Sunday, November 30, 2014

Good guy or bad guy?

It is interesting how some actors went back and forth from being a "good guy" or a "bad guy," while others were pretty well typecast as one or the other. For example, could you imagine Roy Rogers as a villain?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Women are talkers

For some time Stiffy monopolized the conversation, not letting me get a word in edgeways. Women are singularly gifted in this respect. Then frailest of them has the lung power of a grammophone record and the flow of speech of a Regimental Sergeant Major. I have known my Aunt Agatha to go on calling me names long after you would have supposed that both breath and inventiveness would have given out.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


Friday, November 28, 2014

Dr. Somebody's Tonic Swamp Juice

According to Bertram Wooster, this medicine really does the job - bucks you up considerably right away. It acts directly, we understand, on the red corpuscles and imparts a gentle glow. Due to Bertie's absent memory, we do not learn the name of the physician who developed this effectual medicine, but we are sure it must be the real deal.

Concerning undesirable sons-in-law

          One could understand his fizziness, of course. Of all the prospective sons-in-law in existence, Gussie, with the possible exception of Bertram Wooster, was the one he would have chosen last. He had viewed him with concern from the start, and if he had been living back in the days when fathers called the shots in the matter of their daughters' marriages, would have forbidden the banns without a second thought.
          Gussie once told me that when he, Gussie, was introduced to him, Basset, as the fellow who was to marry his, Bassett's, offspring, he, Bassett, had stared at him with his jaw dropping and then in a sort of strangled voice had said, "What!" Incredulously, if you see what I mean, as if he were hoping that they were just playing a jolly practical joke on him and that in due course the real chap would jump out from behind a chair and say "April fool!" And when he, Bassett, at last got on to it that there was no deception and that Gussie was really what he had drawn, he went off into a corner and sat there motionless, refusing to speak when spoken to.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Back to private eyes getting knocked out

Some of them did weekly. Even granted that in real life there might have been a longer distance between KOs than that, how many of those can a brain stand before some sort of permanent damage occurs? And yet they kept solving difficult (well-nigh-impossible) cases week after week, seemingly without any impairment to their mental faculties. Amazing. Some of them we could have every reason to call Knothead.

Gerald Mohr (radio's Philip Marlowe)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Married to some women, husbands have to be tough

          Rugby football is more or less a sealed book to me, I never having gone in for it, but even I could see that he was good. The lissomness with which he moved hither and thither was most impressive, as was his homicidal ardour when doing what I believe is called tackling. Like the Canadian Mounted Police he always got his man, and when he did so the air was vibrant with the excited cries of morticians in the audience making bids for the body.
          He's engaged to be married to Stiffy Byng, and his long years of football should prove an excellent preparation for setting up house with her. The way I look at it is that when a fellow has had pluguglies in cleated boots doing a Shuffle-Off-To-Buffalo on his face Saturday after Saturday since he was a slip of a boy, he must get to fear nothing, not even marriage to a girl like Stiffy, who from early childhood has seldom let the sun go down without starting some loony enterprise calculated to bleach the hair of one and all.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


Butlers affect some people that way

Beach had been an aloof, supercilious figure who had paralysed him with his majesty. He was paralysing him now. It is a very intrepid young man who can see an English butler steadily and see him whole without feeling a worm-like humility, and all Jerry's previous encounters with Beach - in corridors, in the hall, at lunch and at dinner - had left him with the impression that his feet were too large, his ears too red and his social status something in between that of a Dead End kid and a badly dressed leper. There were cats on the premises of Blandings Castle, and those gooseberry eyes had always made him feel that he might have been some unsavoury object dragged in by one of these cats, one of the less fastidious ones.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

If you have a hot pig, he's your man!

Gally might have his defects - his sister Constance, his sister Dora, his sister Julia, and all his other sisters could have named you hundreds - but he was sure to be a mine of information on what to do when you discovered a stolen pig in your kitchen one jump ahead of the police.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

The gullible type

The world may be roughly divided into two classes - men who, when you tell them a story difficult to credit, will not believe you, and men who will. It was to this latter and far more likeable section of the community that, judging by his fatuous expressions, George Cyril Wellbeloved belonged. He had the air, which Jerry found charming, of being a man who would accept without question whatever anybody cared to tell him. His whole aspect was that of one who believed everything he read in the Sunday papers.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Of pigs and kitchens

Authors are like that. No reticence. No reserve. You or I, Beach, finding a pig in the kitchen of a furnished villa in which we had jut hung up our hats, would keep calm and wait till the clouds rolled by. But not an author. The first thing this blighted Vail will do, unless nipped in the bud, will be to rush out and grab the nearest passer-by and say, "Pardon me for addressing you, sir, but there appears to be a pig in my kitchen. Have you any suggestions?" And then what? I'll tell you what. Doom, desolation and despair. In next to no time the news will have reached Parsloe, stirring him up like a dose of salts and bringing him round to Sunnybrae with a whoop and a holler. We must hurry, Beach. Not an instant to lose.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


If you are not overstaffed

then you are not adequately staffed, unless you can guarantee that none of your employees will ever take vacation, get sick, have family members die, or have any personal emergencies. Being merely "adequately staffed" is a prime strategy in the Ostrich School of Management, in which the higher-ups stick their head in the sand, so to speak, and hope that dedicated employees will bail them out of their short-sightedness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Girl From Rio (1939)

Movita is a singer who brother (Alan Baldwin) has been arrested. She resolves to go to New York to go to help him. She contacts Pamela Blake, who says Baldwin is innocent, but it being held in prison on an arson charge. Blake tells her that she is married to Baldwin. Her boyfriend (Warren Hull) later comes to New York to try to find her and traces her to a cheap saloon where she is having to work. He persuades a prominent lawyer to take Baldwin's case. Molita gets a job in the bad guy's night club to get evidence to help Baldwin.



Empress of Blandings and Pride of Matchingham

Who, having an ounce of agricultural interest, does not know of these two titans of the porcine world? Annually they battle it out in the Fat Pigs category at the Shropshire Agricultural Show. To date (we say with satisfaction), the Empress has bested her arch-rival from Matchingham Hall. However, given the seemingly perpetual connivery that seems to occur between the two teams (usually fomented by either Lord Ickenham or The Hon. Galahad Threepwood), it is a wonder that either of the hogs gets enough rest to gain any weight.



As we age we must deal with being increasingly irrelevant to this world; which is just as well, since this world should be increasingly irrelevant to us.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Norman Rockwell and the drunk cat

On the 14 July 1938 episode of the Royal Gelatin Hour with Rudy Vallee, he had Norman Rockwell as a special guest. In the interview, Rockwell recalled one occasion he was doing a painting of a cat, and had borrowed one from a neighbor as a model. However, he could not get the cat to cooperate, so he got it drunk, and everything went fine. However, he never did try to explain to the neighbors about the cat's hangover.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

A slam on a noble bird

          "You're as tight as an owl."
          This was a wholly unjustified slur on a most respectable breed of bird, for owls are as abstemious as the most bigoted temperance advocate could wish, and at another time George Cyril Wellbeloved might have been tempted to take up the cudgel on their behalf. But his employer's charge had cut him to the quick, and he sank into a chair and brushed a tear from his eye.

(from Pigs Have Wings. by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

More HERE about owls.


Not one of Galahad's bosom buddies

          "A person has called, asking to see you, sir. The man Wellbeloved, Mr. Galahad."
          "Wellbeloved?" Gally stiffened formidably. "You mean that this renegade pig man, this latter-day Benedict Arnold, this degraded specimen of pond life, is here?"

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Recksaul Drugs

That is how the company was spelled by that scholarly paragon, Frankie Remley, on the Alice Faye and Phil Harris radio show. Remley's character was played by actor Elliott Lewis.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

A discouraging and frightening assessment

"Establishment Democrats and Republicans actually agree on lots of other things that don’t get debated in public: neoliberal economic policies, the rule of the financial oligarchy, a foreign policy based on permanent war, the entrenched power of the national-security 'deep state.'" (from an article by Andrew O'Hehir for Salon)

Most of the things (not all) that I dislike and fear most in America today, the two major parties are agreed upon. Not good.

Gally Threepwood's story about the Arkwright wedding

          "The Arkwrights lived out Bridgnorth way, and their daughter Amelia was getting married, so Clarence tied a knot in his handkerchief to remind him to send the bride's mother a telegram on the happy day."
          "And he forgot?"
          "Oh, no, he sent it. 'My heartfelt congratulations to you on this joyous occasion,' he said."
          "Well, wasn't that all right?"
          "It was fine, Couldn't have been improved on. Only the trouble was that in one of his distrait moments he sent it, not to Mrs. Arkwright but to another friend of his, a Mrs. Cartwright, and her husband had happened to die that morning. Diabetes. Very sad. We were all very sorry about it, but no doubt the telegram cheered her up."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


Lord Emsworth's mental condition

"He's absent-minded, isn't he?"

"Yes, I think one could fairly call him that. If he has a mind, it is very seldom there."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sleep is overrated?

One of my colleagues at work is fond of saying, "Sleep is overrated." I gather that he does not sleep so very much. This past week or so, however, his wife had some medical issues that were drastically cutting into whatever sleep he had been getting; so at work he commented, "I say that sleep is overrated, but I think I need a little of it now."


Friday, November 21, 2014

Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Warner Oland is Charlie. The movie begins with Charlie and his large family going to the midget dancing team of Tim and Tiny (George and Olive Brasno). There Charlie meets Paul Stanton, who had asked him to help with a problem. He has been getting unsigned threatening letters. There are undertones of conflict all through the circus performers. Then Caesar the gorilla gets loose and things start hopping. Charlie's #1 son Lee (Keye Luke) is dashing around trying to be a detective, too. He gets locked in a cage by the Chinese contortionist that he is trying to romance. A large snake is released into Charlie's car on the circus train.

A trapeze lady is wounded by a gunshot. While a medical team is brought in to operate, Caesar is released again. As he tried to break into the medical tent, he is shot, but the operation had been an attempt to trap the murderer. It turns out the murderer was in a gorilla costume when shot.


Oland with the Brasnos

Nuncupatory - word of the day

1. Nominal; existing in name only
2. Publicly or solemnly declaratory
3. Verbal, not written

From Webster's 1828 Dictionary

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A name hard to remember

          "I came to this room to be alone. Am I not to have a moment of privacy?"
          "Ye, come along, Clarence," said Gally. "Connie is in a strange mood. We are not wanted here, and I am anxious to meet this gifted youth. What's his name?"
          "Whose name?"
          "The gifted youth's."
          "What gifted youth?"
          "Listen, Clarence," said Gally patiently. "You have a new secretary. You concede that?"
          "Oh, certainly, certainly."
          "Well, I want to know what his name is."
          "Oh, his name? You mean his name. Quite. Quite. It's . . . no, I've forgotten."
          "Smith? Jones? Brown? Cholmondeley-Majoribanks? "Vavasour-Dalrymple? Ernle-Plunkett-Drax-Plunkett?"
          "Lord Emsworth stood in thought. "No . . . Ah, I have it. It's Vail."
          "Gerald Vail. He asked me to call him Jerry."
          The door closed behind them. The sharp, wordless cry which had proceeded from Lady Constance they attributed to a creaking hinge.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

What management SAYS means practically nothing

They are masters as saying things; but then they rarely follow up on them to make sure they actually happened.

Doctors talk about of both sides of their mouths

They tell us that we ought to drink lots of water, and that we ought to get good nights' sleep. Where old men are concerned, I can tell you that you cannot do both.

I do not like the Republican Party, either

It is called the Bill of Rights, Republicans. You do remember that, don't you? It guarantees that the government cannot enter my home (physically or electronically) without a search warrant. That means that mass collection of data is unconstitutional, but you refuse to do anything about it. But of course, all of us little guys are not on Wall Street, so we really do not count, do we?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nothing like tennis to break up an engagement

          "Did you kick him?"
          "Of course I didn't kick him. I loved him like a brother."
         "The chance of a lifetime thrown away," said Miss Salt with bitterness. "If Orlo Vosper in his formative years had been thoroughly kicked twice a day, Sundays included, he might not have grown up the overbearing louse he has become."
          "Would you call him an overbearing louse?"
          "I did. To his face"
          "When was this?"
          "On the tennis court at Eastbourne, and again when entering the club house. I'd have done it in the dressing-room, too, only he wasn't there. They separate the sexes. 'Of all the overbearing lice that ever overbore,' I told him, 'you are the undisputed champion,' and I gave him back his ring."
          "Oh, you were engaged?"
          "Don't rub it in. We all make mistakes."
          "I didn't see anything about it in the papers."
          "We were going to announce it just before Wimbledon."
          "What did he do to incur your displeasure?"
          "I'll tell you. We were playing in the mixed doubles and I admit that I may have been slightly off my game, but that was no reason why, after we had dropped the first set, he should have started barging into my half of the court, taking my shots for me as if I were some elderly aunt with arthritis in both legs who had learned tennis in the previous week at a correspondence school."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


Training him early to like Hope and Crosby

My youngest grandson (Jack Irby) and I watching The Road to Utopia, with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

"Maffle" - word of the day

Maffle: to stammer

(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To preserve it, put it on paper

People in general today have great disdain for printing, for things written on paper. But think back to when you were a child: what were the electronic media that were in use then. If you had something preserved on a wire recording, would you be able to play it? What about an 8-track tape, or a reel-to-reel. Ah, you say, we now have the internet, so all we need to do is to put it on the internet. But how long will that last? Can you guarantee that there will not be another technology that will replace it, and then what happens to all the things that are recorded there? How many cassette tapes were made when they were the in-vogue medium, and how many of those tapes will be transcribed into digital form? maybe 2%, or less? Think about it. If you want to preserve it, put it on paper. Eyes are one technology that will never go obsolete.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Too much baronet

          "'Lay off those pink gins, Greg,' I said; 'avoid those whisky sours, and while you're about it cut out the starchy foods and take regular daily exercises, eause a girl who marries a man who looks like you do at moment of  going to press is going to have an uneasy feeling that she's committing bigamy.'"
          "How did he take that?"
          "He laughed at the wit. The satire didn't go so well."
          "He is stout, this Parsloe?"
          "He certainly gets his pennyworth out of a weighing machine."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Galahad - steady as a rock

It was never an easy matter to disconcert the Hon. Galahad. For half a century nursemaids, governesses, tutors, schoolmasters, Oxford dons, bookmakers, three-card trick men, jellied eel sellers, skittle sharps, racecourse touts and members of the metropolitan police force had tried to do it, and all had failed. It was an axiom of the old Pelican Club that, no matter what slings and arrows outrageous fortune might launch in his direction, Galahad Threepwood could be counted upon to preserve the calm insouciance of a pig on ice.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


Saturday, November 15, 2014

It is character that counts

There've always been hard times, there've always been wars and troubles - famine, disease, and such-like - and some folks are born with money, some with none. In the end it is up to the man what he becomes, and none of those other things matter. In horses, dogs, and men it is character that counts.

(from Chancy, by Louis Lamour)

Singer 221-1 Sewing Machine

My wife, who sews occasionally, uses a Singer 221-1 Portable Electric Sewing Machine. It had belonged to her grandaunt. I am not sure exactly how old it is, but the instruction booklet shows a number of copyright dates beginning in 1915, with 19 updates, the most recent one being in 1952; so it is safe to assume that it is about that old. In other words, about the same age as my wife, who was born in 1953.


A REALLY good wife

does not let you run out of toilet paper. I have a good wife (although she has needed a reminder from time to time).


The value of Webster's original 1828 dictionary

I read a great deal in older writings, and I find my copy of this work to be invaluable. In fact, I keep it on my desk. Webster's shadings of meanings are more likely to give the accurate usage from the earlier eras of the modern English language.


"Longinquity" - word of the day

Longinquity - great distance

(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lotus Long - Oriental beauty

Long was actually of Japanese and Hawaiian ancestry, but because of her stage name many people thought she was Chinese. She had some fairly good roles in early movies, including three in the Mr. Wong series of detective movies. She had sad, haunting eyes. She was married to James Knott for 56 years.


"Jackpudding" - word of the day

Jackpudding: a merry Andrew; a buffoon; a zany.

(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

For those who don't know, a "merry Andrew" is someone who clowns publicly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

One sign of a gentleman

He treats women like ladies. All women. Even the ones who do not deserve or desire to be so treated. And in today's environment, that is a difficult thing to remember always to do.

Saving money on art

Look at the book cover below. It is obvious that the same model was used for both characters.

"Illaqueation" - word of the day

Illaqueation - the act of ensnaring; a catching or entrapping

(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From the Jack Carson radio show

"When a man is alone with a beautiful girl, he needs another man like Custer needed another Indian."

More HERE about Jack Carson.


You can run, but you cannot hide

Each section of our country has its own natural disasters that cause those who live elsewhere to say that they would not live there under any circumstances. California has its earthquakes. The Southwest has tornadoes. The Gulf Coast has hurricanes. Everyone up north has blizzards. Wherever you live, there will be something.

Writers get to invent the names

One of the pleasures (duties) that writers have is coming up with  more-or-less appropriate names for their characters. Two of my favorite authors, Louis Lamour and P. G. Wodehouse, were artists in naming their people. Think about what you might invent if you were to write. For example, if I were to write a detective novel, my hero might be named Fetlock Frampton. I mean, a shamus with a name like that has to be tough.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Charlie Chan about chickens

"Learn from hen: never boast about egg until after egg's birthday."

(from The Black Camel)


Sunday, November 09, 2014

North Zanesville in the movies

The Great Lover was a 1949 film starring Bob Hope. In it his character hails from North Zanesville, Ohio, which is, of course, a real town. Its population was 3013 in the 2000 census, but presumably less in 1949. Naturally, it was stigmatized as a small town, but ends up on the bright side, because Hope and leading lady Rhonda Fleming decide to move there and raise a large family.

More HERE about Rhonda Fleming.


Laramie - "Ride the Wild Wind"

Outlaws rob the bank, but one of them is killed by the sheriff in the chase. He was riding a palomino horse, which had been stolen from the Fuller's and Smith's ranch months before. The horse is spirited, and young Robert Crawford, Smith's younger brother, is the only one who can handle him. But Smith determines to sell him. So Crawford runs off with the horse one night, takes a fall, and is found by the outlaws. Ernest Borgnine is the leader of the gang, and wants to keep the kid alive with them, against the objections of the other two. The gang goes to see a widow who is Borgnine's sweetheart. One of the outlaws tries to kill Borgnine and Crawford by crushing them under the wagon, but they jump out in time. One of the outlaws shoots Crawford, but Borgnine has doped his cartridges beforehand, and Borgnine digs a false grave and lets Crawford escape. Smith finds him, and they rush to Casper in time to spoil the outlaws' attempt to rob the bank there.


Saturday, November 08, 2014

Lord Shortlands at the morning meal

No better evidence of his state of mind can be advanced than the fact that he merely took a slice of dry toast, for he was a man who, when conditions were right, could put tapeworms to the blush at the morning meal. His prowess with knife and fork had often been noted by his friends. "Shortlands," they used to say, "may have his limitations, but he can breakfast."

(from Spring Fever, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, November 07, 2014

The General married an actress

On the 23 November 1955 episode of the radio show You Bet Your Life, one of the contestants was General Clarence Shoop of the California Air National Guard. It turns out that he was married for over twenty years to actress Julie Bishop, whom we know from the My Hero television series and the movie Northern Pursuit.

"Hugger-mugger" - word of the day

Hugger-mugger -"secretly."

(from Webster's 1838 Dictionary)

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Oonagh - now there is an unique name!

Somewhat unwieldy, some might be tempted to say. But this one I found, Oonagh Guinness, was the wife of two different Barons (Kindersley and Merewerth) over the span of her career.

Sterterous breathing in Wodehouse

"Mike breathed a little sterterously." This is a sentence in the P. G. Wodehouse novel, Spring Fever. Practically everyone in a Wodehouse book, it seems, breathes sterterously at one time or another, at least the males characters. It appears to have been a qualifying quality. (For the uninformed, "sterterous" means "noisy or labored." Today we might say "sucking air.")

"Sterterous" is not to be confused with "stentorian," another very useful word beginning with "s" found abundantly in the works of Sir Pelham. After the Wodehousean figure calmed down from his sterterousness, his voice frequently became "stentorian" ("loud and powerful").

I glory in voting - even though I doubt it matters much

Our two major parties are strongly entrenched, and it does not appear that any third party will be able to make much headway against them. For several years I have felt strongly that neither of the major parties really represents my views. One of them talks a good talk, but they do practically nothing when they get in office. The other is drowning in the slough of immorality.

But I keep voting, and I love to do it. Because of the reasons listed above, I do not follow politics closely any more, and so my votes often are somewhat uninformed. And, as I said, I have no hope of my votes (or anyone else's) making any significant difference for good in this deteriorating country. Still, I do it. Because I am a free man. I may be just spitting against the wall, and the parties pay no more attention to me than a spitting man, but at least I can still spit.


Another of Falstaff Oppenshaw's poems

This one is entitled, "Stop Winking at the Quarterback, Mother; He's Not Making Those Passes At You." (From the Fred Allen radio program)

Alan Reed (Fastaff Oppenshaw)

When Bob Crosby replaced Phil Harris

Crosby followed Harris as the band leader on the Jack Benny program. Crosby was no where near the comedic figure that Harris was, but then neither was he nearly as irritating as Harris was. If you liked Harris, it was a big loss; if you did not, it was a step in the right direction.


Fopdoodle - word of the day

Fopdoodle: an insignificant fellow

From Webster's 1828 dictionary.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

"Daggle-tail" - word of the day

Daggle-tail: having the lower ends of garments defiled with mud

(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Not bright, but at least not as dull

To say that he beamed at the girl would be too much. A man who has lost his favourite hat, and is contending in the lists of love against a butler who might have stepped out of a collar advertisement in a magazine, does not readily beam. But his gloom perceptibly lightened. A moment before, you would have taken him for a corpse that had been some days in the water. Now, he might have passed for such a corpse at a fairly early stage of its immersion.

(from Spring Fever, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Not your leading man type

Except for the bulge under the bedclothes which covered his enormous frame, very little of Stanwood Cobbold was visible, and that little scarcely worth a second look, for Nature, doubtless with the best motives, had given him, together with a heart of gold, a face like that of an amiable hippopotamus. And everybody knows that unless you are particularly fond of hippopotami, a single cursory glance at them is enough. Many blase explorers do not even take that.

(from Spring Fever, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

"Babblement" - word of the day

Babblement - "idle talk; senseless prate; unmeaning words

(from Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

Monday, November 03, 2014

Consolidated Nail File and Eyebrow Tweezer Corporation

This important firm is listed as one of those doing business with Mr. G. Ellery Cobbold in the P. G. Wodehouse novel Spring Fever. It was reportedly located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. One wonders how such low-cost items as nail files and tweezers could be welded together into such a notable firm, but there you have it. One of the wonders of the business world.

"After-wise" - word of the day

From Webster's original 1828 dictionary.

Afterwise: "wise afterwards or too late"

Regarding questions and answers

It is conceded generally that it is much easier to ask questions than to answer them, as a child in propounding interrogatories may puzzle the brightest intellect and wisest head; and hence the task of the querist is light compared to that of the respondent.

(Elder John Clark, Zion's Advocate, May 5, 1855)

It gets the point across

Off balance, Gleason's arms pawed at the air, and then he fell. He hit the floor hard, and before he could stir, a shotgun muzzle was put against his throat by Shelley, who had not risen from the table. Gleason's flailing arms eased back to the floor and he lay still, his face a sickly yellow, for which Macon Fallon, an understanding man, blamed him not at all. A shotgun against the throat is a very persuasive argument.

(from Fallon, by Louis Lamour)


Sunday, November 02, 2014

After grandchildren eat at your house

You just never know what sorts of food you are going to find, nor where. But somewhere - where you walk, or sit - you will eventually encounter food. Just try to wear clothes that will not show it. (Of course, being the total slob that I am, I never if they were my crumbs of the kids'.)

Saturday, November 01, 2014

A reputation for honesty is still a valuable possession

There was a time in our country when many (perhaps even most) deals were made on a handshake, and a man's word was paramount if he ever hoped to do business with his associates. Today we are buried in legal documents, which supposedly make things specific, but generally serve to confuse everyone but the lawyers, who make lots of money by maintaining that confusion.

Does a man's word mean much today? Certainly it does! Unless a man's reputation means nothing, then his honestly means something; and there are still lots of people who care about a man's reputation. "He has a name as an honest man," is yet a statement with meaning, for notwithstanding those legal documents, unscrupulous men still find ways to cheat others; and thus honest men still prefer to do business with other honest men.