Sunday, March 31, 2019

Piercing glance

"Yes, I could see that, however little you showed it, you found Connie overpowering. Long association has made me immune, but she does take the stuffing out of most people. Somebody wrote a story years ago entitled The Bird With The Difficult Eye, and I have always thought the author must have had Connie in mind. She takes after my late father, a man who could open an oyster at sixty paces with a single glance."

(from A Pelican At Blandings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Not likely a ghost

As to the identity of this prowler and his motives in visiting the portrait gallery at such a time he was completely fogged. The possibility that it might be the Blandings Castle ghost he rejected. Ghosts do, of course, keep late hours, but they do not switch on electric light. The Blandings Castle ghost, moreover, if he remembered correctly the stories he had heard in childhood, went about with its head under its arm, which would be a handicap to a spectre when looking at pictures.

(from A Pelican At Blandings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Ray Brown Trio

It is a very unusual thing to find a jazz trio named after its bassist. It would take a player of considerable stature to swing such a thing, but that is what Ray Brown was. For a while during his career he was The Man on the bass.

Image result for ray brown trio

Sound advice

Gomez was outside. From the trees he called out, "Surrender now and we will let you go free! lay down your weapons and come out!"

Long ago my father had said, "Never give up your weapons. I know of no case where weapons were surrendered that was not followed by a massacre."

(from Jubal Sackett, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Stimulating memory

She plied me with questions until I told her more than I knew, things Pa had told us, forgotten until her questions dredged them up. Memory holds much more than we suspect, I found, and began to wonder what else there was I had forgotten.

My experience is that this is exactly true, and I wish I knew how to do it better.

(from Jubal Sackett, by Louis L'Amour)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The limitations of eye witnesses

In all evidence there is some interpretation. The eyes see, the mind explains. But does the mind explain correctly?

(from Jubal Sackett, by Louis L'Amour)

Monday, March 25, 2019

Keep your mouth shut, and keep the advantage

To talk too much is always a fault. Information is power.

(from Jubal Sackett, by Louis L'Amour)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Smart, as well as tough

"Take my word for it, son, a marshal must be judged not by the number of men he has killed in the line of duty, but by the tough men he has handled without using a gun, even without violence."

(from The Iron Marshall, by Louis L'Amour)

Friday, March 22, 2019

Just a little Sackett

From a page from the notebook of a veteran lawman in Louis L'Amour's novel, The Iron Marshall:

"Drako, Henry, age 41 . . . To Tennessee, trouble with man named Sackett whose horse Drako "borrowed." Sackett recovered horse, suggested they leave. They did."

Louis found ways to weave the Sackett family into several novels that were not specifically about them.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Honesty the best policy

"Chickens come home to roost, me bye. Right a straight trail and y'll get farther and feel better, and have no worry about what someday will be discovered. Those who are dishonest will be dishonest with you, and when it suits their purpose will turn on y'. Among such folks trust no man . . . and particularly, no woman."

(from The Iron Marshall, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Lots of shoveling work

"There's many a smith in New York City, and there's more than two hundred thousand horses in the town, bye. Each horse will drop twenty-five or -six pounds of manure per day, and there's a stable in near every block on Manhattan.

(from The Iron Marshall, by Louis L'Amour)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Just be patient

A few tracks of buffalo, here and there the trail left by a drifting band of mustangs, and always, lost against the brassy sky, the slow, swinging loops of the buzzards. Men may play, they may dream and struggle, but the buzzard has only to wait, for all things come to him in the end.

(from Reilly's Luck, by Louis L'Amour)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Here is a pretty name for a girl

In his novel, Reilly's Luck, one of the characters author Louis L'Amour introduces is a beautiful young lady named Boston Bucklin. I thought that had a nice sound to it, what with the alliteration. I have found that place names very frequently work well for female names.

Saturday, March 16, 2019


"Just as some people are born with physical defects, you were born with a moral defect. You have no conception of right and wrong. Things are good or bad as they serve your purpose or do not serve it." (from Reilly's Luck, by Louis L'Amour)

Sadly, I fear there is a sizable percentage of the human race that operates off the same principle.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Tough bunch

"Pa will be upset. Uncle Joe was the only kin of my mother, an' Pa and him thought a lot of one another. I reckon we'll have some huntin' to do."

"You may be outnumbered."

Cody turned cold eyes on Val. "No Bucklin is ever outnumbered, young feller."

(from Reilly's Luck, by Louis L'Amour)

The Bucklins must have been kin to the Sacketts.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

It was musical genius

Have you ever listened to the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies theme song? LINK Notice the steel guitar at the beginning? That single sound has become engrained on our American consciousness. Just that one little lick with an instrument you would not have expected to be in a cartoon.

Image result for looney tunes logo

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bible principles in common literature

"Trouble?" Dai smiled his wide smile. "It's trouble, you say? All my life there's been trouble. Where man is, there will be trouble to the end of time, if not of one kind, then another. But I take my trouble as it comes, boy." (from Showdown on the Hogback, by Louis L'Amour)

Whether he realized it or not, Louis stated fairly eloquently two basic biblical principles in this quote. "Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble." So said the old prophet Job. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." So said our Lord.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

St. John's Wort

This herb is found in almost any medicine section. Some studies have concluded that it is helpful as an anti-depressant. "A 2015 meta-analysis review concluded that it has superior efficacy to placebo in treating depression, is as effective as standard antidepressant pharmaceuticals for treating depression, and has fewer adverse effects than other antidepressants."

Monday, March 11, 2019

Miss Subways

Actress Mona Freeman was the first Miss Subways of New York City in 1941 at the tender age of 14. Not exactly the world's most coveted title, right? I suspect not. However, it did propel her to a 28-year movie and modeling career.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Laredo TV series

This was a pretty good show. It was about a unit of the Texas Rangers, and featured three young officers who were in all sorts of comical situations. While not exactly slapstick, every episode had a strong element of humor. Obviously, it was not to be taken seriously, because I certainly hope Rangers were a little more serious about their job than these are depicted as being.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Princess Baba

Her real name was Valerie Nancy Brooke, but her professional name was Princess Baba. Really. She had two movie credits in the late 1930s, including The Charge of the Light Brigade, which starred Errol Flynn. She was the youngest daughter of Sir Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke, the last British Rajah of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Her sister Leonora married the 2nd Earl of Inchcape.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Benefits of peace

"If the fight continues, all the rustlers in the country will come in here to run off our herds while we fight. Did it ever fail? When honest men fall out, thieves will always profit."

(from Riders of the Dawn, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Another Hollywood star who married a blue-blood

Actress Geraldine Fitzgerald was born in Ireland, but moved to America for her career. She eventually married Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 4th Baronet. The First Baronet was awarded his title for his contributions to horse breeding, as well as his service in Parliament.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

A definite calming effect

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

"What might you want with him?"

"Business talk. I'm friendly."

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

(from Riders of the Dawn, by Louis L'Amour)

Monday, March 04, 2019

Feminine, and feline

"There is no trait that women possess more fortunate for men than their curiosity." (from Riders of the Dawn, by Louis L'Amour)

Sunday, March 03, 2019

The saga of Capt. Dagworthy

Captain Dagworthy was a man who was a thorn in the side of Col. George Washington because he claimed precedence since (presumably) his rank was by the British army, while Washington's was merely colonial. About him, Washington made the comment that he "has not such superlative to balance an inequality of rank." I take that to mean that if he had been a brilliant officer, Washington might have been more prone to put up with his shenanigans, but he was not.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Oh, my aching back!

It used to amuse me to watch my uncle walk. His knees were always just a little bit bent. He would never come down on a locked knee. An "old man" walk.

And then I became an old man. Now I walk like that. Bent knees are just a little shock absorber. And when your back begins to go south on you, any shock you can absorb is a big help.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Dr. Watson had lots of blueblood connections

Actor Nigel Bruce, best known for his lovable portrayals of Dr. Watson in the series of Sherlock Holmes movies, had lots of family connections with the upper crust of British society. His father was Sir William Waller Bruce of Stenhouse, 10th Baronet. That line went all the way back to Sir William Bruce, the 1st Baronet, who died in 1630. The Bruce baronet line connects back to Sir Patrick Agnew, who died in 1661; and William Cuningham of Robertland, 5th Baronet; and Standish O'Grady, 1st Vicount Guillamore; and Patrick Agnew of Locknow, 1st Baronet; and Alexander Stewart, 1st Earl of Galloway. And I quit looking at that point.

Image result for nigel bruce