Friday, November 30, 2012

Sam and Winnie's Birthday/ St Andrew's day in scotland

Dunan Castle-my little bit of Scotland 

To all our Scottish friends Happy St. Andrew's Day. St. A is the patron saint of Scotland and half a dozen or more European counties.

Perhaps more importantly, today is the anniversary of the birth of Samuel Clemons and Winston Churchill.

The 2 met twice and did not form a mutual admiration society.  Each felt he was the center of the known world, and didn't cotton to intruders.  Twain the older, and more experienced of the two men found listening to Churchill trying.  When asked about their first encounter, after a dinner in London, Churchill was effusive over their conversation.  Twain replied "I had a good smoke."

Whenever I'm asked who in history I would wish to have dinner with, my list ends with these two.  If you haven't yet read Cita Stelzer's "Dinner with Churchill" put it on your holiday shopping list, it makes a great winter read.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

geo harrison died

During the heyday of Beatlemania, the prime time disc jockey of the local teen radio station would nightly call a then Mayberry gal in an attempt to get the latest scoop in the world of the Beatles. The gal was George's sister Louise. Every now an then she would quietly drop a "Oh George is over for dinner, would you like a word with him?", and George would spend the next 3 minutes BSing how much fun he was having at our expense.

George soon became my favorite Beatle. It's hard to believe I've outlived two of the fab four. George died on this date in 2001.


PS: I am going to have limited access to the internet over the next 2 days, so I will preemptively block annon comments in my absence. Flo, I apologize.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I've been reading too many obits lately and have come to the conclusion that most are wasted on the dead. Instead, what would be a genuine service to mankind is a career obituary.

For many public figures death is the greatest career move of all. Look what it's done for Elvis and Jimi Hendrix. For others not so much. By the time Whitney Houston died did anyone outside of her family really care? Not so much. What we mourned was the loss of her majestic musical talent which in fact died several years earlier.

A glance at the sports pages of the local newspaper each day shows the passing of sports heroes from long ago who died in obscurity in advanced old age. Better to remember his career's death, back when it was meaningful, especially to the principal. Likewise, PBS is great for for resurrecting long thought dead entertainers, dressing them up and making them put on a travesty of a show in hopes that baby boomer nostalgia for 1950's and'60's songbirds will ease the transfer of wealth.

What I'm imagining is a public vehicle, much like the Daily Telegraph's obits, that would be the designated resting place for careers. Click on the web site, type in the subject, and in return the site says perhaps; career dead, yet still alive. Envision Tom Jones or The Little River Band while you do so.

PBS could become self-funded forever if they became gatekeeper to the site. In exchange for baksheesh, PBS might keep off those who don't want to go on the cart.

In the mean time we are stuck with Dead or Alive, the web site that keeps track, so I don't have to.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Where to

On election day I suggested checking the political lawn signs in neighborhoods you may consider moving into in an effort to locate the crazies. Suppose though you were moving out of town, perhaps searching for a place to retire. How would you know where like minded souls congregate? You'd hate learn you were the odd man out after it was too late. The Daily Yonder has come to your rescue. The charts are mostly self explanatory.

Click on the charts to enlarge.

Happy hunting.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Le chandail de hockey"

Yes, I have shown this before, but it's been a couple of years, I appreciate your indulgence.

Gals and guys did you ever receive exactly the wrong present? Sometimes nothing is worse than receiving the wrong gift. This story is about a young boy who suffers such a fate, and is scarred for life. The first minute and 30 secs or so is in French. The rest in English.

It's a long but great story, and a reminder of how it pays to be mindful when giving presents.

In honor of the anniversary of The Rocket's 600th career NHL goal and with little expectation of the NHL ever returning to prominence anywhere south of Chicago, I present The Sweater.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

John John

I find it hard to imagine that John John would be 52 today. I'll always remember him very much younger.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

weekend follies

Gentlemen: the publishing sensation "Understanding Women" is now available in paperback.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanks for...

Yesterday's Thanksgiving feast provided an opportunity for each of us to to take a moment, open our gratitude journal and reflect on just how good we have it. In your heart you know, however bad things are, they could be much worse. I'm grateful I don't work in retail this month and/or celebrate Black Friday.

Last August, a dear friend of ours gave birth, much too early, to her first child. The baby girl arrived weighing 1.2 pounds (.54 kilos)at birth. Mom is well, and the baby is growing, albeit slowly. Yesterday,the new parents celebrated their daughter's first Thanksgiving grateful that she has grown into the next larger size diaper, from right to left.

Count your blessings, and shop till you drop.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

katy day and happy thanksgiving

Today is also Katy Day.  Katy is my first born, born on a Thanksgiving morning once upon a time ago.  She is my joy, my inspiration and light of my life.  I love her dearly.

Tonight while reaching for that piece of pie, gather hands with those around the table and sing like this.

HBD2 Katy
HBD 2 Katy
HBD dear Katy
HBD 2 you.

From our house to yours enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving, hopefully safely ensconced in the comforting bosom of family and friends. It has become too rare that families gather to share food and stories.  Children miss out when holidays are ignored. Holiday's provide the perfect backdrop for kids to overhear grownups reminiscing about the days before wi-fi, or wireless TV remotes.

 I love to make fun of Thanksgiving, it's one of my traditions.  American's tend to have such a poor sense of history that too many folk believe the Pilgrims arrived in North America with Columbus.  In a just world, we'd be celebrating the Spanish, who arrived 40 years before the English, contribution to American culture.  At least the food would be better.

And finally, for those of you too wrapped up in the day's feast to know when to put down the fork I suggest this:

Enjoy your day, be safe. We'll leave the light on for ya.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving PSA

It is alleged, especially by Mother's Against Drunk Driving, that  the day before Thanksgiving has become the busiest drinking day of the year in the U.S.  Now tagged Blackout Wednesday, tonight will surpass New Year's Eve as the season's thirstiest night. There is enough blame to go around, but since adults no longer imbibe at the rate their parents once did, the heavy lifting is left to the kids, especially college students home for the long weekend. That's where the joke ends.

The tragic aftermath is that tonight will become one of deadliest nights of the year for younger drivers and their passengers. As a parent I know the kids don't and won't listen, but before they head out remind them that you'll pay for the cab home if necessary. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

Gettysburg Address

November 19,1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery, the day's second speaker, president Abraham Lincoln had this to say:

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate - we can not hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

President Abraham Lincoln
November 1863

The first National Thanksgiving Day, as proclaimed by President Lincoln took place one week later (Nov 26).


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Maybe-Maybe Not

Some of my male brethren are, to put it mildly, a trial for many women, especially at night. We smell, snore, kick, toss and turn and after a certain age I hear we're up several times a night. How is a woman expected to get her beauty rest under those wartime-like conditions?

The wonderful folks at Deluxe Comfort have created The Boyfriend Pillow, a more restful alternative to living breathing males which when used properly provides all the cuddle without the annoying downsides of real human companionship.

It's like having a cat without the fur.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Drivel

If I try really hard I may be able to complete my weekend errands and some of my honey do's before lunch on Saturday. If it rains I have the weekend free which would be really good news for me because inexplicably I'm a sucker for Christmas movies, especially the Hallmark or the I hate men channel variety, and opening day is upon us.  

The season actually began last weekend with The Christmas Angel.  Reading the title you know the story line, that's the best part.  This weekend brings such classics as Christmas Everyday, The Christmas Hope, A Christmas Proposal, and the all important Christmas Wedding.  I have no explanation for how or why this drivel appeals to me, but it does. TIVO will be smokin' by Sunday night. 

Over the next month I have to work in, along with the Hallmark lineup, Charlie Brown (Thanksgiving and Christmas), The Grinch, Yukon Cornelius, 4 Christmas Carol's, Dr. Who's Christmas, Black Adder's Christmas, Scrooged with Bill Murray, The Bishop's Wife (original only please), Miracle on 34th Street (original) and if there's time It's a Wonderful Life. If only I had Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol! Time constraints will likely prevent Ralphie from sneaking into the lineup this year.

Nothing like a weekend nap, a fire in the hearth and drivel. You're invited to join me if you bring caramel corn.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prince Charles-redux

Talk about a weird and truly bifurcated life.  Before mom dies, after mom dies.  It would make anyone schizophrenic.  Today's birthday boy is perhaps the most misunderstood man in the world, he may be either a dreamer or the village idiot, and those that know which aren't telling.

Father, husband, farmer, sportsman,  car guy, businessman he has done it all, each step of the way in the public eye, receiving a daily deluge of controversy for every utterance, idea and articulated thought he may have.  For the most part, he has borne his responsibilities well, marching to his own drummer.

I like the guy, mostly for speaking his mind, forcefully when necessary.  Anyone who is a thorn in side of greed heads and land rapers gets my vote.  Hell of a dresser too.

Happy Birthday Sir.


Monday, November 12, 2012

How many sins?

During my catholic youth I was taught that if you knew something was wrong, and you did it anyway, you've committed a sin. I am going to commit any number of sins this week.  I also learned that if you were sorry for your sins and confessed, then all was forgiven, because the catholic gd hated the sin, yet he loved the sinner so long as the sinner wasn't gay, or not a paid up member of gd's own roman catholic church. Non members were screwed no matter what.

Friends I am here to confess, in advance, for the sins I am about to commit. I'm sorry in advance, especially if I'm caught.  I beg your forgiveness. Otherwise....

*My car is in suburban Baltimore, not terribly far from Washington Dulles airport.  Airfare from Mayberry to Dulles is approx $248 one way.  However, if I book Mayberry to Boston, which takes the exact same flight to Dulles as the $248 option, but requires changing planes in Dulles to go to Beantown, the one way Mayberry to Boston ticket cost is $100 .  Airlines consider it a sin to book a cheaper yet longer flight if you plan to jump ship halfway. I've booked the Mayberry to Boston ticket for $100, but I'm walking out the door in Dulles pocketing the $148 savings.  It's a sin, I know it, but I'm not stupid, I didn't set up this dumb game. I beg your forgiveness.

*When I purchased the car, I was given a set of Massachusetts 5 day temporary license tags, allowing me to drive the car home to Mayberry.  The temporary tags expired while the car was being serviced.  I've visited the Missouri DMV, shocked them by telling the truth, which no one believed anyway, and asked how to legally drive the car home.  DMV said "bummer, no can do, have the car shipped."  As if.  My remaining options are to display the expired tags and hope the truth will set me free or use Camilla's historic plates and hope no one notices. I break fewer laws driving with expired plates. I'm undecided but I'm keeping the the historic plate option open, figuring a little anxiety is better than a lot, especially at my age.  Every moment I'm in that car with expired or wrong plates is a sin, I know it, I'm doing it, but I'm open to better ideas. I beg your forgiveness.

I share the rest of my sins later.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day

However you observe Remembrance Day, Armistice Day or Veterans Day take a moment to give thanks to those who came before, served our nation honorably, asking for nothing but a chance to return home and to resume their lives. Our's is a debt we can only repay forward by not taking for granted the daily sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed services and their families.

Buy a poppy from the VFW guy at the mall or supermarket. Wear it proudly, remember those who serve, and give thanks to those who served.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marine Corps birthday

The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.
(1) On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.
(2) The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and is the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
(3) In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
(4) This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.
John A. Lejeune,
Major General Commandant

Thank you and Happy Birthday

Friday, November 9, 2012


I've been remiss.  I had, until recently reminded, forgotten that November was also Mo-vember, a month which supports the activities of the  Mo-vember Foundation raising awareness of  men's health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancers.

Along with making a donation Mo-vember advocates begin November clean shaven. Throughout the remainder of the month the Mo Bro's groom their way into moustachery, effectively become living billboards who answer questions about "what's that growing on your face?" with thoughtful, awareness raising, answers about men's health issues.

They do good work, and deserve our support. The Suburban Princess participates by donating 25% of the proceeds of her fanciful moustache buttons. Take a look at her buttons and other treats as well.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

martha gellhorn

Born and raised a scant 3 blocks from Tennessee William's boyhood home in Mayberry, today we celebrate the natal day of Ernest Hemingway's third wife, Martha Gellhorn.  Martha was a doctor's daughter, her mother a suffragette,  and although the William's family lived nearby, it's unlikely their paths would have ever crossed the local social divide.

 Martha was one of the first women war correspondents, and perhaps the best of all war correspondents of the 20th century. She wrote for Collier's during the Spanish Civil War, where she met and had an affair with Hemingway. They married in 1940, she was the only of his 4 wives to leave him, unable to tolerate his fragile ego, and tantrums.  He dedicated For Whom The Bell Tolls to her.

During WWII she reported for The Atlantic from Normandy on D-Day, from bombers over Germany and was at Dachau when it was liberated. She was a pro, tough,  hardened and a fine writer. She covered the world's conflicts until the war in Serbia.

3 blocks from Tennessee williams boyhood home, she was 3 years older which is a lifetime at that age.

Today she is best known as Hem's wife, which is a great disservice to her tremendous legacy.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Oh Happy Day

I've been dreading this phone call, but knew I couldn't put it off any longer.  I called the car wizard of Baltimore, hoping I wouldn't have to mortgage the house when it was over. Mostly, I feared Mrs. T. I knew,  I'd pay for this the rest of my life, but I  didn't want to consider selling body parts. We've grown attached.

"It's all done", said the Wiz, "the amount was nominal, so we just fixed it, in fact the towing was the biggest cost."  I offered to kiss him on the lips, anything so the dream to linger.  All was right with my world.  "The car is in really great shape too, someone really took care of it."  To my ears that was right up there with "I do."

Now comes the hard part, bringing it home.  My plate is full.    Anyone have kids coming towards Mayberry  for Thanksgiving?


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Whatever your proclivities vote today, please.

American political parties have succeeded in their effort to antagonize voters into violent apathy.  The parties are for members of their club only, and any passing resemblance to civics or common decency is certainly due to fixable inattention to detail.  The only reasonable persons response to elections in this country is repeated recitation of the Costanza prayer.

Are you considering moving in the next several years?  Since we have become as neighbors, divided us against them, I recommend house hunters use today wisely.  Drive through the neighborhoods you'd consider moving into, both up and down scale, who knows what the next few years will bring.  Bring your camera along and take lots of snaps of the political yard signs in your new neighborhood to-be.  It's good to know in advance where the crazies live.   Just sayin'



Sunday, November 4, 2012

london to brighton

I don't have a bucket list but if I did it would include entering the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run someday. I blame the 1953 movie classic Genevieve about two car loving friends who along with one's long suffering wife and the other's tolerant girlfriend enter their cars for the annual run. Being a car guy with a long suffering wife, Genevieve and I connected immediately.

London to Brighton, celebrated on the first Sunday of November, is the longest running motoring event in the world. First held in 1896, the run celebrated a change in England's motoring laws which raised speed limits for motorcars to 14 miles per hour, up from 4 mph  and eliminated the need for a flag man to walk 20 yards ahead of the car alerting (deaf?) bystanders of the car's approach.

The 54 mile run, which is not a race, is held for annually for cars built before January 1905 starts in London's Hyde Park and ends at Brighton pier, with at least 2 intermediate stops. Last year over 500 cars were entered, almost half finish. 


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Odds and Ends- End of Daylight Savings Edition

Does ANYONE, who is not an NHL employee, give a flying leap that the league is on strike against its players? Would anyone notice if they stayed gone?

My brother from a different mother ADG has long and certifiable Tom Wolfe adulation bonafides. Google has rewarded his admiration by using a photo from his blog as the face of Mr. Wolfe on their search page.

The post man brought these this week from Broadland Slippers. They have hardly left my feet since.

The best description I've ever read of the iconic Judy Garland Classic.

Maybe-Maybe Not

Don't forget to set the clocks. Spring forward, fall back. It is now fall.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Advice from The Lady

"In continuous publication since 1885 and widely respected as England's longest running weekly magazine for women, The Lady is celebrated both for the quality of its editorial pages and its classified advertisements.

Copyright 2012 © The Lady Magazine Ltd 39-40 Bedford Street, Strand, London WC2E "

Last monthVanity Fair ran a story about the history and current events at The Lady Magazine. I admit I had forget it existed until reading the story, since then I've become enchanted. For generations the Lady was a license to print money. It has since fallen on hard times, the average age of its subscribers recently was 80, it now hovers near 60. Their web site has become one of my favorite reads. Often they offer peeks into their archives. I hope you enjoy.

Vintage tips from The Lady magazine

By Katy Pearson
"SOME women are incapable of selecting becoming attire. Style and effect is obtained in several ways, but outline is really the chief factor in a successful toilette."

The Lady. Hints on dress. 28th January, 1904

"THE little frock still comes in very many guises but it simply MUST be slim about the hips"

The Lady. The "little" frock. 12th December, 1929

"A VARIETY of colours is truly a sin against good taste in the sartorial sphere of a well dressed woman."

The Lady. Society Solecisms. 3rd September, 1903

"BELTS steals the limelight because much widened shoulder-lines require a pinched-in waistline for good proportion."

The Lady. Fashion is back in shape. 28th May, 1959

"WHAT woman does not find that a well-cut black suit makes the best possible basis for a wardrobe?"
The Lady.

The Art of Good Shopping. 21st February 1946

“WITHOUT books, a room looks lifeless and uninteresting, but too many books left lying about here, there and everywhere quickly produce an effect of disorder and untidiness.”"WHAT

The Lady. Books and Where to Keep Them. 14th November 1929.

"BLOUSES are part of the seasonless wardrobe that most of us aim at. Although casually easy to wear, nobody could describe them as 'casuals' when so many have a definite elegance of their own, a feminine softness combined with extreme neatness."

The Lady. A Special Year for Blouses. 7th August, 1969

“TULLE is not a good traveller, so the wise woman abandons it for the moment. Lace on the other hand, can never be out of place. When cleverly arranged it is extremely chic.”

The Lady. Evening Dress for the Casino Abroad and Country house visits at Home. 2nd August 1928

“A NEW hat is the best of tonics and so good an eye-catcher that it draws attention from a tired looking-frock. The matter of buying one should not be neglected.”

The Lady. Heads Up. 11th July, 1946

"NOW there is absolutely no reason why any woman should cease, at any age, to dress well and look well. A little dash of fun, a good deal of unselfconscious, and the battle is won. (Fat, wrinkles, years, do not matter so very much, though, nof course it is better to be without them.)"

The Lady. Clever with clothes. 5th January, 1933

“IT is by no means necessary to have an extensive outfit for the ordinary seaside holiday, but each item should admit of variation and the different gowns and blouses should be wearable together.”

The Lady. Holiday fashions. 7th July 1904

"MANY women earn the reputation of being badly dressed because they wear frocks bought at the sales and then hoarded through a season for which they are unsuited."

The Lady. The Week’s Best Bargains: What will be cheap at the Sales. 26th June, 1930

"ONE of the virtues to look for in choosing a well-cut blouse is the fit at the waistline. Who, in figure-conscious days wants extra fabric round the hipline tucked under pants or skirt?"

The Lady. A Special Year for Blouses. 7th August, 1969.

"DO not buy a corset that squeezes you into shape, but one that moulds. No belt can get rid of the flesh that is there."

The Lady. The fashion is for fit. 12th November, 1953

“THE small woman has to avoid clothes which emphasise the horizontal lines and choose those which empasise the vertical ones. That is the whole secret of creating an optical illusion of height.”

The Lady. Clothes for the small woman. 23rd April, 1936

"HOLIDAY clothes, in our opinion, should put comfort before everything else, and gaiety next. Meanwhile it is important that holiday beauty preparations should have the freshness that seems suitable for the simple life and days in the open air."

The Lady. Shopping for sea and county. 26th July, 1934

"NOT everyone can escape to country or seaside in the summer-time, but no one with sense goes out dressed for a garden-party to spend a day in town."

The Lady. For Summer Days In Town. 26th July, 1934

"WE must continue to wear gay and frivolous hats; it is the simplest and least expensive way of keeping up our morale and giving to our towns and villages an air of elegance."

The Lady. Bows and Bonnets. 22nd August, 1940

“AS in everything, lingerie divides itself into two schools of thought, the tailored and elegant type for the girl of decisive mind, and the dreamy frou-frou type, frothing in lace.”

The Lady. New Thoughts on Lingerie. 14th June, 1945

“SOME women are born with an innate sense of elegance which is very enviable, but how few such mortals exist, even in Paris.”

The Lady. The Elegant Women. 21st July 1955

“THE feeling that one is daintily and suitably attired helps considerably in the enjoyment of a holiday. But there is such a thing as being too smart, and this is undesirable. Better err on the simple side but have everything well cut and nicely made.”

The Lady. Dress and Fashion. 18th July, 1912


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Kinky Friedman

Frontman for the ever popular Texas Jewboys, today's birthday boy Kinky Friedman has the misfortune of living in the right place at the wrong time. A lifelong Texas boy, the would be politician's mix of common sense,buffered by populism, buffoonery and showmanship make him an unlikely candidate for any Texas public office. Kinky has run for office twice and lost. Texans never got his pragmatism, it's their loss.

A creative sort he's made a career out of being the satirical, politically incorrect storyteller, in the mold of Hunter S. Thompson with a different set of vices. A collection of articles written for Texas Monthly, Drinker with a Writing Problem, is a good start.

If you don't know from Kinky give 'im a try. Can't hurt. He sells a pretty good cigar as well.