Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dad Update

Haven't mentioned much about my Dad lately. No news is good news right? Well, I just got off the phone with my Mom. My brother was just there, he stopped by on his way to my niece's graduation in Pennsylvania. My Dad fell again. This time he broke his arm. My Mom said he's going to have to stay in a Rehab type hospital until his arm heals. She said she can't take care of him with his broken arm. She's been doing pretty much everything for him, helping him walk, shaving him, bathing him, etc. But at least with two arms he was some help, now with an arm out of commission she just won't be able to do it. Plus he hasn't been doing his exercises. I think his mental state has just gotten so bad because he thinks he is going to die. Hopefully the Rehab will make him do his exercises. I think if he can get some strength back up so he can do some things on his own it will help his spirits. Part of the problem is his breathing, which he has a lot of trouble. Smoking has just about killed his lungs, so he has a lot of trouble breathing, which makes it hard to do things.

I'm sorry, I'm kind of just running in circles here and not really sure how much sense I'm making, but it helps just to put it down here. I'm thinking of maybe trying to take a few days off to try and go see him and help my Mom get him situated in the Rehab. I don't know if it will help or not, he might think my coming up there now means he is about to die.

The kids were supposed to come back with my brother after the graduation, but probably won't now. My Mom will be spending all her time at the Rehab with my Dad, so they'd be stuck at their house with no where to go. They could visit my Dad, but they're not going to want to spend 12 hours a day there. Though they probably would, I've never seen two kids that think so much of a grandparent.

You know you never think about things like this. I always just thought that both my parents were always going to be there. I knew that sooner or later that they would die, but I just figured it was always going to be later. I hate that later is becoming much too soon.

Sometimes it's hard to just know what to do.

Thirteen Thursday #27: 13 Random Books

Thirteen Random Books From My Book Shelf Number #27

Ok, I've missed the last three weeks of Thirteen Thursday. I feel like I missed turning in my homework or something, this is something that should be done on Thursdays. The first one I really had a good excuse, I was in Washington D.C. and had no internet access. The next week I started one, but kept having trouble downloading music to it. We all know the problems I've had with music on here, I didn't want to blast everyone with 13 songs singing at one time again. I finally figured it out, but it was two weeks later, so that was kinda late. But I'm back finally.

This 13 I stole, eh...borrowed the idea from Trav who made a list of the first 13 books from his bookshelf. I'm not going to list the first 13 but a random 13 that I can see from my desk. I have a bookshelf behind the desk with a walkspace between them that covers one wall of the room. This bookshelf holds pretty much paperback books. So with that long winded introduction to this 13 out of the way here they are, in no particular order:

1. Max by Howard Fast. This is not one of his series novels which is what hooked me into him in the first place.

2. The Best of Raymond Z. Gallun. This book was published back when Del Rey (I don't think they are still publishing under that name, are they?) was doing a whole series of Best of Books from great science fiction writers. Gallun was a writer from the thirties.

3. Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card. A time travel story involving Christopher Columbus. Card is one of my favorite writers with the Ender series.

4. Knight Life by Peter David. King Arthur comes back to life in the present and in New York City. A humorous take on the story by a writer more known for his comic book work.

5. Galaxy: The Best of My Years by James Baen. Galaxy was a science fiction magazine that published some of the best science fiction ever written. Baen was one of its last, if not last editors before the magazine folded. He published some great work by writers like Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, Ursula K. LeGuin, John Varley and Roger Zelazny. He also brought in Spider Robinson to do book reviews. Spider was one of my favorite reviewers ever.

6. Love, Dad by Evan Hunter. Hunter is better known as Ed McBain, the mystery novelist who created the 87th Precinct. He also wrote the book the movie Blackboard Jungle was based on and the script for the movie The Birds. Evan Hunter was his real name and he wrote many great novels under that name also.

7. The Many Colored Land by Julian May. Part of a science fiction/fantasy series that I read years ago and actually can't remember a lot about.

8. In The Blood by Nancy Collins. This is part of her Sonja Blue vampire series. I think this series is so much better than the much over rated Vampire novels by Anne Rice.

9. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty. One of the best western novels ever. A really great story. I remember when I picked this book up for the first time, not really sure if I would like it, I'm not a big reader of westerns. I couldn't put it down, it was one of the books that I read as fast as I could turn the pages and did not want to put down.

10. Slam the Big Door by John D. McDonald. One of the greatest writers ever. The creator of perhaps the finest private detective series ever, Travis McGee. This is not part of his series, it was one of the many non series mysteries he wrote over the years.

11. Journey by Marta Randall. I remember really liking this novel years ago. It's a science fiction story and had a sequel to it.

12. The Iron Fist by Norman Spinard. Another science fiction novel about an alternate world ruled by the Nazis.

13. The Werewolf Principle by Clifford Simak. Simak wrote a lot of science fiction novels that might not have reached literary heights but always told a great story with believable people.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


What sport's early history, including Merkle's Boner and Snodgrass' Muff, did Lawrence Ritter bring to life in The Glory of Their Times?

Yesterday's answer: Santino, or Sonny


In 1988, what band released Lap of Luxury, containing the #1 hit "The Flame?"

Yesterday's answer: "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)"


CONCOMITANT: accompanying especially in a subordinate or incidental way

"Concomitant" was introduced into English at a time when many people were criticizing the use of Latinate forms in favor of more "native" words from Old English. As a descendant of the Latin concomitari ("to accompany") and ultimately of comes, the Latin word for a companion, "concomitant" may well have been initially derided as an ostentatious inkhorn term. Indeed, two associated words, the verb "concomitate, which means "to accompany," and another adjective, "concomitaneous," meaning "of a concomitant nature," didn't last to accompany "concomitant" into the 18th century.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Coming Up

June 1st is the start of Hurricane Season. Always a fun time down here in New Orleans. Let's all hope it's as slow a season as last year.

Will He or Won't He?

Of course the big question this Presidental election is if Al Gore will run. He says he hasn't decided yet, but I think he's thinking of it. My problem with the two front running Democrats is that I don't think they can win the general election. I think Al Gore could win.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a President that actually can put words together to formulate a coherent sentence?


Who was the first of Vito Corleone's to bite the dust?

Yesterday's answer: Pat the Bunny


Rupert Holmes reached #1 on the Pop charts in 1979 with what narrative song about the personal want ads and a tropical drink?

Yesterday's answer: Yes I Am


NE PLUS ULTRA: 1: the highest point capable of being attained: acme 2: the most profound degree of a quality or state

It's the height, the zenith, the ultimate, the crown, the pinnacle. All these expressions, of course, mean "the highest point attainable." But "ne plus ultra" may top them all as a way to say something that is the pink of perfection. It's said that the term's predecessor, non plus ultra, was inscribed on the Pillars of Hercules at the Strait of Gibraltar, which marked the western end of the classical world. The phrase served as a warning: "(Let there) not (be) more (sailing) beyond." The New Latin version ne plus ultra, meaning "(go)" no more beyond," found its way into English in the 1630s.

What Else Would She Be Doing?

It's been awhile since I posted a picture of Buffy, so here it is.

TopBlogMag #9 is Out!

Even though I'm not in this new issue (cause I'm dumb and couldn't remember what day it was) you should still check out the newest issue of Top Blog Mag. It's number nine and it's out there right now. Go check it out.

New Paul

For some of us there is a certain magic to the voice of Paul McCartney. I don't say I like everything he does, in fact there's a lot he has put out that I'm not that big a fan of, but there's just something about hearing him sing. I guess it makes me think of the Beatles.

He has a new album coming out soon called Memory Almost Full. This is the fist single, video from that album. I think it's a fun upbeat song. I like it.

Manic Monday #17: Red

Today's word is Red. (And I'm a day late I know. Sorry.) For Red I went with my favorite superhero: Daredevil.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


What bestseller did Dorothy Kunhardt come up with in 1940, after pasting factile objects into a book for her three year old daughter, Edith?

Yesterday's answer: Terry Brooks


Happy Birthday to Melissa Etheridge whose 1994 single "I'm the Only One" reached the top of the charts. What multi=platinum record is the song on?

Yesterday's answer: Mac Davis


MYRIAD: 1: ten thousand 2: a great number

In English, the "ten thousand" sense of "myriad" mostly appears in references to ancient Greece. More often, however, English-speakers use "myriad" in the broad sense, both as a singular noun and as a plural noun. "Myriad" can also serve as an adjective meaning "innumerable." "Myriad" derives from Greek myrias, which in turns comes from myrioi ("countless" or "ten thousand").

Monday, May 28, 2007

Science Fiction Book Club To End

For 54 years the Science Fiction Book Club offered a place to purchase inexpensive hardbound editions of some of the best science fiction books out there. They also printed up their own versions of paperbacks in hardbound and even did special editions of books. They also were a place to find graphic novels and other art books.

You've seen their ads, like the one above. If you read a science fiction book you'll probably come across a sheet advertising the above deal stuck in the book. You get the first five books for a dollar and agree to buy so many more in the next year for regular club prices. The regular club prices are still a good deal lower than what you'd find at the local bookstore.

I remember after I got my first job, one of the first things I did was join the SFBC. I couldn't wait. I'd seen their ads and been figuring out which books I wanted. I remember I bought Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions and I think Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. As soon I was able to I remember getting Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter Martian series. At that time the regular club price was $1.98. A deal you couldn't beat. A large chunk of my science fiction library is made up of books I bought from the SFBC.

I can still remember the feeling I had when those books arrived. The size of the box. Back than as a kid we didn't have the disposable income that kids today seem to have. Getting something like this in the mail was a big thing to me. I remember opening it and pulling the books out of that box, it was like Christmas morning. Having books delivered to me.

It's a shame that the Club is closing down. I'm sure there are still a lot of kids (and even adults, I'm still a member) out there that need a place like it to be able to afford to purchase everything they want. The closing seems to be another symptom of the consolidation of publishing companies. The SFBC was owned by Bookspan and was purchased six weeks ago by Bertelsmann.

A shame.


What author first pit heroes from the Word against villains from the Void in Running with the Demon?

Yesterday's answer: Donald E. Westlake


Famously sung by Elvis Presley the song "Memories" was penned by the man who's song "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" reached #1 in 1972.

Yesterday's answer: Paul McCartney


DEPORTMENT: the manner in which one conducts oneself: behavior

"Deportment" evolved from the verb "deport," meaning "to behave especially in accord with a code," which in turn came to us through Middle French from Latin deportare, "to carry away." (You may also know "deport" as a verb meaning "to send out of the country"; that sense is newer and derives directly from Latin deportare.) "Deportment" can simply refer to one's demeanor, or it can refer to behavior formed by breeding or training and often conforming to conventional rules or propriety.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In Honor of Those Who Have Died...

The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I think about the people that fought in the wars,
some have died to keep us free.

I think about the men and women,
Who saved lives on land and at sea.

I look at the monuments,
In memory of the brave.

I help plant red flowers
At my grandfather's grave.

At the parade, I see flags flying,
Red, white and blue.

I watch rows of different uniforms,
Navy, white and brown too.

The soldiers salute with pride.

Memorial Day remembers and honors
those who have died.

But, nevertheless, the generation that carried on the war has been set apart by its experience. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference, and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition, we have seen with our own eyes, beyond and above the gold fields, the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us. But, above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.

The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
The soldier's last tattoo'
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few;
On Fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread;
But Glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies,
All is well, safely rest.
God is nigh.

Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear
Friend, good night.


Pictures: All are by me.

1. Gettysburg Address by Johnny Cash
2. Tonight In America by David Lynn Jones
3. Inaugural Address by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
4. Eulogy by Edward Kennedy
5. Chimes of Freedom by the Byrds
6. America the Beautiful by Ray Charles
7. This Land Is Your Land by Bruce Springsteen

1. Dirge For Two Veterans by Walt Whitman
2. In Flanders Field by John McCrae
3. Memorial Day by Anna, a 3rd grader
4. Memorial Day Speech by Oliver Wendal Holmes
5. The Bivouacs of the Dead by Theodore O'Hara
6. Taps by Major General Daniel Butterfield, Army of the Potomac

Happy Camper

I'm a Happy Camper right now! Ever since I upgraded to Vista I've been having problems with my scanner/copier. Yea, that's right, the one that I just bought not that long ago. I could get it to copy, but for some reason I could never get the scanner to work. I went to HP's home page and tried to upgrade the drivers with the Vista upgrade. Nothing seemed to work. Eventually I uninstalled the whole thing and tried to re install it. No go, I think because my operating system is Vista and the software was for XP. So now I was really getting upset. This has been going on for the last month or two. So today I went to the HP page and was able to upload everything I needed to get the thing working. And wonder or wonders! It actually works now. So be prepared for lots of pictures and stuff that I've been wanting to scan in. :)

: National Zoo

Speaking of Buddy Holly...

Since I mentioned Buddy Holly in the Don McLean post I figured I should show the singer in action. Plus it gives me an excuse to put up a video of Buddy Holly. The song title "That'll Be The Day" Buddy got from a phrase that John Wayne used in the movie The Searchers. The night he was killed in the plane crash Waylon Jennings was the guitar player for Buddy. Waylon was supposed to be on the plane, but gave up his seat to the Big Bopper.

Some Meanings Behind American Pie

In 1959 Buddy Holly along with Richtie Valens and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash. Buddy Holly was one of the first rock and roll singers to write, produce and arrange his own music. In 1969 Don McLean wrote a song called "American Pie" that referenced this plane crash. There are many references to other singers and historical acts in this song. The following video sheds some thoughts on what some of these ideas in the song might have been about.

New Artist: Eric Church

Eric Church is a country singer. But he plays what a lot of what might be called country today, but is closer to country rock. He even says in the lyrics of one of his songs that he likes his "country rockin'." His album Sinners Like Me was released last year.

He sings from a working man's perspective. He sings of working for a living and wondering/worrying if he has gotten his girlfriend pregnant. To make sure you realize he is a country singer he puts in the requisite references to cowboy boots, skool rings in the pocket and a salute to Merle Haggard. Yet he overcomes these cliched country topics and makes his songs more than just another singer in a cowboy hat (which I'm not even sure he wears).

Church was born in Granite Falls, North Carolina and started writing songs at the age of 13. It was a few years later that he realized if he wanted to perform these songs he was writing he needed to learn to play guitar. He attended college and graduated and than moved to Nashville where he sought a recording career.

Since I'm not that much a fan of country music I'm not sure how popular Church is. I just heard his music a month or so ago, the song "Before She Does" which says Jesus will come back before his girlfriend. The song grabbed me at first listen. It told the story of an ordinary man and it had a catchy chorus with some humor in it. So while he may be a new artist to me, he might already be a star out there in country land.

His song "How 'Bout You?" tells you of his beliefs and makes a good song:

New Shannon McNally Tour Dates

I've talked about Shannon so many times on this blog that everyone that reads this will know how I feel about her and her music. She is going on tour this summer with Marc Broussard. If you have a chance to see her I would recommend checking her out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
June 2

Virginia-Highland Summerfest
Virginia Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
For more information:

June 7
Wakarusa Festival
Lawrence, KS
Campground Stage
For more information:
For tickets:

June 8
Wakarusa Festival
Lawrence, KS
Revival Stage
For more information:
For tickets:

Sunday, June 10th
423 N Main St
Tulsa, OK 94103 USA
Opening for Son Volt
For more information:
For tickets:

June 14
The Powerhouse
Songwriter Circle
PO Box 544
Oxford, MS
Singer songwriter in the round with Shannon McNally, Sid Selvidge and Theresa Anderson

Wednesday, June 20th
Work Play Soundstage
500 23rd Street South
Birmingham, AL 35233
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Friday, June 22nd
Rabb’s Steakhouse
Ruston, LA 71270
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Saturday, June 23rd
Grant Street Dance Hall
113 West Grant Street
Lafayette, LA 70501
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Sunday, June 24th
New Daisy Theatre
330 Beale St.
Memphis, TN 38101
(901) 525-8981
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Thursday, June 28th
House of Blues
2200 North Lamar Street
Dallas, TX 75202
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Friday June 29th
La Zona Rosa
612 West 4th Street
Austin, TX 78701
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Saturday, June 30
Warehouse Live
813 St. Emanuel Street
Houston, TX 77003
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Monday, July 2nd
The Tamiami
242 1st Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 550-0419
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Tuesday, July 3rd
House of Blues
1490 East Buena Visa Drive
Lake Buena Visa, FL 32830
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Thursday, July 5th
Studio A
60 NE 11th St
Miami, FL 33132
(305) 358-7625
All Ages
For more information click
For tickets click

Tuesday, July 10th
Bijou Theatre
803 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Thursday, July 12th
Cannery Ballroom
One Cannery Row, Ste. 100
Nashville, TN 37203
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Friday, July 13th
Center Stage
1374 West Peachtree N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30309
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Saturday, July 14th
Neighborhood Theatre
511 East 36th Street
Charlotte, NC 28205
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Sunday, July 15th
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW
Washington DC
All Ages
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Monday, July 16th
Paradise Rock Club
971 Commonwealth Avenue 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02215
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

Wednesday, July 18
Starland Ballroom
570 Jernee Mill Rd,
Sayreville, NJ 08872
(732) 238-5500
All Ages
For more information:
For tickets click

Thursday, July 19th
The Filmore New York at Irving Plaza
17 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
16 (or all ages with an adult)
Marc Broussard’s Soul Revue Tour
For more information:
For tickets:

July 21
Celebrate Brooklyn
95 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
For more information:


What Brooklyn-born crime writer has penned novels under the pseudonyms Curt Clark, Tucker Coe, Timothy J. Culver and Samuel Holt?

Yesterday's answer: Gore Vidal's


The manager of Grand Funk Railroad is John Eastman. He is brother-in-law to what famous singer-songwriter-bass player? Correction time, folks, John Eastman was not manager but lawyer to the group. But the question is still about who his famous brother-in-law is.

Yesterday's answer: The Band


LEITMOTIF: 1: a melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation in a music drama 2: a dominant recurring theme

The English word "leitmotif" (or "leitmotiv," as it is also spelled) comes from the Greek Leitmotiv meaning "leading motive" and from leiten ("to lead") and Motiv ("motive"). In its original sense, the word applies to opera music and was first used by writers interpreting the works of composer Richard Wagner, who was famous for associating melodies with certain characters or important dramatic elements. "Leitmotif" is still commonly used with reference to music and musical drama, but is now also used more broadly to refer to any recurring theme in the arts or in everyday life.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Whose seven-book "Narratives of Empire" series includes Burr and Lincoln?

Yesterday's answer: The Anarchist Cookbook


Stevie Nicks and Levon Helm both celebrate birthdays today. Nicks played in Fleetwood Mac while Helm played in what band?

Yesterday's answer: The Marshall Tucker Band


TALISMAN: an object thought to act as a charm

We might have borrowed "talisman" from French, Spanish, or Italian, since all three languages include similar-looking words for a lucky charm. Those three words derive from a single Arabic word for a charm, tilsam. Tilsam in turn can be traced to the ancient Greek verb telein, which meant to "to initiate into the mysteries."

Veronica Mars Ends

Perhaps my favorite show on television right now has been officially canceled. Not much more I can say than that.

Evidence of My Geekness

I'm not sure if I bought this after the first movie or inbetween one of the other two. I know I've had it for a long time. It's a remote control R2D2. I have no idea where the remote control for it is, so I seriously doubt it still works. But it makes a great bookend.

Thirty Years Ago Today

Thanks to Heidi I realized that today, thirty years ago Star Wars came out. Today it's hard for someone to realize what it was like before this movie. Star Wars changed the way movies were made, the way they were promoted, the way they were merchandised. Before this movie came out no one had any idea it was going to be the hit it became. George Lucas had did American Graffiti before Star Wars, and while that movie was a hit, it was nothing like what Star Wars would become.

I have to admit that I saw Star Wars in the theater when it first came out, making me somewhat old I guess. I remember seeing it at the old theater that was by Oakwood Mall on the Westbank at the time. It was a fairly small movie house, especially by today's standards. I think it had three screens and was no where as fancy as today's movie houses. Still I can remember the excitement that I felt when I walked into that theater room and sat down to watch the movie.

I was a fan of science fiction and comic books at that time. (What do I mean at that time, like how much has really changed?) I may be wrong about this part, but I seem to remember that the Marvel Comic adaptation of the movie was already started by the time the movie hit the screens. But I do know word of the movie was making the rounds in the science fiction world. Some magazine were praising the movie and others were already attacking it. So I walked into that theater already with a feeling for the movie.

I was excited. To me this was the pay off for being a science fiction and comic book geek. What I read was coming to life today in ways that no movie had ever been able to pull off before. When I sat down and the screen came to life and that starship appeared and just seemed to fill the screen I was in awe.

So much of that movie just hit home with me. The bar many times had I as a science fiction fan read such a scene set in such a bar, but here it was brought to life, with aliens that looked alien. Much has been made about the dirt and clutter that Lucas brought to the movie, giving it a lived in appearance. Such a small thing perhaps, but it was just one of many things that clicked.

There have been few movies that made me feel like that one did when I first saw it. The next two sequels were close. (I'll leave saying anything about the more recent three movies, my Mother always said if I can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything.)

I remember in certain scenes in the first three movies when the audience actually cheered and clapped. I can't recall the last time I was in a movie where anyone in the audience made any noise, unless it was to talk on a cell phone. That was the type of reaction these movies had with people.

I haven't watched the movies in awhile, maybe this weekend I'll have a Star Wars weekend. I hate to say, but after the more recent three movies it was easy for me to forget what Star Wars meant, what it was in the beginning. But no matter what I think of them I have the first three to watch and thrill to.

Friday, May 25, 2007


What notorious how-to book did author William Powell later renounce as "a misguided and potentially dangerous publication?"

Yesterday's answer: Jo


Today's "Brain-Rocker" clues are:

1: 70's Southern Rock band
2: Brothers
3: "Can't You See"
4: "Fire on the Mountain"

Yesterday's answer: Bob Dylan


ASPERSION: 1: a sprinkling with water especially in religious ceremonies 2: a slanderous or defamatory remark

"Aspersion" comes from the Latin word aspersus, itself a derivate of the verb aspergere, which means "to sprinkle" or "to scatter." When it first appeared in English in the 16th century, "aspersion" referred to the types of sprinklings (for instance, of holy water) that occur in religious ceremonies. But English-speakers noted that splatterings can soil and stain, and by 1596 "aspersion" was also being used for reports that stain or tarnish a reputation.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Which of the Little Women sells her hair to help pay for the care and safe return of their ill father?

Yesterday's answer: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever


What singer-songwriter was born Robert Zimmerman on this date in 1941?

Yesterday's answer: "Alison"


LUCID: 1a: suffused with light: luminous b: translecent 2: having full use of one's faculties: sane 3: clear to the understanding: intelligible

It's easy enough to shed some light on the origin of "lucid." The adjective derives from the Latin verb lucere, meaning "to shine," and has been used by English-speakers since at least the late 16th century. Although it once meant merely "filled with light" or "shining," "lucid" has developed extended senses and is now used to describe someone whose mind is clear or something with a clear meaning. Other shining examples of lucere descendants include "translucent," "lucent" ("glowing"), and the somewhat rarer "relucent" ("reflecting light" or "shining"). Even the word "light" comes from the same ancient word that led to lucere.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


What Barbara Robinson favorite describes what happens when "the worst kids in the history of the world" misinterpret the Christmas story?

Yesterday's answer: Maximum Bob


Elvis Costello's 1977 album My Aim is True features a song about a girl named?

Yesterday's answer: Bruce Springsteen


OPPROBRIUM: 1: something that brings disgrace 2a: public disgrace or ill fame b: contempt, reproach

Borrowed into English in the 17th century, "opprobrium" came from the Latin verb opprobrare, which means "to reproach." That verb came from the noun probrum, meaning "disgraceful act" or "reproach." The adjectival form of "opprobrium" is "opprobrious," which means "scurrilous" or "infamous"; one might commit an "opprobrious crime" or be berated with "opprobrious language." Probrum gave English another word, too, but you might have a little trouble guessing it. Give up? The word is "exprobrate," an archaic synonym of "censure" or "upbraid."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


What Elmore Leonard book stars "Big" Bob Gibbs, a judge who likes to throw the book at crooks?

Yesterday's answer: Rosamunde Pilcher


This artist released the album The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle in 1973. You'll find the song "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" on the album.

Yesterday's answer: Barenaked Ladies


FORAY: 1: a sudden or irregular invasion or attack for war or spoils: raid 2: a brief excursion or attempt especially outside one's accustomed sphere

"Foray" comes from the Middle English forrayen and ultimately from the Anglo-French word foreer, a back-formation of furrier, meaning "raider" or "forager." It's related to the word "forage," which usually means "to search for provisions." In its earliest sense, "foray" referred to a raid for plunder. Telatively recently, the word began to take on a broader meaning. In a sense, a foray is still a trip into a foreign territory, but these days looking and plundering needn't be involved. You can simply make a foray into an unfamiliar area, occupation, or pastime.

Maggie Brown

Listen to this woman, she's good.

Manic Monday #16: Graphic

Today's word for Manic Monday is Graphic. Lots of ways this word could be used, but I'm going for the term Graphic Novel.
Published in 1971 Blackmark was a science fiction/fantasy story by Archie Goodwin and Gil Kane. This was published as a paperback original and some site this as the first American graphic novel.
Published in 1978 and created by Will Eisner A Contract with God is one of the earliest graphic novels. Eisner would go on to help carve a place for the graphic novel in the comic book medium.Another early graphic novel was The First Kingdom by Jack Katz. It was originally published as individual issues and later collected into a collection of trade paperbacks in the mid 1970s.
Sabre by Don McGregor and Paul Gulacy was published in 1978 as the first graphic novel in the newly created Direct Market Sales.
Dave Sim wrote and drew 300 issues of Cerebus the Aardvark and collected the stories in multiple volumes, telling the life story of the earth pig as one long graphic novel.
One of the most important graphic novels to be published was Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.Heartbreak Soup was by Gilbert Hernandez and published in Love and Rockets. The story is set in the fictional village of Palomar in Central American and his writing has been compared to the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Pride of Baghdad is a more recent addition to the line of graphic novels. It is by Brian Vaughn and Niko Henrichon. It is based on a true event when four lions escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during the American attack on the city.

Monday, May 21, 2007


What romance author, living in Invergowie by Dundee, was Scotland's highest-earning writer until J.K. Rowling started bewitching readers?

Yesterday's answer: Children of a Lesser God


Blending comic relief into their pop rock songs, this Toronto-based band (often referred to as BNL) amuse fans with their hit from 2000 "If I Had a $1,000,000."

Yesterday's answer: "La Bamba"


ANTITHETICAL: 1: constituting or marked by the opposition or contrast of ideas @; being in direct and unequivocal opposition

"Antithetical" and "antithesis" entered English in the 16th century. Their etymological aths pass through Late Latin and ultimately lead to Greek (the Greek verb antitithenai means "to oppose" and "antithesis" means "opposition"). The oldest sense of the English "antithesis" refers to a language pattern that contrasts parallel ideas, as in "action, not words" or "they promised freedom and provided slavery." "Antithetical" can mean "constituting or marked by such language patterns"; for example, you could say that the phrase "action, not words" is "an antihetical construction." It is more common in current use, however, for "antithesis" to mean "the exact opposite" and for "antithetical" to mean "directly opposite," with special emphasis on the diametrical nature of the opposition.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Buffy Season 8 continues

Buffy Season 8 continues with Joss Whedon writing the first arc of the comic book series. In the second issue Amy the Witch comes back and leaves Buffy in a magic induced coma in which she can only be awakened by a kiss from someone in love with her. Willow comes back and the two witches have a battle royal. To wake Buffy Willow, Xander and a bunch of the new slayers are gathered around her and Willow plunges the room into darkness, saying that there is someone in the room that is in love with Buffy and this person can kiss her and bring her back. The third issue brings back Ethan Rayne (in a sense) as a guide through Buffy's mind. The end of this issue brings back someone completely unexpected. Dawn is still a giant.

Bones Again

A few posts back I mentioned that I had started to watch the first season of the tv show Bones on DVD. I've watched about a dozen episodes so far and I have to say this is becoming one of my favorite new shows. The characters are great and the storylines have been interesting. The show mixes in humor with the drama and has given all the characters life. If you haven't watched this show yet, I highly recommend it.


What Mark Medoff play finds a teacher at a school for the deaf engaged in a sign-language battle of wits with a rebellious kitchen-maid?

Yesterday's answer: Never Cry Wolf


In 1987, Los Lobos had a #1 hit with which Ritchie Valens' song?

Yesterday's answer: Spice Girls, Spice


HALCYON: 1: calm, peaceful 2: happy, golden 3: prosperous, affluent

According to Greek mythology, Alkyone, the daughter of the god of the winds, became so distraught when she learned that her husband had been killed in a shipwreck that she threw herself into the sea and was changed into a kingfisher. As a result, ancient Greeks cells such birds alkyon or halkyon. The legend also says they so charmed the wind god that he created a eriod of unusual calm that lasted until the birds' eggs hatched This legend prompted people to use "halcyon" both as a noun naming a genus of kingfisher and as an adjective meaning either "of or relating to the kingfisher or its nesting period" or "calm or peaceful."


The space shuttle Atlantis, just after sunrise. I haven't posted any Space pictures in awhile and figured it was time for some more.

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