Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A let-down, naturally

"I'm not much of a ladies' man, but on this particular morning it seemed to me that what I really wanted was some charming girl to buzz up and ask me to save her from assassins or something. So that it was a bit of an anti-climax when I merely ran into young Bingo Little, looking perfectly foul in a crimson satin tie decorated with horseshores." (from The Inimitable Jeeves, by Sir P. G. Wodehouse)

Humility - a priceless virtue

A man who thinks more highly of himself than he ought to think is worth very little in the long run. "Self worth" is of little importance compared to "true worth." We can take great satisfaction in the fact that we are accomplishing something worthwhile, no matter how little the world may notice. To have an exalted opinion of oneself if very dangerous. To quietly recognize a valid purpose in life is beyond price. And God's definition  of worth is the only one that counts.

Terms of endearment

"Her greeting could not have been more cordial. An aunt's love oozed from every syllable.

"'Hullo, you revolting object,' she said. 'So you're back.'"

(from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, by Sir P. G. Wodehouse)

It would get anyone down

"I was conscious of this heavy and weary weight some years ago, that time when my cousins Eustace and Claude without notifying me inserted twenty-three cats in my bedroom." (from Jeeves and the Tie that Binds)

Even a mother might not like it

"All that can be said for you is that you don't wear a mustache. They tell me you did grow one once, but mercifully shaved it off. That is to your credit, but a small thing to weigh in the balance against all your other defects." (from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds)

Jury duty

I have jury duty today. I do know know if I will be chosen to serve, or even if the case will actually go to trial. It is an important responsibility of citizenship. It is interesting the first couple of times that you have to do it, but after that it can be a considerable inconvenience. However, it is something we have to do, so we might as well buck up and do it.

File:The Jury by John Morgan.jpg
Here is link

Monday, April 29, 2013

No, I don't think it was Jack

"Who was it said someone was intoxicated with the exuberance of his own verbosity?"

"I don't know."

"Jeeves would. It was Bernard Shaw or Mark Twain or Jack Dempsey or somebody."

(from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, by Sir P. G. Wodehouse)

Not putting his best foot forward

"I don't know what cats bring into houses, but one assumes that it is something not very jaunty, and apparently, when in the grip of any strong emotion, I resemble their treasure trove." (from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, by Sir P. G. Wodehouse)

"What kind of ears do giraffes have?"

My granddaughter asked this. So . . .

Sir C. Aubrey Smith and cricket

As a cricketer, Smith was primarily a right arm fast bowler, though he was also a useful right-hand lower-order batsman and a good slip fielder. His oddly curved bowling run-up, which started from deep mid-off, earned him the nickname "Round the Corner Smith."  When he bowled round the wicket his approach was concealed from the batsman by the umpire until he emerged, leading W.G. Grace to comment "it is rather startling when he suddenly appears at the bowling crease."  He played for Cambridge University 1882-85 and for Sussex at various times between 1882 and 1892. While in South Africa he captained the Johannesburg English XI. He captained England to victory in his only Test match, against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1888-89, taking five wickets for nineteen runs in the first innings. In 1932, he founded theHollywood Cricket Club and created a pitch with imported English grass. He attracted fellow expatriots such as David NivenLaurence Olivier,Nigel Bruce (who served as captain), Leslie Howard and Boris Karloff to the club as well as local American players. (per Wikipedia)

And Then There Were None (1945)

Barry Fitzgerald is in this movie. 'Nuff said. But he has an all-star cast with him, including (among others) Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Sir C. Aubrey Smith and Mischa Auer.

Ten people have been brought to a remote island by a judge. It happens that he has tried each of them for criminal behavior in the past. They enjoy dinner, drinks and cards. Then a recording plays telling what each of them is charged with. Misha Auer is the first to die, by poison. Then one by one they go, until Fitzgerald tells them that Mr. Owen (the invisible murderer) is one of them. From then on the atmosphere is charged with suspicion. When the number is reduced to five, each of them discusses his crime before the others over dinner. Then it is down to four. Hayward and June Duprez seem to form an alliance. But then they are the last two, and each seems to suspect the other; neither confesses. Then Hayward figures it out, has Duprez shoot him (the gun has only blanks), and she goes back into the house. There Fitzgerald awaits, since he was not really shot. He has a noose ready for her hanging, but first explains how he pulled it all off. He has a fatal disease, and decided to take justice into his own hand. Since she will be the only living person on an island full of corpses, she would be hanged, but he encourages her to go ahead. He then takes poison as Hayward comes into the room and he realizes he has been foiled after all.

C. Aubrey Smith

The best performance that did not win an Oscar

Barry Fitzgerald in The Quiet Man. Absolutely priceless.

Get ready to get a lump in your throat


Just stay focused where you should be

The problem is not that the ark was in the flood; it was made to be in the flood. The problem was if the flood got in the ark. Stay focused on our duty, and let the God of all mercies control the flood.

Someone is about to be in trouble!

"I had not failed to interpret the significance of that dark frown, that bitten lip and those flashing eyes, not the way the willowy figure had quivered, indicating, unless she had caught a chill, that she was as sore as a sunburned neck." (from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, by Sir P. G. Wodehouse)

Benjamin Kubelsky

You probably know him better as Jack Benny.

Here is link

I want something named after me

We are in a naming frenzy these days. Now it is not enough to name a basketball arena after someone: we have to name the court itself after someone else. Highways are named after people. Even bridges have designations.

I want a part of that action. I want something named after me. Just think how impressive that will be: "The Mark Green Memorial Culvert."

Brace Beemer and Clayton Moore

Beemer took over as the voice of The Lone Ranger from 1941 to the last new episode on September 3, 1954. During the 13 years that Beemer played the title character, he was required by contract to restrict his radio acting to that one role until the program left the air.

The experienced and popular Western film actor, Clayton Moore, was chosen to take over the role for the television series. Although Beemer had the right voice and had made many public appearances as the Ranger, he had no experience as a film actor, as he preferred live action to television. However, Beemer's voice as the character was so familiar that Moore imitated his sound in the earliest TV episodes.

Brace Beemer
  Clayton Moore

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Charter Pilot (1940)

King Morgan (Lloyd Nolan) is a pilot who returns late from a flight intending to propose to Lynn Bari, who is miffed, but gets over it when he presents her with a fur. She is a radio actress on a program which is based upon Nolan's exploits. While she changes dresses umpteen times (with the help of her maid, Etta McDaniel), he gets drunk trying to build up his courage, and she goes out with someone else. He goes to straighten it all out and ends up in jail, but she bails him out. He pops the question, but she tells him he is still a little boy in short pants having a good time, with no stability. To please her, he gets a desk job. His young sidekick takes a flight to Honduras, where he meets Arleen Whelan, and also a competitor who is trying to get his firm's business. Back at home Nolan finally talks Bari into accepting, on the beach, but they drop the ring and lose it.

Because of delays the other pilot gets fired, and Nolan flies to Honduras. He bluffs Bari into agreeing for him to fly, and for her to go along on a honeymoon. Then she learns that he is supposed to be there for six months. "King Morgan, next to you a snake would look dapper." After a while Bari repents and decides to go to Honduras to see him, and record the radio serial from there. When she gets there, sparks fly between her and Whelan, but they soon get things straightened out - until she breaks it to Lloyd that she is there for the radio show. He stomps out, but she works a deal with the competitor to use his plane for a remote broadcast. Everything when the other pilot leaves without Nolan. Someone, however, has removed his oxygen tanks. Nolan goes up with the competitor to try to catch the other plane. Bari sees the competitor with a gun and knocks him out. (All this is on the air live on the radio program.) They dive on the other pilot to try to force him to a lower altitude. Finally he understands and goes down, but about that time the competitor revives and jumps Nolan from behind. Bari has to fly the plane while they are fighting. Finally Nolan knocks him out again.

Etta McDaniel

Arleen Whelan
Link is here

Pot calling the kettle black

"Somewhat piqued at being accused of bellowing by a woman whose lightest whisper was like someone calling the cattle home across the sands of Dee, I said I wasn't bellowing, and she said, 'Well don't. He may be in a nasty mood if he's woken suddenly.'" (from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, by Sir P. G. Wodehouse)

A very trying life

"What was it she said, Jeeves?"

"'Yoicks,' sir, if I am not mistaken. It seemed to me that madam also added 'Tally ho,' 'Gone away,' and 'Hard forrard'."

"I suppose members of the Quorn and the Pytchley are saying that sort of thing all the time."

"So I understand, sir. It encourages the hounds to renewed efforts. It must, of course, be trying for the fox."

(from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds)

Sometimes it takes more courage than at other times

to stand for the right, but it always takes some degree of courage.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cherry Hill, Oden, Mt. Ida (Arkansas)

What do they have in common? They are all actual communities in western Arkansas that would get mentioned on the Lum and Abner radio show from time to time.

Beauty at home - the Ouachita Mountains.

This is the mountain range that we can see from the hills northeast of Booneville, Arkansas. No place like home.

There really is a Pine Ridge

Here is a good article.

"Better ten times a victim than let one man go hungry."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Woman from Tangier (1948)

Nylon is the name of the woman (Adele Jergens). The man is Stephen Dunne (one of the actors who portrayed Sam Spade on radio). She has been on a ship journey, trying to get to Gibraltar. The purser reports to the captain (Denis Green) that 50,000 pounds sterling is missing. They are in a jeep, and the captain hints that they can help themselves. The purser will have none of it and they struggle, after which the captain shoots the purser, then accuses the purser to the local prefect, saying that he shot him in self-defense. An insurance agent (Dunne) is there, and insists that the ship be impounded until the mystery can be solved.

Next Ian MacDonald bails out of a plain over Tangier, but not before shooting his partner, the pilot. Dunne figures out immediately what happened. MacDonald runs into Nylon, whom he has known before. He tries to get her involved in his current escapade. She agrees, but lets him know she wants nothing that is shady. Dunne and Nylon bump into each other on the street, and he comments on how much money she seems to have. He escorts her back to the hotel after some sarcastic dialogue, but they part on cordial, if not chummy, terms. Later Dunne and MacDonald get into a shootout and a fistfight. MacDonald wins, and Dunne wakes in the hotel lobby with Nylon soothing his brow. She quips, "Maybe this will teach you to join a lending library and stay home nights."

The prefect and Dunne now pin down who MacDonald is, and that he is here to rendezvous with whomever stole the money. Nylon brings supplies to MacDonald, but warns him again that she wants no part of his deal. Still, she delivers a note to Green for him, and Dunne meets her coming out of Green's room. He makes a date for dinner. She is late, and obviously troubled. He quizzes her, but she puts him off. Meanwhile Green goes to MacDonald's room and we learn that they are partners, although Green's enthusiasm for the relationship is waning. MacDonald goes to Nylon's room to kill her, but she screams, and the prefect and Dunne come running. As he leaves, Green shoots him.

Green still cannot understand why the prefect will not release his ship, but he is reminded that they still have not recovered the money. Then suddenly the prefect walks to announce that the box that was stolen and says the ship will be released.  Green, assuming something has gone wrong, goes back to check where the box had been buried, and is arrested. Dunne tells her that she will be getting a reward - and then proposes to her.



Demarest and Frawley

Old movies just would not have been the same without these two crusty stalwarts. Both became better known on the TV shows My Three Sons and I Love Lucy, but before that they were household faces in movies. Each appeared in over 100 films.



Laugh It Off (1939)

This is an example of the short musical of the period - several musical numbers sandwiched inside a fairly transparent plot. Still, the numbers are nice and the plot is satisfying if you do not ask too much.

Johnny Downs is a bandleader who wants to become a lawyer. Havenhurst Home for Ladies of the Stage is bankrupt, and the bank is shutting it down. The girls go to the racetrack and bet their last $40 on a horse that bucks off its jockey at the starting gate. The go to find Downs to help them out. He is in the courtroom of Edgar Kennedy. (Fans of The Falcon series of movies will remember him as the puppeteer in The Falcon Strikes Back.) He agrees to take their case, but admits, "As a lawyer, I'm a good musician."

Miss Spencer (Constance Moore) is the family member in charge of the case, but she admits there is no money to keep the home open. However, she invites them to stay for supper. However, the girls don't want to sponge off them. So they go to make a touch on an "ex" of Elizabeth (Hedda Hopper). The ex turns out to be William Demarest. He greets them joyfully and treats them to dinner. Then they go to the crap table in the back of the casino and win a bunch, but the joint gets raided. (In the meantime, Johnny and Constance are falling in love as they sing to each other.) Johnny represents the ladies at court - Kennedy's, naturally. He tells them that unless they can find support they go to the workhouse. Demarest lets them move in with him in his penthouse, but he is broke and owes a gambler thousands of dollars. The performers at the nightclub are in bad shape financially.

The old girls come up with the idea of re-opening the club. This is the excuse for a bunch of musical numbers as the rehearsals and grand opening transpire. Naturally, it is a huge success and everyone lives happily every after.

Edgar Kennedy

Downs and Moore

I know women who sound like that

"McCorkadale gave that sniffing snort of hers. It was partly like an escape of steam and partly like two or three cats unexpectedly encountering two or three dogs, with just a suggestion of a cobra waking up cross in the morning." (from Jeeves and the Tie That Binds, by Sir P. G. Wodehouse)

Lum pays Abner a compliment

"That's a right good picture of you, Abner. It don't look much like you at all."

File:Lum and Abner 1949.JPG
Link is here

A sad tale

One of the saddest tales you will ever hear told is when a man admits that he was good at his career, but was a poor father.

Ben Wright, a versatile voice

You will remember the Chinese character Hey Boy on the Have Gun, Will Travel series. He was portrayed by actor Ben Wright. He also was Inspector Peter Black (with a British accent) on the program Pursuit. You will also recognize his face as a guest star on Hogan's Heroes on television.

LINK to more about Ben Wright.

Whig Presidents

Who were the U. S. Presidents who were members of the now-defunct Whig Party? See below. Only two of the four were elected as President, Tyler and Fillmore becoming President upon the deaths of Harrison and Taylor.

William Henry Harrison daguerreotype edit.jpg
William Henry Harrison

Tyler Daguerreotype (restoration).jpg
John Tyler

Zachary Taylor-circa1850.jpg
Zachary Taylor

Millard Fillmore

Calm down

People who allow themselves to become emotionally exhausted from little crises often do not have the energy to handle the larger crises they face.

Hickock and Jingles

U. S. Marshall Wild Bill Hickock and his deputy, Jingles - from the radio show. Guy Madison and Andy Devine.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dobie Gillis - The Sweet Singer of Central High

Dobie tries to get into the high school octet to impress money-grubbing girlfriend Thalia, even though Milton Armitage (Warren Beatty) can sing better than he can. However, it turns out that he does a pretty fair Elvis imitation, which impresses the girls no end, of course. Thalia (always with an eye for the profit) becomes his manager, selling buttons and scarfs. Even his eternally-skeptical father becomes a fan, and his mother (Florida Friebus) is almost a groupie. At the Octet concert, Thalia brings a recording scout, and he is swamped by girls. Thalia becomes jealous, but Dobie explains that he cannot have romantic attachments, because every girl has to think he is singing to her. For the final number on the concert, he flops, and his public disappears instantly.

File:Florida Friebus 1968.JPG
Florida Friebus
Link is here

Undervalued Boris Karloff

Karloff made his fame as an actor in horror movies. However, those who have seen him in the series of Mr. Wong detective movies, and also as Colonel March of Scotland Yard (British TV series) will have a much better appreciation for his ability. These show him as very distinguished and suave, and able to portray an entirely different personna than just a monster.

As Mr. Wong

As Colonel March

Boris Karloff had a wonderful voice to listen to

Go to Youtube and get a few examples. Not at all a frightening voice, but very refined.

Precedence in the nobility in the United Kingdom

It is a very strict system. For instance, the Daughters of Vicounts outrank the Wives of the younger Sons of Earls. Wives of the Eldest Sons of Baronets outrank Daughters of Baronets. And so on.

The practical effect of judicial activism

A republic functions through laws made by elected representatives of the people. A democracy (strictly speaking) functions through the direct will of the people. They are two distinctly different types of government. When judges, whose job it is to “interpret” laws, stray from anything other than determining the intend of the lawmakers when they made the law, they take us a large step away from being a republic to being a democracy. This is because men under that philosophy men can change the effect of laws without legislation.

Electoral college

The same logic that says to do away with the electoral college would do away with the Senate, also, because votes for Senators are not equal. A vote by a person from Wyoming for a candidate for the Senate counts a lot more than the vote of a person from California.

So what is new about that?

"During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data."

An old story. Been going on for centuries. "Them that's got shall get; them that's not shall lose."
Link is here

Fine line between faith and laziness

"Consider the lilies." They do not toil, and yet they are clothed. This is a command to trust in God.

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard." This is a command to be busy about our business so that we have enough.

What to do? Well, it would seem we are to be up and about our responsibilities with all our might, but realizing that many things might happen that could derail our hopes, and trusting in God to care for us notwithstanding those things.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dobie Gillis and The Thinker

A common situation for Dobie, trying to think through his perpetual problems.