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Movie Quotes – Day 238

Well, someone’s got to break the ice, and it might as well be me. I
mean, I’m used to being a hostess, it’s part of my husband’s work. And
it’s always difficult when a group of new friends meet together for the
first time, to get acquainted. So I’m perfectly prepared to start the
ball rolling. I mean, I-I have absolutely no idea what we’re doing here.
Or what I’m doing here, or what this place is about, but I am
determined to enjoy myself. And I’m very intrigued, and, oh my, this
soup’s delicious, isn’t it? — Clue

The Louisville Zoo has a large, caged in area where they keep the lorikeets.  Basically, these are small, obnoxious parrots that have learned that when humans stand with their arms outstretched, small cups of sugar-water can be found at the end of those arms.  It’s cute, and neat, and very noisy.  When not lapping up sugar-water, the birds hang from the netting on the walls and, well, screech at each other.  Imagine about 30 colorful birds, each the size of a pigeon, chattering and screeching non-stop, and you have the lorikeet exhibit.

Now, imagine how I feel when someone is making small talk for the sake of small talk.  At a party, it’s like being in that cage with the lorikeets again.  Every person is chirping and squawking about nothing in particular, until someone randomly lands on a subject that everyone wants to talk about.  Then the volume goes up, but at least the content does as well.

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but I see it more in the suburban south than I ever saw in the rural to semi-rural North.  I heard someone once quip that Minnesota is where the introverts stare at their shoes and the extroverts stare at your shoes, and that fits.  Get a bunch of us together, and if we can’t find a subject that everyone wants to talk about, and we’ll sit in relatively comfortable quiet, enjoying our meal or our ever-present cup of coffee.*

I’m not saying that I discourage conversation, but I do want conversation to have a point.

 

*That’s another thing I’ve noticed.  Back home, regardless of the season, if someone is coming over or just drops by, a pot of coffee is going to get made.  Down here, it’s sweet tea.

Movie Quotes – Day 237

Life goes on even for those of us who are divorced, broke and sloppy. — The Odd Couple

The worst day of my life, up to that point, was the day I came home and the house was silent.  No sounds of dinner being made, no singing from the kids’ rooms, no cartoons on the TV.  Most of the furniture was gone, as were the toys and clothes, but hand-drawn pictures and cut-outs were still taped to Little Bear’s door.

My family was gone, and I lived in the shell that used to be our home for months before I could get things well enough together to move on.  It took me almost two weeks before I could go in Girlie Bear’s room to clean it up and pack away what little was left.

I was down in a hole, and there wasn’t much sunlight reaching me.

It took months, but eventually I could look up again.  Friends started commenting that it was good to see me smile again, and as the day that I would see the kids grew closer, I did it more and more.

I didn’t really notice when the new normal started to feel pretty good, but it probably came at some point after I started having the kids for weekends on a pretty regular basis.  It took a lot of work, as well as a huge disruption in everyone’s life, but I figured it out.  Someone was there for me to lean on, and they had the wherewithal to know when to listen and when to kick me in the butt.

Life gets better, so long as you’re willing to not give up.  Maybe, for a time, all you’re doing is going through the motions, but eventually you will come out the other side and stand in the sunlight again.

Today’s Earworm

This one goes out to Crash the Combat Kitten, who was very friendly and playful after he noticed I was eating leftover roast chicken for breakfast.

 

Thoughts on the Day

  • The mystery of Girlie Bear’s missing cell phone was solved today when Irish Woman and I returned to the place we held her birthday party last weekend.  It was in a drawer in a coffee table.  When asked about that, Girlie Bear said she’d put it there so it wouldn’t get wet and she wouldn’t lose it.
    • That sound you heard at about 2 PM this afternoon was my cranium meeting the heel of my right hand. Repeatedly.
  • My darling girl roasted herself at the car wash yesterday.  If her neck was any more red, she’d be mistaken for a native Kentuckian.
  • What is it about suburban shopping centers that makes normally intelligent people turn into absolutedumbasses?
    • Seriously, a woman in a minivan cut Irish Woman off as she tried to park at the grocery store, then waved in a friendly manner as she backed up to let us in, then almost cut us off again after Irish Woman began to pull forward.
  • It was probably not very smart of me to use the term “pond water” to describe Irish Woman’s rate of speed this afternoon, but in my defense, I had to get to work.
  • When you walk out of your office at 11:30 PM, and you immediately start sweating, that’s a good indicator that this will be a good week to sit inside and work on the Great American Novel.
    • Or get caught up on laundry, cooking, organizing, dusting, and all the other things that the weather has just been too nice for this summer.
  • It is good that the new donut shop near work is open 24 hours.  A small coffee gave me just enough of a jolt to get me home safely.

Movie Quotes – Day 236

It’d be funny if life weren’t so sacred. – The Fly

When I do my “News Roundup” posts, I try to avoid stories that might be called “Darwin Award” entries.  While I do poke fun at the well-earned misfortunes of others, I draw the line at laughing at their deaths.  Yes, there are times when the death of a dumbass is worthy of public ridicule, but beyond said dumbass is a family that is mourning.  If I ever die doing something stupid, and even at 43 that’s a possibility, I would hate for Irish Woman and the children to stumble upon someone pointing a finger at my stupidity and laughing.

I think that’s also why I believe wholeheartedly in self-defense, no matter which measures are used.  My life is precious, and those of my wife, children, family, and friends are even more so.  Yes, shooting is a lot of fun, but I have to take care to always remember why I practice, why that safe holds a gun for every member of my household.  Because those lives are sacred to me, I am willing to fight, and possibly die, to protect them.

100 Years On – Turning Points

On August 23, 1914, two momentous battles were fought in Europe.

The first, at Mons, was the first big engagement for the British Expeditionary Force.  Britain hadn’t fought a major battle on the Continent since Waterloo, and this was a test of the training and doctrine of the past 100 years.  Small compared to the French and German armies, the BEF relied on discipline and skill to overcome numerical deficiencies.  Mons has become a legend in British military history, as stories of the battle highlight British marksmanship and discipline.  However, even had the French not retreated from their flanks, the BEF probably wouldn’t have been able to hold against the German onslaught.  The retreat from Mons continued for weeks, and only ended when the Germans turned in front of Paris, precipitating the Battle of the Marne.

The other battle was the titanic clash that has become known as Tannenberg.  In this engagement, the Russian Second Army and the German Eighth Army met in Prussian territory as part of a Russian stab into Germany.  German forces on the Eastern Front were only supposed to hold the Russians until the French and British were crushed, but due to superior generalship, superior reconnaissance and intelligence work, and infighting between the Russian commanders, the Germans were able to concentrate their forces against the Russians and defeat them in detail.  The German commanders, Hindenburg and Ludendorff, made their reputations at Tannenberg, and were effectively running Germany by the end of the war.  The commander of the Russian Second Army, Samsonov, was so ashamed of his performance at Tannenberg that he committed suicide rather than face capture or facing the Tsar.  After defeating the Russians at Tannenberg, the Germans attacked the Russian First Army at the Masurian Lakes.  This battle also ended in a Russian catastrophe, and set the tone for the entire war on the Eastern Front.  With some exceptions, the Russians always seemed to come up short in one critical part of the fight or another, and their continued incompetence and inability to win led, in large part, to the collapse of the Romanov dynasty and the Communist coup in 1917.

So, what are the lessons from these two battles?  From Mons, we should learn that no matter how excellent your army is, quantity has a quality all its own.  The Germans were well led and well equipped, and vastly outnumbered the BEF.  No matter how good the British soldiers and leaders were, they could not stand for long against the storm that was breaking across their front.

From Tannenberg, we can learn the opposite lesson.  With large numbers must also come expertise, at all levels.  The First and Second Armies were arguably the best formations that the Russians had, and they vastly outnumbered the Germans.  But incompetence on the part of their leadership, lack of discipline on the part of the soldiers, and failures to remember that the enemy rarely does as you think he will led to the destruction of both.  If you’re going to put together a large force, you have to make sure they are trained, equipped, and led well enough to win.

In other words, you can go too far either way.  A small, well-disciplined and led army can be overwhelmed, but a ponderous, massive army that is short on everything, especially leadership, can be easily cornered and dismembered.  Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot of an army that is large enough to handle most opponents, but small enough that it can be led by mortals and equipped and trained without emptying the treasury.

Thoughts on the Day

  • I think we’ve turned a corner with Boo.  He sat through a haircut without parental supervision, which is something completely new.
  • Boo also sat quietly while waiting for said haircut, reading a children’s’ magazine, and singing “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep” to himself.
    • Yeah, I’m going to have to claim this one.  There’s no doubt he sprang from my loins.
  • I had to explain to Boo that there is no goalkeeping in putt-putt golf, and he is not allowed to hip check me as I walk past him to take a shot at the hole.
  • I got a couple of looks from other parents when one of the JROTC cadets asked me if it she was supposed to take charge and get her fellow cadets to clean up after their car wash, and I told her to “unleash hell”.
  • You know, volunteering is one thing.  But to volunteer to pour glasses of beer for 4000 people at a fundraiser at the zoo, while on call for work and therefore forbidden to drink any of said beer, is going above and beyond.
    • Once I pass off the pager, I’m going to try a sampler of Belgian beers just to satisfy my curiosity.

Movie Quotes – Day 235

Villainy wears many masks, none of which so dangerous as virtue… — Sleepy Hollow

Which is more dangerous, the guy in the djellaba waving a rifle around and threatening to blow up Chicago, or the guy who wears a suit and shames us for looking askance at the guy in the djellaba?  Which is more treacherous, the woman who holds up the bank, or the lady who abuses the trust of the bank’s customers to pillage their deposits?  Which is more treasonous, the guy who tries to sell the secrets of our nation to a foreign power, or the politician who does his best to undermine the Constitution?

Musings

  • Nothing bleeds like a head wound.
  • Nothing bleeds like a head wound you give yourself.
  • Nothing bleeds like a head wound you give yourself by pushing a thumbtack into your scalp.
    • Don’t ask.  I’m just that stupid.
  • Irish Woman went to the doctor today for her two-week post-op checkup.  Doctor got called for emergency surgery this morning, and was running a couple of hours behind.  Irish Woman is a bit of a germophobe, and sat in a waiting room full of very ill people while she waited her turn.
    • I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to rig up a rubbing alcohol shower for her when I get home.
  • When you do something out of the ordinary, don’t get pissy when half the people you depend on to get it done have questions.
  • Could Eric Holder be considering a run for the presidency?  We know the vice-president has aspirations for 2016, but he’s been completely absent from the Ferguson kerfluffle.  The AG picked a time in the crisis when things were already on the down-turn, went in, told people about how he felt their pain, and the media is fawning over his ‘influence’ on the issue.

Movie Quotes – Day 234

Tonight, on the Clamp Cable Classic Movie Channel, don’t miss Casablanca, now in full color with a happier ending. — Gremlins 2:  The New Batch

There are some things that can be improved, and there are a lot of things that are better left the heck alone.  Black and white is not improved by colorizing, either in photographs or movies.  Literature written when things that make us blanch now were common phrases does not need a rewrite, and neither do classic cartoons.  The fact that such things were acceptable at one time or another is part of our history, and we risk repeating the past when we ignore it.  Antique guns, even those available in their millions, don’t deserve to be chopped up, chromed, painted, and have doodads hung from them.

To quote pdb – Is fine!  Learn to appreciate things from the past for what they are, and stop trying to gild the lily.

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