Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Matinee: His Girl Friday

In which Joel celebrates his departure from the news business.

This is almost certainly the funniest movie in the Internet Archive. How on earth it fell into the public domain is beyond me. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell play off each other like a string of firecrackers, with dialogue that crackles with wit. The little digs at media and politics are gloriously snide. ("They... they ain't human!" "I know, they're newspapermen.") And watch for inside jokes hidden in the script. ("He looks just like that actor fellow... Ralph Bellamy!") You'll go a long way to find anything funnier than this film, before or since. If you don't watch any of the others I've posted, you'll still want to see this one.

"And that, my friends, is my farewell to the newspaper game."*

Monday, June 23, 2008

Maybe miracle, maybe not.

Sometimes the Lord is funny. You can pray and pray for a miracle, and just when you've pretty much resigned yourself to a "no," He does something completely unexpected.
The really fun bit of news is that my dad's blood work was all within normal range, which is pretty friggin' unusual for a guy who has leukemia.

Internet people, there is no amount of spin I can put on this that will improve your opinion of me. I know it looks like I lied to you three weeks ago when I said he would die any minute. I swear, I didn't. We have no idea what his bone marrow looks like. He could still have leukemia. But if he does, it's not hanging out in his blood, which is where it likes to hang out when it is busy killing people.

I don't know much about leukemia, but I do know that there are a lot of people praying for Nina's dad, including people who aren't in the habit of praying. I don't want to start shouting about a miracle just yet, but it looks like it can't be ruled out, either.

On a mostly unrelated note, I meant to link Nina's post a while back about Jesus, scotch and marshmallows. I envy Nina her humility sometimes. If it were me, I'd be pretending to be all penitent rather than admit how hard it is sometimes to get back onto speaking terms with Jesus. Nina is a lot more honest.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Brendon one, Pompous Neo-Know-Nothing zero

I love it when uninformed blowhards pontificate about their chosen field of ignorance. The Inquisition is one of the few things that can unite Chick-tract-thumping mouthbreathers and atheists educated beyond their intelligence. Brendon channels Aquinas in a polite but corrective response to this ignorama.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pre-Father's Day reading

I don't know if I'll actually post anything on Father's Day, but we can get the Dad-ism going with this on why Homer Simpson is EveryDad.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Take me out to the ball game

For the last couple of years, Moses Lake has had a kind of a Z-league semi-collegiate baseball team, and we'll be going to see them tomorrow night. (It's Herald night, and paper employees and families get in free.) Nobody's ever going to mistake the Moses Lake Pirates for the Mariners, but in a town this size, it's good to have our own team to root for. We're the smallest town in the league, but our boys kick butt with the best of them. (Up to taking the championship last year!)

Where I grew up in Goldendale, little league and high-school football games were the biggest entertainment in town during the season. I actually played little league for a couple of years. I don't know if other guys my age remember these, but the league usually had a "loser team" with really patient coaches so that the kids who hadn't a hope of being any good on the field could still play. (Sort of a Bad News Bears without Tatum O'Neal and with less skill.) Not surprisingly, I was on that loser team every year. (Bernie Leingang and Pastor Sid Cox, if you ever Google your names and run across this, thank you for coaching us. You guys had patience that would make Job look like a crankhead.)

Go Pirates!

Update: Whupped up on the Olympia Athletics 5-1, which leaves us 6-0 for the pre-season. Like I told a co-worker at the game: Our votes may not count for anything in Olympia, but we can sure kick their hiney on the ball field!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I was cleaning my stuff out of a drawer at work today that I haven't used in a long time, and I came across this picture from nine or ten years ago. We must have been at a party at someone's house, as we're wearing name tags and I don't recognize the furniture. The little girl in the sweater and glasses is Ceidwen, my wharf rat oldest daughter. For perspective's sake, she's now twenty and about to render me an ancestor. (And knockout beautiful rather than cute.) But there was a time when she was (a) little, (b) adorable and (c) unembarrassed to be in her dad's company.

I can't wait to see how this comes out

Lesbosians sue lesbians for besmirching their identity.
Three residents of the Greek island of Lesbos submitted a request to court against the Greek Association of the Communities of Homosexuals and Lesbians (OLKE), national media reported today.

The islanders demanded that the use of the words ‘lesbian’ and ‘lesbians’ be banned in the name of the association and by media, the Greek Naftemporiki newspaper reported. The submitters of the request claimed that the words’ adoption and use by the gay communities insults their place of origin and themselves. Many of the island’s women, they said, are ashamed to say where they come from.

This could open the way for lawsuits from Holland, as well. Stay tuned.

Baptist conversions taking a dip

I couldn't resist.

Damn global warming!

At this rate, we'll greenhouse ourselves straight into another ice age.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A legal perspective

KG has a good dissection of the California gay marriage ruling here. I don't think it's going to be the end of civilization, but I do dread the climate of mandatory approval that I think is going to follow.

'The gas prices we deserve'

George Will:
America says to foreign producers: We prefer not to pump our oil, so please pump more of yours, thereby lowering its value, for our benefit. Let it not be said that America has no energy policy.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Remembering D-Day

More than any other day, June 6 is the time to recite the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V:
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

No matter how many times I read that, I can't get to the end without a throat-lump.

Centuries later, I wonder if Patton had that passage in his head when he addressed his men before D-Day:
There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, 'Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.' No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, 'Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!'"

Read the whole thing here. Warning: Patton should have been named the Poet Laureate of Profanity, but it's all the more stirring for being phrased in a soldier's terms.

He was completely wrong in one thing, however: when he said "Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle." Fully half the men who landed that first day didn't make it to the second. My God. Half.

We owe our freedom to all soldiers, but more than any others, to those who landed at Normandy. For those who still remember the most decisive battle in modern times, and those who never came back, thank you, sirs. Just... thank you.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Heavy religious question

When Mormon kids play in a field, do they get Gentile oats in their socks?