Whimsy: February 2005 Archives

Odds and ends

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Scooby Doo goes gonzo, maps galore, romance novel covers get retitled, and other assorted links -- after the jump.

Random notes

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I had a nice dinner out tonight with Mikki while her folks watched the kids. We went to Doe's Eat Place, which has only recently opened on Cherry Street. I should have done a bit of research first -- lots more food than we wanted and way more than we wanted to spend. It was a good meal, and we had a very good waitress, but two entrees, a small appetizer, and two sodas set us back about $50 before tip. (Note to non-Tulsans -- that is a lot to pay for dinner for two around here.) Doe's has a very limited menu -- for entrees, just steak and shrimp. The smallest steak you can order at Doe's (not counting the filet mignon) is two pounds of meat. It's expected that you'll be sharing that with someone, and we did, but still.... Doe's is a chain, but started as a place in Greenville, Mississippi, that served steaks and tamales. We had a half-dozen tamales (with chili) as an appetizer -- not bad.

After dinner, we had a leisurely browse at Borders, but left empty-handed. (We have plenty of books already. You have no idea.)

The highlight of Doe's (other than a chance to converse intelligently without kid interruptions) was an aviation map of Wales and southern England in the lobby. When we were told it would be a few minutes before we'd get a table, I said, "That's OK, I could stay here looking at this all evening." On the map I spotted RAF Shawbury near Shrewsbury in Shropshire (say that three times fast), where I spent a week on a job assignment in May 1999. The wait for the table gave me enough time to retrace my routes and remember a trip that featured lots of walking around the lovely Tudor city of Shrewsbury, a hurried evening visit to the international book town of Hay-on-Wye and a more leisurely day's drive through north Wales: A ride on the Talyllyn Railway, a narrow-gauge railway made famous by the Thomas the Tank Engine books, and a stroll to nearby Dolgoch Falls; a walk along Tywyn's beach; a couple of hours in The Village, a drive past the mirror-smooth waters of Llyn Gwynant; and a dinner of fish, chips, and mushy peas in a cafe in Betws-y-Coed. (When I first saw the mushy peas, I marvelled that they served guacamole in those parts.)

You can never tell whose fancy you're going to tickle with a blog entry, especially an entry that is not the usual stuff of the blog. My little homage to Dr. Gene Scott, television fundraiser (and occasional preacher) extraordinaire, went unremarked and unlinked, except by one blogger who hasn't owned a TV for nearly two decades. But then I got a very enthusiastic trackback from Sciolist of the Rough Woodsman, who echoes my sentiments about Doc's teaching on communion, along with his own remembrances.

Charles G. Hill gives a farewell salute to Robert Butkin, who is resigning as State Treasurer to become dean of TU's law school, which will allow him to work in the same town where his family lives. He's a Democrat I might have voted for, if I'd had the chance. (In 1994, I voted for his Republican opponent, whom he narrowly beat.) Butkin was unopposed in 1998, but my friend Rick Koontz and I wore Butkin re-election campaign T-shirts across the state on our weekend trip that summer to visit the remainder of Oklahoma's 77 counties which we hadn't yet visited. (Major County was number 77 for both of us.) When you handle billions in state funds, there are ample opportunities for kickbacks, and many of our State Treasurers took those opportunities. Robert Butkin has been one of Oklahoma's few honorable and honest State Treasurers. I hope we get another one like him.

Baby got Book


Pocket-sized need not apply: Some guys are just into BBWs -- big Bible women. (12 MB Windows Media file, via X-ATI Guy.) Lyric excerpt:

I like big Bibles
And I cannot lie.
You Christian brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with a KJV
And a bookmark in Proverbs
You get stoked.
Got her name engraved
So you know this girl is saved.
It looks like one of those large ones
With plenty of space in the margins.

For your entertainment:

RetroCrush is presenting a list of the top 100 TV theme songs (mainly American TV). Numbers 100 through 20 have been posted already, and most entries in the list have links to websites about the shows. (Hat tip: Garfield Ridge via Ace.)

And that led me to this....

The official "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" website has clips of Carson as Carnac and other great moments from his years as Tonight Show host.

In the silly simile department, Cheat Seeking Missiles has a collection of howlers written by high schoolers. A few samples:

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

If you need a fright rather than a laugh, Ace has the definitive photo of Democrat political consultant Susan Estrich. Don't be sipping anything when you click that link. Commenter Ray Midge notices a resemblance to another TV monster.

I used to love newspapers

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(Per assignment.)

Really. I used to really enjoy sitting down with a newspaper. I'm out of the habit now, and I'm getting to where I hardly read papers online. Some scattered reminiscences:

My great-grandmother, Minnie McGee, could have been a syndicated columnist. She had been writing letters to the Nowata Daily Star under the name Aunt Millie. Her letters usually began with, "I may be wrong -- I usually am...." They were really little op-eds, and the paper liked them well enough that they ran them, despite a policy against publishing anonymous letters. Family lore holds that she was offered a syndication deal, but turned it down.

I grew up with the Tribune and the Sunday World. Dad didn't get around early enough to read the paper over breakfast, and he could always find a copy of the Daily World at work to read, so we didn't subscribe to it. (Was that OK?) The Tribune he had time to read when he got home from work. I learned to read upside down so that I could read the funnies before he was done with them.

In college, our fraternity subscribed to the Boston Globe and later added the tabloid Herald at the urging of some brothers native to the area. Scattered about the fraternity commons you'd also find the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal -- and the Tulsa Tribune. I subscribed by mail so I could keep up with politics back home -- I kept my voter registration in Oklahoma and voted by absentee ballot. During a prolonged stay in the infirmary, a fraternity brother brought by a paper every morning. Sunday afternoons at the fraternity were lazy and quiet, brothers slumped on the chairs and sofas in commons, paging their way through the Sunday editions, while gnawing on fresh bagels from Kupel's Bakery. (Our ZBT chapter had a bagel chairman responsible for making the Sunday morning run to Kupel's.)

I still appreciate it when I'm traveling and the hotel provides copies of the local paper, instead of or in addition to USA Today. Hampton Inns are usually pretty good about that. I enjoy getting a sense of the local politics, and, if I visit often enough or stay long enough, to begin to know who the players are. Even if the presentation is one-sided, you can still get a feel for what the big issues are.

I loved reading the English-language Filipino newspapers during my summer in Manila. Despite 50 years as an American possession, they had developed a completely different set of English phrases for talking about the political process, plus you had the Filipino habit of referring to politicians by their nicknames, even in the classier papers. "Ninoy" -- Benigno Aquino -- was much in the news that summer of 1983, as he prepared to return home from exile in the United States. (A visit to the websites of Manila's papers reveals that a lot of homogenization with the rest of the English-speaking world has taken place.)

My favorite British paper: The Daily Telegraph.

That's all I got. Other Okie bloggers are writing much better stuff on the topic, and I'll post links tomorrow.

Fun "facts" about blogs


For your amusement: If you're wondering what this "blog" thing is, Frank J. has some timely warnings. For example:

* Blogs can simply turn on you at anytime for any reason. They attack without thought or provocation. Thus, make sure to always stay away from them and to disparage them in the media.

* A blog will use a dark art called the "hyperlink" to "link" to what you say in an attempt to slander you. If you see any blog using a hyperlink against you, immediately contact law enforcement to get them to stop.

* If you see a geeky looking male or a slutty looking female in front of a laptop, he or she could be a blogger. Don't make eye contact or say anything in front of them or they will destroy you.

Pox and nits


John Owen Butler has declared this week's Okie Blogger Bash Consortium topic to be childhood diseases. I punted last week's, a topic (voting) about which I have had quite a lot to say, but you can find links to last week's entries here. I especially liked Jan's entry on voting for judges. I do wish judicial candidates would at least declare their philosophical leanings.

On to childhood diseases: I had horrible tracheal bronchitis at age 6 months, so much so that Mom was worried I wouldn't survive and so had way too many studio pictures taken of me.

Kindergarten was the year of chicken pox -- I vaguely remember taking a bath in tepid water with baking soda -- and the tonsillectomy.

The tonsillectomy was kind of fun. It was my first trip to the hospital. It was going to be in St. John, but when Mom found out she couldn't stay with me in the room, they moved me to St. Francis. After the surgery, I got to soothe my sore throat with a popsicle (orange, if I recall correctly) and was given a little stuffed goat. (Mom and Dad, feel free to write in with details I've forgotten.)

I missed all the major childhood diseases. I got mono in 7th grade, but, sadly, not because I'd been kissed. (I won't tell you how long it was until I had been, because it's too pathetic, although not atypical for a nerd boy like me. The young lady responsible reads this blog.)

Most of the interesting childhood diseases we heard about belonged to my mom's kindergarten students. It was always exciting to hear about the year's first case of chicken lice at Catoosa Elementary School and the joy of combing the children's hair, checking for nits.

Our kids have suffered from various upper respiratory ailments, including allergies and mild asthma, but all those immunizations have kept the bad stuff away, thank God. Wander through a hundred-year-old cemetery some time, note the large number of child graves, then praise God for working through scientists and physicians to turn childhood mortality from a sad but common occurrence into a rare tragedy.

TRACKBACK: Inkling of the Rough Woodsman links to this post and takes on anti-immunization zealots.

From the latest newsletter of the Annals of Improbable Research, a medical journal article deemed worthy of our attention:

"Demonstration of Oesophageal Reflux Using Live Snakes," A.C. Johnson and S. Johnson, Clinical Radiology, vol. 20, no. 1, January 1969, pp. 107-9.

"I bid you now skidoo"


If the Happy Homemaker's collection of vintage valentines isn't enough for you, Michele Catalano has more here. She calls them creepy, but some of them are kind of sweet, in a weird sort of early 20th century way. (Not the one with the electrocuted puppy, though. That's just horrible.) And they had anti-valentines back then, too. More here.

(Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)

In the same sweet Valentine's Day mood, Michele doesn't hold much hope for Cathy and Irving's future. (Not for the faint of heart or tender of ears.)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Whimsy category from February 2005.

Whimsy: January 2005 is the previous archive.

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