Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Time He Said It?

My youngest granddaughter, Miss M, is a beautiful young brunette with lots of smarts (she’s in advanced classes at school), but there are days when I swear that she has a ditzy blonde caught somewhere in her head. Example?

My daughter A related this story to me and it’s so precious that I can’t wait for her to blog it so I will. Apparently a friend of Miss C’s, my oldest grand child, gave her one of those “Jesus” cards with the Bible quote “For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son…” Miss C brought the card home to show her family and after reading the quote Miss M grabbed the card to read it herself.

Now under the quote the card gave the book, chapter and verse as John 3:16. The blonde in Miss M leapt out and asked “Is this the time he said it?”

I’m still rolling on the floor! You just have to love Miss M’s M-ism’s!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mr. Socks Dies

Socks, the First Cat in the Clinton Whitehouse, died Friday, 20 February 2008. A stray rescued in Alabama by Chelsea Clinton, Socks was 20 years old. He died in Hollywood, Maryland, of throat cancer. He had spent his last year’s in the home of Betty Currie the personal secretary of Bill Clinton while he was president.

Socks was probably America’s most famous cat. During his White House years many famous figures had their photo’s taken with Socks. I am sure that he will be remembered by many American’s.

So here’s to Sock’s! Have fun chasing mouse angles in Kitty Heaven!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bloody Valentines

Bechca didn’t known that Valentines Days has its roots in a Roman feast celebrated on the Ides of February (15 February) called the feast of Lupercalis. On that day those old Romans celebrated a rite of fertility by having naked men run through town carrying the skins of newly sacrificed goats dipped in blood. The women of the town would present themselves to be gently slapped by the strips and marked by the blood to improve their chances of conceiving in the coming year. Uck! Want to be my bloody Valentine?

(No wonder that Al Capone picked Valentine's Day to off his seven enemy type buddies in that Chicago garage thus creating the “Saint Valentine‘s Day Massacre“.)

But then came the Christian’s who just couldn’t have naked young men running around town so in 496 Pope Gelasius officially declared February 14 to be the feast day of two Roman martyrs, both named Saint Valentine, who lived in the 3rd century. Neither Saint Valentine seems to have an obvious connection to courtship or lovers. So out with the naked guys.

But you just can’t get rid of a good thing so despite attempts by the Church to sanctify the holiday, the association of Valentine’s Day with romance and courtship continued through the Middle Ages. In medieval France and England it was believed that birds mated on February 14, and the image of birds as the symbol of lovers began to appear in poems dedicated to the day. By the 18th century it was common for friends and lovers to exchange handwritten notes on Valentine’s Day. Printed cards had largely replaced written sentiments by the 19th century. Today, Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas as the most popular card-sending holiday.

But, Hey, I’m all for bringing back the naked guys running in the streets, but without the goat skins. Maybe, we could add naked girls too?

Happy Valentines Day ya’ll.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baked Plank Anyone?

It’s winter in Virginia so the Chesapeake Bay is full of Scoters (also called Coots on the East Coast). Scoters are a stocky Sea Duck that summer in Canada and Alaska, but winter on the Pacific and East Coasts of North America. In Virginia you can see Surf Scoters, White Winged Scoters and Black Scoters all along the Chesapeake Bay looking for a nice mollusk dinner.

Oyster, clam and mussel eating birds sound kind of tasty, but Mama Nature has a way about her, just check out these two New England recipes from a 1924 edition of Field and Stream:

Put the scoter in a large pot of water and place a flat iron or anvil on top or the duck. Boil for a goodly time and when you can stick a fork into the flat iron or anvil the Scoter is ready to eat. Or,

Nail the duck to a large plank, place the plank in the sun for a week. Carefully remove the Scoter from the plank and toss to your cat. Cook the plank.
So all you guys and gals who “shoot only to eat,” get your shotguns out and go shoot some Scoters. I’m sure your families will enjoy the anvil or the plank.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Demon Power

My grand son J has decided that his grand dad’s power company is the Demon Power Company. At least that what he told Miss A last night when I needed the telephone number for Dominion Power my REAL power company during a power outrage down at the beach. You have to love how those little ones of ours can mess up the simply easy things in their little lives.

Go for it J. You’re probably right anyway!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Three and a Half Hours!

The events are real, the time lines have been adjusted for readability purposes!

I have a teenage grand daughter, Miss C. She is bright, articulate, smart as a whip and a sassy spoken lassie. But, she has a flaw, a flaw I guess a lot of today’s teenagers are starting to exhibit.

I’m hell on wheels about this new flaw, your not allowed to practice it when your alone with me. I call it the “cell phone texting syndrome.” It is exhibited by the need to be constantly texting friends, animals, Martians and anyone else in the known Universe who has a cell phone whose number you know.

Miss C comes home from school and disappears into her bedroom not to be seen until dinner, then disappears again not to be seen until the next morning (which is fine with her siblings). Ask any member of her family what’s she is doing and you’ll be told she’s texting. And, I thought she was doing homework -- I knew she wasn’t cleaning her room.

I really didn’t known until recently how much she texted on her cell phone until her Mother, Miss A, told me that Miss C’s cell phone bill listed over 14,000 incoming texts and a little over 13,000 outgoing texts. That’s about 433 outgoing texts a day and if you give each text message 30 seconds to compose and send that’s approximately 216 minutes or 3 ½ hours a day. Since Miss C has kept her grades up and meets most of her household commitments, that 3 ½ hours is coming from somewhere else and she admits that time is from sleeping. No wonder she’s been looking so hollow eyed. If you ask me that’s a bit much (I have 22 outgoing calls on my cell phone from the last three months!).

It’s a bit much for her mother too; so she grabbed up the cell phone and limited it to use for when Miss C is out of the house. Then I watched Miss C go into cell phone withdrawal. You could see her walking around the house with a vacant look on her face and her hands constantly reaching back to her back pockets looking for her cell phone. She said her fingers itched and she couldn’t keep them still. After an hour without her phone she was screaming at her mother “OK! I’m addicted to my cell phone, I need it back!”

Of course she didn’t get it back but it shows how much our kids can get hooked on the damm things. Her Mother will be working on limiting Miss C’s phone usage but I think I’ll stay away for a while. Things could get tough at my daughters for a while, twitching fingers and all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Sometimes you run into a new word, for you, that makes so much sense that you can’t help but admire the English language for its beauty. I found just that word this morning on my daily word list widget - Abecedarian (a·be·ce·dar·i·an) or A B C darian. Now I’m sure you’ve guessed it already, but, a Abecedarian is someone learning the basics of literacy or a subject. In other words, learning their A B C’s.

So give your little, or big, Abecedarians a hug and tell them how good Abecedarians they are and enjoy using the English language a little more than before.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cat Herding

When I grow up I want to be a Cat Herder just like these guys.

Believe it or not this was a Super Bowl commercial for EDS. Even football geeks can like cats I guess. Get along little Kittie!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stupid Decisions

While watching the Obama Inauguration Special on HBO this afternoon I listened to all the allusions to the past and future events of our county. So being born and raised in California I of course began to think of the stupid things that happened in that great state in the past that affected it’s future.

So here’s today’s lesson from California, the "Stupid Decision State."

Stupid Decision Number One: San Francisco Cable Car System. The decision to let the system go from 12 lines down to three during the 1930's. You can bet that San Francisco's present municipal government would love to just shoot those guys running the city then. What a tourist dollar loss! Ding Dong Dumb!

Stupid Decision Number Two: Venice, California Canals. The decision to fill-in 14 of the original 16 miles of Venice, California's canals, leaving only two miles of the canal system in 1929. I can double, triple guarantee that today's Los Angeles city fathers would love to have those 14 miles back considering what the tax value would be today. Never fill-in a water way you might need later to drown your stupid ass.

Stupid Decision Number Three: Pacific Electric Railway. The 1954 decision to eliminate the "Red Cars" which at it's high point had over 1000 miles of track, connecting Los Angles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties with a real rapid transit system. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. All those rails and land rights gone. I bet that every time today's Los Angeles area politicians look at the cost of land, rails and construction they could just cry. Never, ever, let a good thing die, you might need it in the future!

So ends the lesson.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mean Mama's

“Mean Mama’s” permeate our culture in art, literature, music, theater, film and I belive the meanest has to be music's the Queen of the Night from the “Magic Flute.”

Edda Moser sings "Der Holle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen ("hell's vengeance boils in my heart") from Mozart's Magic Flute

Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,
Tod und Verzweiflung flammet um mich her!
Fühlt nicht durch dich Sarastro Todesschmerzen,
So bist du meine Tochter nimmermehr.
Verstossen sei auf ewig,
Verlassen sei auf ewig,
Zertrümmert sei'n auf ewig
Alle Bande der Natur
Wenn nicht durch dich Sarastro wird erblassen!
Hört, Rachegötter, hört der Mutter Schwur!

Hell's vengeance boileth in mine heart,
Death and despair flame about me!
If Sarastro does not through thee feel the pain of death,
Then wilt thou be my daughter nevermore.
Disownéd be forever,
Forsaken be forever,
Destroyed be forever
All the bonds of nature
If you do not make Sarastro turn pale!
Hear, Gods of Vengeance, hear a mother's oath

The Bible has Herodias, who convinces her daughter Salome , to ask Herod to "Give me the head of John the Baptist on a big plate". Then there is Faye Dunaway in her role as Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest. Now Joan Crawford comes off as one of films great “Mean Mama‘s” (who can ever forget the “No more wire hanger” moment?).

Of course we don’t want to forget the Internet’s current “Mean Mama” who advertised "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."

But the meanest “Mean Mama” has to be the Queen of the Night form Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.” Her aria "Hell's vengeance boils in my heart", depicts a fit of vengeful rage, in which the Queen of the Night puts a knife into the hand of her daughter Pamina and exhorts her to assassinate Sarastro, the Queen's rival, on pain of denying and cursing Pamina if she does not comply. How would you like to be disowned forever, forsaken forever and destroyed forever by your loving Mommy? Now if you ask me that’s one mean Mama!

Besides the lyrics, which were written by Mozart’s friend Emanuel Schikaneder, the music in mean too. The aria is considered to be one of the most famous opera arias, highly memorable, fast paced and menacingly grandiose. It is widely renowned for being a demanding piece to perform well. The artistic demands of the dramatic context, a vengeful demand for murder, put a heavy demand on even the well-qualified voice.

Sung well you can’t help get the general idea that this Queen of the Night is one really mean piece of work. So let’s hear it for my nomination of music’s “Mean Mama”, the Queen of the Night!

By the way I think Edda Moser is the BEST Queen of the Nignt and has a truly "well qualified voice". On the other hand... Listen if you dare to Florence Foster Jenkins who made a good living as the "worse" opera singer ever (she said she never sang badily - oh yeah?.