Bi-weekly and semi-weekly give me a headache. Though I know the difference, it’s too much work.
Filled up the truck tank!
Nothing much of note where we went. It rained some. I’m confused by solitary people walking along side the road in full on masks. Dude. Whereas in the ABC store there are none. But I’m also beyond caring or making fun.
Got cookies! Store bought. Cannot remember the last time I bought store bought cookies for a Farm event. Maybe never until today. But again we are playing– pretending– and at a real talk, there would be store bought cookies.
Found a good recipe for a Minty White Wine Spritzer for Social Hour at the Bunkhouse Bar. Made some Fizzi water.
The Fizzi Water issue consumed 60 minutes of my life. We have on offer three different drinks which use Fizzi Water: Fizzi Water Cranberry Juice, Minty White Wine Spritzer, and John Collins. How to make enough Fizzi water to satisfy? There were refrigerator shelf height considerations, … . I figured it out. Thanks to A. Leland for donating the crappy old fashioned glass milk jugs to the cause, years ago.
HERE’S NEWS!! It’s so cool outside that on June 25 I have the windows open!
The Apartment has been converted to a Social Distance Compliant Lecture Hall– MAXIMUM CAPACITY 10– complete with a lectern. My laptop will communicate with the television via an HDMI cable, and as luck would have it, Mr. Big Food did bring home the PPT slide advancer from his office lo those many months ago. So aside from making coffee, putting out personal packages of Lysol wipes (which I hope to find), &c., we’re all set in the Apartment.
The Bunkhouse Bar is in pretty good shape except for Tiger fur. Stoopie The Younger will get on that tomorrow. I’ll play bartender– it will just make things simpler. Play. Great word ’cause that’s what we’ll be doing. Playing. Pretending. Not so much at the social hour because Lord knows over the years there has been a lot of socialize in & around the Bunkhouse. But the talk will be interesting. Wonder how many folks will show up in “work clothes” versus summer attire? That will be a key piece of datum to collect. I may keep track of it over time.
Anyway– If any of y’all would like to virtually attend, I can Skype you!
Today is one of those days on which I again learn how ignorant I am. That infallible source–
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – circa 1914) was an American short story writer, journalist, poet, and Civil War veteran. His book The Devil’s Dictionary was named as one of “The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature” by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration. His story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” has been described as “one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature”; and his book Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (also published as In the Midst of Life) was named by the Grolier Club as one of the 100 most influential American books printed before 1900.
Is there anything he didn’t do? Interestingly, in Columbia Literary History of the United States (1988) he is mentioned but three times in 1199 pages.
[Along with three others, Bierce] fictionalized circumstances that variously deprived their characters of autonomy. … [H]e sketched a modern wasteland of poverty and war in which the future seems foreclosed.
Sounds like fun. I will say that his disappearance is quite the mystery and involves– or doesn’t– Pancho Villa.
Or not. That is a question. And the qualified answer is yes & no.
We are coming up on Independence Day. Surely, these struggles figured into the attitude of the day, 500 years on. It’s right to remember them, if only breifly.
The tale of Bannockburn, as told from the English perspective, is the tale of Edward II, a man “weak, though childishly willful, and utterly destitute of the knightly qualities that shone so brightly in his father’s character” (
INSERT: AS I SAID A FEW MINUTES AGO, I AM DOING SOME EDITING. THIS IS INCOMPLETE– THOUGH THE BOOKS I WOULD HAVE CITED ARE ON MY DESK.
Stay well. Stay safe. Keep reading history. Everything in context, don’t ya know.
Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, "It might have been."
Alas for the maiden, alas for the Judge,
For rich repiner and househole drudge!
God pity them both and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;
And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!
Stay well. Stay safe. Keep reading. Don’t cry over spilt milk.
Originally posted November 2011; minor edits. Background on the fable here, but only the first few paragraphs– then it’s politics.
Retold by Alan Benjamin
Those of a certain age may remember this little story of two friends who live in very different worlds. “A city mouse was once invited to visit a friend who lived in the country.”
The city mouse was curious about country life. Simply curious. Apparently, she had no preconceptions about country life. Or if she had, she was keeping an open mind.
She found country life rather pleasant, until she and the country mouse sat down to a meager supper of “nuts and berries and a few stalks of wheat.” (We hope the country mouse was not gluten intolerant.) Although she found the meal boring, she was polite and ate just enough so her friend’s feelings would not be hurt.
After supper the two went for a walk. The country mouse was “all ears” as the city mouse told her of the fine home and delicious food city life offers.
The city mouse had a hard time falling asleep because of the unfamiliar– and scary– country night sounds. “The country mouse, on the other hand, was peacefully dreaming of all the things her friend had told her about life in the city.”
The next morning the city mouse saw more nuts and berries and wheat on her breakfast plate and had “had just about enough of country life.”
We must give the city mouse some credit here. She gave country life a shot. She seems to have enjoyed the company of her friend. It’s the country life style she objected to. When she invited the country mouse to the city for a few days, she didn’t preface her invitation with slurs about the country. And she certainly didn’t mock her friend’s style of dress or rustic home. If she had opinions about her friend’s habit of going to church, or carrying a mouse-sized .357 magnum in her apron pocket, she kept them to herself.
The city mouse respects her country friend.
When they arrived in the city and at the city mouse’s home, they found the remains of a such wonderful dinner that, “the country mouse could hardly believe her eyes.”
But just as the country mouse was beginning to nibble on a piece of cheese a large orange cat “charged” into the dining room. The city mouse and the country mouse ran for cover under a china cupboard. I’m sure the country mouse, and perhaps the city mouse, too, said a little prayer. After the cat left, the city mouse explained to the country mouse that this was, “Just part of the excitement of city life.” They returned to their meal only to have it interrupted by “WHAM BAM” a boy and his dog.
Now, you may be saying to yourselves, “Wait! I thought the country mouse had a gun. Clearly, the cat– and possibly the dog but probably not the boy– posed an imminent threat to their lives. Why didn’t the country mouse at least fire off some warning shots?” That’s a good question and the answer is quite simple. The country mouse had to leave her gun at home. She is a law-abiding mouse, and guns are not allowed in the city. In the city, she is defenseless.
It’s worth taking a moment to contrast the country mouse’s fear here, with the city mouse’s fear of the sounds of hooting owls, croaking frogs and buzzing bugs. The country mouse’s home appears quite secure. The scary sounds posed no real threat. But the cat sure did.
The excitement of city life was a bit much for the country mouse. “My dear,” she said to her friend, “your house is grand indeed, and the food is truly marvelous, but I really prefer the quiet simple life of the country.” She packed her things and they said goodbye.
We must give the country mouse some credit here. She gave city life a shot. She seems to have enjoyed the company of her friend. It’s the city life style she objected to. As she departed, she didn’t question her friend’s choice to live in such a dangerous place. She made no mention of the wastefulness of the family in whose home the city mouse lives. And she certainly didn’t comment on the fact that this perpetual “excitement” must be shortening her friend’s life.
TOO MANY MEN close their purse strings and cut their heart strings—and so live empty lives. This is a glorious old world, but our privilege of living in it necessarily brings certain obligations to us.
“Types of dinner menus. Dinner is the meal at which we most frequently entertain our friends. There is a wide variety in the…
It’s drudge work Monday! Also Marica cooks Monday. Our Family Dinner this evening will be Bryant Juicy Jumbo hot dogs, buns, Lay’s Classic potato chips, and macaroni salad with all sort of things from the garden.
What a feast! Though I am certain it would not pass muster with the authors of Everyday Foods.
“EXPERIENCE IS THE great teacher. I shall never forget the remark an uncle made to me one time when I was a small lad. My boy,” said he, ‘you will have to breathe it through your own nose.’
“I could hardly grasp the significance of his remark, but I never forgot it, and I think frequently of it now. One cannot give experience to another; it must be acquired by the individual himself.
“Experience, when backed by good judgment, is bound to produce results. Many times, however, conditions arise in a man’s life for which he has no precedent. It is then that a man, by reason of his experience, is able to look into the future and decide wisely. It was Patrick Henry who said that he had but one lamp by which he was guided, and that was the Lamp of Experience.”
Seems an odd time of year for “Gift of the Magi.” We talked some about O. Henry here. Interesting life.
I Have a Rendezvous with Death
I HAVE a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
Stay well. Stay safe. Stay sane, and keep reading.
OMG. I spelled “PHILOSOPHERS” wrong. Well. ^O. I can fix that. It’s a sidewalk sign for a bar. What do you want? Consider it part of its charm.
Mr. Big Food asked folks to bring apps for the social hour after the talk. They’ll email him and I’ll hand write the menu for the week.
Thinking about what to put in the empty space and was thinking about BAR RULES. (I learned long long ago that the way to phrase rules is “Please do this.” That would have been in two-thousand aught six? When we had our Annual Independence Day celebration at the Bunker.) But the PHILSOPHERS don’t need rules. So what to put in the empty space?
Silly cartoons! This is a job for Mr. Big Food. He can find a silly cartoon applicable to each talk.
To be able to discriminate justly and wisely, to decide without fear or favor, is a quality to be admired in any man. Such a man is eagerly sought in all activities of life. It is not always easy to be unbiased, for as human nature is much the same in us all, we allow our judgment to be colored by that which affects us most. However, there are men big enough to forget their own interests and render decisions in favor of the greatest good to the greatest number. Such men are in the minority, but they stand head and shoulders above their fellow men; consequently they are easily distinguishable.
All of today’s reading are by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, author of the historically wildly inaccurate poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.” But we won’t hold that against him. (Go to the link if you like American history. More fun stuff.)
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.
Continue reading the poem
Perhaps I was too harsh.
Listen my children and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year.
It is inaccurate. But it once served a purpose.
I said, “One if by land… ”
And you replied, “Two if by sea.”
Ah well. Those not so crappy old days are gone.* It was foreseen. “Hardly a man is now alive who remembers… .”
Stay well. Stay safe. Keep reading.
*I have a busy weekend coming up so I’m ahead in the GDR game. Written on 6/18 and I doubt that anything in the next two days is going to change my mind about that conclusion.