Monday, July 31, 2006

America's game, or not?

Despite the claims of the colonists, evidence exists which reveals that baseball had been established in England as early as 1700. It is even mentioned by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey, written in 1798.

We have heard that one Abner Doubleday "devised" baseball in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York. However, what they do not say, is that it was "devised" earlier in England for those poor sods unable to handle cricket.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Things Wavian


Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.

Don't hold your parents up to contempt. After all, you are their son, and it is just possible that you may take after them.

I put the words down and push them a bit.

I think to be oversensitive about cliches is like being oversensitive about table manners.

In the dying world I come from, quotation is a national vice.

It is a curious thing... that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.

Money is only useful when you get rid of it. It is like the odd card in "Old Maid"; the player who is finally left with it has lost.

My unhealthy affection for my second daughter has waned. Now I despise all my seven children equally.

Not everyone grows to be old, but everyone has been younger than he is now.

Of children as of procreation - the pleasure momentary, the posture ridiculous, the expense damnable.

One forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.

Other nations use 'force'; we Britons alone use 'Might'.

Perhaps host and guest is really the happiest relation for father and son.

Pray always for all the learned, the oblique, the delicate. Let them not be quite forgotten at the throne of God when the simple come into their kingdom.

Professional reviewers read so many bad books in the course of duty that they get an unhealthy craving for arresting phrases.

Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.

The truth is that Oxford is simply a very beautiful city in which it is convenient to segregate a certain number of the young of the nation while they are growing up.

There is a species of person called a 'Modern Churchman' who draws the full salary of a beneficed clergyman and need not commit himself to any religious belief.

We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them.

We class schools into four grades: leading school, first-rate school, good school and school.

What is youth except a man or woman before it is ready or fit to be seen?

When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.

Your actions, and your action alone, determines your worth.

Reading Africa in Waugh...

Battle of Gravelines

July 29, 1588,

the English soundly defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Dawn Eden

I came across Miss Eden at Mr. Cusack's site, it seems that she is a friend of his. After looking into it, here and here, it seems that Miss Eden is a Jewish woman who has converted to Catholicism and has written a new book, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On, extolling the virtues of chastity to the less than virtuous women of America. The blurb reads:

"Finally, a book for single women who, unsatisfied with living a worldly lifestyle, want to give their lives a new and godly direction. Author Dawn Eden, a Jewish-born rock journalist turned salty Christian blog queen, gives these readers the positive and uplifting message that they've been wanting to hear-that spiritual healing and a renewed outlook await them. Using her own experiences in the New York City singles jungle, she shows women how they too can go from insecurity to purity, and from forlorn to reborn. She tells women who have been around the block how to find their way home.

Among inspirational books for single women, The Thrill of the Chaste is a pair of hip Ray-Bans in a field of rose-colored glasses. This isn't a book for dainty damsels in lacy white dresses patiently awaiting their handsome prince. This is for real women who need strong, motivational, and deeply moral messages to counter the ones they receive from a superficial, sex-obsessed world."

Very interesting, and how refreshing...I commend Miss Eden and suggest you visit her website where she takes on things disgusting with vim and vigor. I hope her book does well, although in looking about in this world, I doubt there will be many who heed her advice, the rot is just too deep, I think. One can only wish that we had more like her.

Update: Interview with Miss Eden in the National Catholic Register; She details the roles that Chesterton and Kolbe played in her entering the Church.

She who must be obeyed...

There are two types of people in an argument, one is right and the other is a husband.

I wear the pants in my family, they just happen to be my wife's pants.

Getting married is very much like going to a restaurant with friends. You order what you want, then when you see what the other person has, you wish you had ordered that.

At the cocktail party, one woman said to another, "Aren't you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?" The other replied, "Yes, I am, I married the wrong man."

After a quarrel, a husband said to his wife, "You know, I was a fool when I married you." She replied, "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice."

A lady inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: "Husband wanted". Next day she received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine."

The bride, upon her engagement, went to her mother and said, "I've found a man just like father!" Her mother replied, "So what do you want from me, sympathy?"

When a woman steals your husband, there is no better revenge than to let her keep him.

My wife and I had words, I didn't get to use mine.

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are beautiful.


"Most people say that they agree with Bernard Shaw or that they do not understand him. I am the only person who understands him, and I do not agree with him." - G.K.C.

Chesterton's most famous philosophical opponent was the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. Their debates in print and in public were a subject of great amusement, and a source of one witty exchange after another:

Note: Name the gentleman in the middle for extra credit...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I forgot to Shavian...

Sir Max Beerbohm made over 60 cartoons of Shaw. This one had the caption: "Magnetic, he has the power to infect almost everyone with the delight that he takes in himself."

On July 26, 1856, 150 years ago, playwright George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland.

Dartmouth Duo, in trouble again...

The one on the left is supposed to have debauched Mrs. P.'s book, and she is not happy, while the one on the right is still on her good side (lucky for him)...They have both recently been disliked by what seems to be a lavender gang of Roderick Spode's Black Shorts...I think this is the case, although I make no claim to understanding the interworkings of NYC journalism. To tell the truth, I believe Mrs. P is the more dangerous...

Update: A reader sent this photo with the question: Is this Mr. Beck signing books at Mrs. P.'s garden party? Anyone?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jarheads on film...

One rarely sees the Marines portrayed properly in film or television. The uniforms are almost always incorrect, and they never get the haircut and grooming regulations right. How hard is it? Look it up for God's sake...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Book buying...

Would you buy a book from this bad boy?

Or, would you prefer to deal with Boy Mulcaster?

Tell it to the Marines...

"I want to tell you about the United States Marines. I don't know if you are familiar with the procedure where these fine fellows are concerned. To put it in a word, they arrive. The thing works out somewhat after this fashion. A bunch of bad men are beleaguring a bunch of good men in a stockade or an embassy or wherever it may be and seem to be getting along splendidly, and then suddenly the bottom drops out of everything and all is darkness, disillusionment and despair. Looking over their shoulders, they see the United States Marines arriving, and I don't suppose there is anything that makes bad men, when beleaguering someone, sicker. The joy goes out of their lives, the sun disappears behind the clouds, and with a muffled 'Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!' they slink away to their underground dens, feeling like thirty cents." - Lord Ickenham, Cocktail Time

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Today in 1975, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to restore the American citizenship of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 105 years after his death...

Traveller, who died in 1871, is buried just outside the chapel...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Aubrey and Maturin get dressed up...

What could be better than Aubrey and Maturin in leather? Nothing that comes to mind...

I had suggested before that when the next A & M film is made, they should cast Brendan Gleeson and Tim Roth...If Roth is unwilling you might use this man....

Michael Wincott as Maturin...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One small step...

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon as they stepped out of their lunar module.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Nine Day Queen

Young, beautiful and learned Jane, intent
On knowledge, fount it peace; her vast acquirement
Of goodness was her fall; she was content
With dulcet pleasures, such as calm retirement
Yields to the wise alone; -- her only vice
Was virtue: in obedience to her sire
And lord she died, with them a sacrifice
To their ambition: her own mild desire
Was rather to be happy than be great;
For though at their request, she claimed the crown,
That they through her might rise to rule the state,
Yet the bright diadem and gorgeous throne
She viewed as cares, dimming the dignity
Of her unsullied mind and pur benignity.

by William Hone (1780 -1842)
Inscribed beneath a portrait of Lady Jane Grey

On this day in 1553:
15-year-old Lady Jane Grey was deposed as Queen of England after claiming the crown for nine days. King Henry VIII's daughter Mary was proclaimed Queen.

St. Paul: The Piskie's Party-Pooper

"...A British satire once parodied her attitude by depicting a progressive-minded clergyman saying, “I think we have to get away from this old idea that God is holy or something.” Exactly. Liberals specialize in superseding everything that came before them, urging us to “question authority.” It always turns out that they mean every form of authority except their own. Before that, they demand that we fall to our knees..." Continue...

"As a Catholic,
I feel a special sympathy for conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians. Talk about a hijacked religion!
paragraph indent
Time was when the Anglican Church was spoken of as the “via media” — a middle way between Catholicism and Protestantism, corresponding approximately to what C.S. Lewis called “mere Christianity,” affirming the basic and central doctrines almost all Christians shared.

Lewis, who died in 1963, wouldn’t recognize his church today, particularly its American branch. The Episcopal Church in this country has recently elected as its presiding bishop a woman named Katharine Jefferts Schori, an unabashed liberal-and-then-some who favors homosexual clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions..."

from Joseph Sobran

Why are we all so nasty?

via Tinkerty Tonk

People are such arseholes online because they write as they expect journalists to do.

"What is it about electronic communication that makes highly intelligent adults behave like arseholes as soon as they sit down to a keyboard? It is a puzzle that has defeated better minds than mine, most recently Timothy Garton Ash's. He suggests that some kind of responsibility may be the answer; while this is itself a characteristically responsible suggestion, I don't think it is going to work at all. All this spring we have seen astonishing examples of the rudeness, stupidity and aggression which seems to characterise all online discussion.

Intelligence, education, and respectability in the real world are no protection. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury said earlier this year that "parts of the internet are the preserve of bigots and maniacs"; and he should know if he reads Christian discussion sites. The internet is a matchless incubator of religious hatred. But then again, it is a fantastic generator of hatred of every sort. Even where "hatred" is too strong a word, the amount of small-minded arrogant rudeness that goes on out there is quite astonishing. It is nicely encapsulated by one of the most famous laws of online behaviour, which states that the first person to drag Hitler into an argument online has lost; it has a corollary which states that as any online argument continues, the more certain it becomes that Hitler will make an appearance..." Continue...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This day, 1969

In 1969, a car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha's Vineyard; passenger Mary Jo Kopechne died.

The Bow Tie

I really cannot agree that the bow tie is "a Southern thing" in the USA...Just off the top, there is George Will, Tucker Carlson, Paul Simon (the Senator)...None of these men being of the South. Will and Simon being from the middle west and Carlson from San Francisco. Today bow ties are not seen as much, outside of formal wear, I think due to the fact that they are complicated to tie and they have to be measured to the wearer's collar size. In short, as with the proliferation of widespread slovenly dress, it is a matter of laziness. "Wearing what is comfortable" being a euphemism for "I'm much too lazy to take the time to dress properly."

I think today they allow one to be distinct, but I do not think they are confined to the South, unless one is thinking of Charleston...Anyone have other thoughts, reflections, etc.?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thomas Griffiths Wainewright (1794-1847)


At thirty, Thomas Wainewright was a popular and successful gentleman in the literary and artistic circles of London society
; a friend of William Blake and Charles Dickens, a published writer and an exhibited artist. At forty he was working on a chain gang in a Tasmanian penal colony, shackled to thieves and murderers.

Pen, Pencil and Poison by Oscar Wilde

"Head of a Convict - very characteristic of low cunning and revenge." Self-portrait painted by Wainewright in Tasmania in the 1840s...

P & P

"Upon the whole... I am well satisfied enough. The work is rather too light, and bright, and sparkling; it wants [i.e. needs] shade; it wants to be stretched out here and there with a long chapter of sense, if it could be had; if not, of solemn specious nonsense, about something unconnected with the story: an essay on writing, a critique on
Walter Scott, or the history of Buonaparté, or anything that would form a contrast and bring the reader with increased delight to the playfulness and general epigrammatism of the general style". - Jane Austen on Pride & Prejudice...The most read and re-read novel in the English language.

Mrs. P writes: "...Anyway, on to Eliza Bennet and FitzWilliam Darcy. The authoress of the piece you cite brings up Eliza's curious remark of liking Darcy more when she saw his home Pemberley. Many readers take this remark as proof that Eliza's a gold digger after all. But to do that, in my humble opinion, is very illiberal and a complete injustice to the complex characters Miss Austen has created..."

The Mayfair take: My Dear Mrs. P, as we know, Miss Austen's work is one concerning human nature, viewed though the window of a small provincial section of English society. These, of course are not romance novels, they are character studies. Miss Bennet isdefinitelyy not a gold digger, the story is one of misunderstanding due to bad first impressions. (Notice the title, the original title of the novel was "First Impressions") Later, as the characters of Eliza and Mr. Darcy come to know each other, and understand their true feelings for one another, their opinions of one another change from the initial impression. In modern parlance Eliza felt that Mr. Darcy was a snobbish, stuck-up prick, and Mr. Darcy thought Eliza a bumpkin and a gold digger. While at Mr. Darcy's home, Eliza is impressed by Mr. Darcys polite behaviour more than the display of his wealth. She would not sell herself for money and position, and Mr. Darcy realizes his attraction to someone who could care less about his money and titles, but is only interested in whether or not he is a good man. His first proposal, which was refused, was so condescending and rude, that any one with a modicum of self respect would refuse. She was angry at him for his attitude toward her and her family. Again, in modern parlance, he acted as though he was doing her a favor. Although in his defense, can you imagine Mrs. Bennet as your mother-in-law? Mr. Darcy just did not understand women, and in choosing Eliza, he had more than met his match.

So I believe you are correct, in my humble opinion. Does anyone else see this differently? Anyone? Anyone?

Sunday, July 16, 2006


July 17, 1918 - Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his wife, son, and four daughters are murdered by the Bolsheviks.

Innocence Lost....

"...Sometimes these catalogues are stuffed with treasures, but sometimes they are a grave disappointment. One catalogue this year lists Totally Take That, an unofficial guide to the pop band, and a series of books featuring some plastic dolls called the "Lil' Bratz", who offer advice on how to be a pop princess, how to put on a fashion show, and how to create gorgeous hairstyles for the hottest event of the year, "a super cool charity bash!"

Also included are a series of books about Miss Spider and her Sunny Patch Friends, another called Violent Veg, and a handful of "tie-ins" to characters such as Scooby-Doo and Batman.

These books may sell well, of course, and they are perhaps no better or worse than many of the other children's titles to be published this year, but when you know that this is the Ladybird catalogue, you cannot help but wonder at how far the mighty have fallen..."

Mrs. P&C and a Seersucker suit...

My Dear Mrs. P&C, I have not forgotten you two lovely ladies...At the very moment that my comments section was overwhelmed with love and attention, I was laboring away at Mrs. P's long awaited response...This will be up on Monday, due to the fact that most people will be back at work and therefore reading and writing blogs...I had noticed that during the weekend, most do not participate on their own time, however, just for you, let's talk about seersucker...Here I am...Notice a distinct lack of denim...

Cool, comfortable, easy to care for, and genuinely classic, seersucker epitomizes what warm-weather clothing should be. With so many redeeming qualities, it is difficult to understand how the fabric has struggled for survival.

From the Hindi word sirsaker, which is literally translated as milk and sugar, seersucker first became popular when it was used for silk pajamas and nightshirts worn by the British Raj in India. The fabric’s crinkly texture results from the various slackening processes that the threads undergo during weaving. Indian weavers referred to these cloths as homespun, and much pride went into the handwork.

The cotton seersucker suit as we know it first surfaced in New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century and quickly became the suit of choice for wealthy Southern plantation owners. Unopposed to the wrinkles, these gentlemen were no doubt attracted to the fabric’s light weight, as well as the meager $10 price tag for a complete suit.

However, among Northerners, save for a smattering of style-conscious Princetonians, the seersucker suit was mostly regarded with snobbish disdain, particularly by New Yorkers unwilling to sacrifice a crisp crease for comfort. Above the Mason-Dixon Line, seersucker was shrugged off as a poor man’s fabric better left to the South.

As the 1940s unfolded, the seersucker suit, oddly enough, began to win favor along the northeastern seaboard, even becoming something of a status symbol in such stalwart business cities as Washington, D.C., and New York. During the early 1950s, an industrious New Orleans clothier named Joseph Haspel developed a seersucker suit that could be washed and worn without pressing. Haspel blended polyester and cotton to create a seersucker cloth that retained its shape even after rigorous machine washings. A showman by nature, Haspel demonstrated his fabric breakthrough at a Florida convention of tailored clothing buyers. He called a press conference on a beach and, as the story goes, walked into the ocean up to his neck wearing one of his new suits. Later that evening, Haspel wore the same suit, silencing even the most seasoned cynics. Wrinkle-resistant seersucker was born, and Haspel would forever be known as the father of the washable seersucker suit.

Hollywood soon lent its influence in promoting seersucker as a stylish suit fabric. Who could forget the derring-do of James Cagney in A Lion in the Streets or the cool nonchalance of Tom Ewell in The Seven Year Itch. Gregory Peck, at his forthright best in To Kill a Mockingbird, entered the courtroom clad in a seersucker suit replete with wrinkles.

The newest look in seersucker jackets is the high-roll, three-button, single-breasted model. Yet double-breasted, peaked-lapel versions with either four or six buttons are still very popular.

While blue and white remains the classic color combination, many designers are offering seersucker in more unusual shades that evoke another era —pale gray, ecru, and dusty rose, for example.

The contemporary seersucker suit always looks appropriate with a simple bow tie and would not be complete without a jaunty pocket square of linen or cotton peeking out from the breast pocket. But a more modern way to wear it would be sans tie with a white or pale-colored cotton T-shirt. We can'’t think of anything cooler for the dog days. - Ralph DiGennaro

Friday, July 14, 2006

Jane Austen as chick- lit...

Jane Austen's novels have been repackaged as chick-lit to reflect our modern conception of her as a romantic novelist. But her world is less comforting than we think, argues Laura Thompson...

"...Kingsley Amis thought so, too. In 1946 he wrote to his great friend Philip Larkin that he had finished reading Pride and Prejudice and thought it "rather nasty, on the whole". It would be a brave man who dared to say that today. He might find himself drowned in a vat of skinny lattes. Yet Amis, for all that his judgment is typically yah-boo-sucks, came far closer than we do to the truth about Jane Austen. Our vision of her - lazy and oddly sentimental - simply edits out all the nasty stuff. Austen's morality, toughness and cynicism are vanishing into the air, leaving nothing but a few eloquent phrases and a pair of drenched breeches..."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Showing your Klimt...

Speaking of Klimt...

Trendy Man: Mr. Melon, your wife was just showing us her Klimt.
Thorton Melon: You too, huh? She's shown it to everybody.
Trendy Man: Well, she's very proud of it.
Thorton Melon: I'm proud of mine too. I don't go waving it around at parties, though.
Trendy Man: It's an exceptional painting.
Thorton Melon: Oh, the painting.

Detective Story

"...This is, in a way, the point of the classical detective story that has had more changes and alterations since the days of Edgar Allan Poe and Wilkie Collins than almost any other form of literature: underneath all that it is a very conservative form of art. By "conservative" I do not mean that it upholds some conservative or, even, feudal view of society, which is what some critics have accused it of doing, but that it insists on certain immoveable principles..."

Continue...At SAU

Which famous sleuth is pictured above? Anyone?

Update: Robert the LlamaButcher and Mrs. P are correct, the gentleman above is Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey, younger brother of the Duke of Denver, creation of Dorothy L. Sayers.


On July 13, 1793, French revolutionary writer Jean Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bath by Marie Anne Charlotte de Corday d'Armont.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cass Gilbert - St. Louis

The Saint Louis Art Museum is rated as one of the principal art museums in the United States and is visited by up to a half million persons every year. Admission is free.

Located in Forest Park in St. Louis Missouri, the museum was originally built as the Palace of the Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The Roman Baths inspired the design of architect Cass Gilbert (90 West Street NYC, Woolworth Building NYC, U. S. Supreme Court), Limestone and brick are the primary construction materials.

Saint Louis Art Museum Web Site

Apotheosis of St. Louis by Charles Niehaus, 1903.

This statue of King Louis IX of France, the namesake of St. Louis, Missouri, is located in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum. The image of this statue of the king on a horse was widely used as a graphical symbol of the City of St. Louis. It is sometimes still used as such, though the Gateway Arch has mostly assumed that role.

The original plaster model for this statue stood at the entrance to the 1904 Worlds Fair in Forest Park. After the fair the statue was cast in bronze by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company and presented to the city as part of the restoration of the park after the fair. The statue was cleaned in 1977 and restored in 1999. The inverted sword, held up as a cross, was replaced after being broken or stolen in 1970, 1972, 1977, and 1981.

Right Stuff

The Genius of Thurber

  • "Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility."
  • "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
  • "You can fool too many of the people too much of the time."
  • "One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough."
  • "Don't get it right; get it written."
  • "It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be."
  • "There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else."
  • "Never allow a nervous female to have access to a pistol, no matter what you're wearing."
  • From My Life And Hard Times, referring to a fellow Ohio State student and football star: "In order to be eligible to play it was necessary for him to keep up in his studies, a very difficult matter, for while he was not dumber than an ox he was not any smarter."
James Thurber

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Path to Rome...

These mid-western piskies have had enough of the east and west coast toffs...They are leaving...

"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Standing Committee of this Diocese requests our Bishop to intentionally and deliberately explore avenues for alternative primatial relationship and, as appropriate, oversight, notwithstanding this Diocese's status as a constituent member of the Episcopal Church."

The Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, Illinois

Pope v King

July 11, 1533 - Pope Clement VII excommunicates King Henry VIII of England.

Giving us piskies...Thanks.

Interview at Weehawken

Burr - Hamilton Duel - July 11, 1804

The relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr was charged with political rivalry and personal animosity. Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury, was the chief author of The Federalist papers advocating a strong central government. Burr represented the old Republican Party. His greatest accomplishment was achieved in 1800 when he was elected Vice President to Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton considered Burr an unprincipled rogue. The antagonism between the two came to a head in 1804 when Hamilton thwarted Burr's attempt to gain re-nomination for Vice President as well as his bid to win the governorship of New York. Burr responded by challenging his antagonist to a duel, an invitation Hamilton felt compelled to accept.