folks: "Frequently wrong, but never in doubt." The "frequently wrong" part applies to me, but I fear I have many doubts about my understanding.

Hmmph!

Specs on your glasses are so irritating!

Unanswered question

Among the many unanswered questions we encounter in life is this one: what are those "cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse" alluded to in Gilbert's libretto for Pirates of Penzance?

How to write a mystery?

I have long been hugely impressed by mystery writers. How do they concoct such complicated plots, which they strategically open to us as they go along? I have no idea, of course, but here is one possibility: perhaps they are as mystified about the outcome as we are. Maybe they make up the plot as they go along, without the outcome already having been decided, so that they "discover" what happened as we do. I wonder.

Visiting doctor - Doc Gamble in another spot

I just heard Arthur Q. Bryan (who played Doc Gamble on Fibber) as the family physician on the Father Knows Best radio show.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Speaking of same

It has been a sad fact that most of the beauty that man has produced has been at the hands of degenerate individuals. Not all of it, but a large portion of it.

How Can I Be Sure

Amid all the sorry excuses for music that emerged out of the 1960's were a few really nice songs. One of these was How Can I Be Sure? by the Rascals. Listen to it on Youtube if you are not familiar with it. Really pretty.

My feet hurt!

Is that a sign of old age, too?

Pa Kettle

One the last of the Ma and Pa Kettle movies, Percy Kilbride was replaced as Pa by Parker Fennelly. Kilbride’s character was much more unperturbed and even-tempered, taking everything in stride. Fennelly’s Pa appeared to be a little more cowed down by the domineering Ma. One thing Fennelly did have was another classic New England accent. In fact, on Fred Allen’s radio show, Fennelly played Titus Moody, a regular character on Allen’s Alley.

Benny's suit

One of the funniest of Jack Benny's TV shows was where he was playing a violin duet with a girl. He had been bragging earlier about getting some new suits very cheaply in Hong Kong. As he played, pieces of the suit kept tearing loose. It is hilarious.

Diamond trumpet

One of the things I like about the old Richard Diamond radio detective program is the jazz trumpet that they feature at the opening  and at other spots in the program.

Youthful sentimentality

The first car I remember our family having was a Plymouth. We traded it in for a black Ford. I remember crying when they drove the old car away. Strange that a young child would be sentimental about a car.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cold

I love it when the weather first turns cool. One of the nicest times of the year.

Sad day

It will be a sad day when the American public no longer remembers Hope and Crosby.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This site is a lot of fun

http://www.thepeerage.com/site_map.htm

Sleep

Sufficient sleep is not an absolute component of good health - but it surely does help.

Temps

If it is a sign of aging to have less tolerance for extreme temperatures, then I qualify.

In the right places

What is important is not having friends in high places, but having friends in the right places. For instance, always make sure you know the cook and the maintenance man. They can do you a lot more good than the guy in the front office.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wodehouse referenced in Wimsey

"His jaw slackened, giving his long, narrow face a faintly foolish and hesitant look, reminiscent of the heroes of P. G. Wodehouse." A quote from Unnatural Death, a novel about detective Lord Peter Wimsey.

Sherlock: Rathbone and Bruce

Absolutely nothing like those great old Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies. No one else has come close. What they lack in special effects, etc., they make up with Rathbone's inimitable style and Bruce's muttering, which, while probably not realistic to Watson's character, make him lovable and memorable.

Lady Molly

I just finished a book of short stories about the character Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, written by the Baronness Orczy, who wrote the Scarlet Pimpernel. Pretty good reading. I would recommend it.

Floor

My new floor looks nice. But now, when I have to yell at my old, deaf wife in the other end of the house, it will be a lot louder in there.

A great mercy

One of the great mercies extended to preachers is that we do not have to listen to our own preaching.

Non-funeral

I am determined that no one is going to have to take off work to come to my funeral.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Youth

Sometimes youth gets the ascendancy over age in influence in a given portion of society. This is not necessarily bad, because sometimes age is in error on certain issues and certainly has botched up many things over the years. However, anytime youth has the ascendancy, it is a potentially unstable situation and should be viewed with a watchful eye.

Nayedhli

There is a young lady who is a waitress in the Mexican restaurant in Booneville whose given name is Nayedhli. It has a unique, musical sound to it. I have no idea if it is common among latino communities, but I could not find it on Google.

Clean Plate Club

Pam, Mom, Dad and I ate out Mexican tonight, and all four of us were Clean Plate Clubbers. For the uninitiated among you, the Clean Plate Club was an award when I was in grade school to encourage children to eat their lunch. I missed making the CPC only one time. I did not notice they had put a pat of butter on the plate, and after all the rest of the food was gone, I just could not bring myself to eat the butter by itself - and the teacher would not count it. I was crushed.

Schultz

John Banner's portrayal as Sgt. Schultz has to be one of the great character roles in broadcast history.

Got it backward

Young men generally overestimate the importance of beauty and underestimate the importance of good cooking.

Jason Sacran

If you don't already own one of this paintings, find one and buy it. It will be worth something in a few years.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fasting

I think occasional fasting is a good habit for both health and disciplinary reasons. It doesn't hurt us to be able to say "no" to our bellies.

Liars

In the absolute sense, all men are liars, for none of us is utterly free from this fault. However, it is encouraging to think that we do know honest men who strive to be upright in their dealings and whose speech may be said to be honest, at least in a general enough sense that men are not afraid to trust them.

GRAMMAR

Grammar is not a science. It is at least partially fashion, i.e., it changes with the times. However, there should be a constant in grammar as it is taught in schools, and that relates to its ability to express with precision the thought intended. Anything in grammar that facilitates that goal is legitimate and should be maintained in our education regardless of the changing fashions of speech.

from Lord Peter Wimsey

who was a fictional detective:

"It isn't really difficult to write books. Especially if you write a rotten story in good English or a good story in rotten English, which is as far as most people seem to get nowadays."

Lower back

Lower back problems are one of the less pleasant effects of old age.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cold

The cold got down into my bones tonight at the ballgame, and it is still way above freezing.

An overlooked advantage

I really think that parents who value the moral upbringing of their children need to look at old radio shows as an entertainment vehicle. It is non-visual, which means that the children have to exercise more of their minds to picture what is going on. For the most part, the content is non-objectionable, and certainly much less harmful than modern media fare. If you don't want your kids immersed in TV, but recognize the need for some entertainment, old radio shows are a high-value, low-cost alternative.

vacation

Those of my calling really do not get vacations, but the closest thing to it is the winter time. There are few meetings that time of year, and besides, it is basketball season. I try to attend a lot of games, and I really enjoy it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

from Jack Benny

When most people go to London, they go to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. When Jack was there, he went to the Bank of England to see the guarding of the change.

Driving

The way people drive sometimes is really silly. If I were to average 5 mph faster for he entire hour's drive to work, I would gain only five minutes. And I would have to average that over a curvy two-lane highway with lots of traffic. Much easier and safer just to relax and go with the flow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stats

I know nothing about the Stats page of Blogger, but it says that the second-largest location of readers of this blog is Russia. Imagine that!

Mistakes

It is inevitable that we sinners will make many mistakes. Our task is to limit the scope of those mistakes - avoid the really big ones if we can - and learn from them. A man who truly learns from his mistakes will become a wise man. The wisest of men, however, learns from his father and avoids as many mistakes as he can. But most people just do not listen and learn.

Smell

The smell of my wife's sweet and sour meatballs cooking is one of the great delights for the senses.

A sobering thought

Given the fact that our obligation toward God covers our conduct every hour, it is a very sobering thought that most of my service toward God, or at least a sizable portion, has come in a box plant.

What not to do

To a large extent, preaching and serving churches is a matter of learning what not to do.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tired?

I did not tell the whole truth when I said I as tired of politics. Sometimes I am tireder. Sometimes even tiredest.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting up early

I enjoy getting up early, but I have to get up just a little earlier than I like. (sigh)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Study painted

My daughters and my wife painted my study today. Though I neither thought it or sought it, they insisted that I needed an upgrade, and they did a very nice job. I thank them for it and appreciate greatly their efforts. When you are a confirmed slob like I am, it is very convenient to have womenfolks to undertake to your betterment.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Indian Territory

It was no problem for the Indian Territory to get admitted to the Union, because they had reservations.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

To be sung to the tune of

"Mothers, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."

"Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to make boxes. Let them be robbers or egg-sucking dogs. Let them blow bubbles or spray-wash the hogs."

And he thinks he is tough!

From a synopsis of the Mannix TV show from the '60's: "Joe Mannix is notable for taking a lot of physical punishment. During the course of the series he is shot and wounded over a dozen separate times, or is knocked unconscious around 55 times."

Why, Sam Spade of radio fame used to get knocked out every episode. Just wasn't complete without it.

(LINK to more on Sam Spade)