Monday, September 22, 2008
1. Back when television was king, it was called the "boob tube". Now that we have the Internet, it is sometimes known as "the umbilical cord". Technology advances, but the metaphor regresses!
2. Van Horn's Corollary to Bettye Jean Triplett's Law (i.e., "The cavalry ain't coming."): "And if they do, the bridge will be out." Never count on the damned cavalry. Or bridges!
3. On the flight down from Boston to Mississippi yesterday, I read Andrew Bernstein's piece on Alistair MacLean in the Spring 2008 issue of The Objective Standard and, based on it, plan to obtain and read the following titles by Alistair MacLean: HMS Ulysses, The Guns of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, and The Secret Ways (aka The Last Frontier).
4. Before this summer's parade of tropical cyclones harshed my mellow, I was going to remark that this year's endearing semitropical quirk of Houston was the fact that on three occasions (that I can think of) this summer, I have recovered walking stick insects that have strayed into my home! If I find another one, I might try keeping it as a pet.
5. I remember this now because when I stopped north of town ahead of Hurricane Ike, my hosts had tree frogs climbing around the outside of their windows, much like the geckos my brother and I have on our houses. Aside from the garbage can, my geckos like to hunt for prey on my bedroom window at night with the help of a lamp that attracts unwary insects.
6. It is almost as if the southern legs of this trip have had "small, pretty animals" as a theme. Love bugs were out in force as I drove through northeastern Texas, and in Mississippi, my mother showed me a huge, magnificent, black and yellow spider with a beautiful, symmetric web outside her kitchen window. We can't get a good picture of it, though, thanks to the limitations of modern point-and-click cameras. They're all focusing on the screen between the glass and the spider. Mom may have figured a way around this. If it works, I'm posting a picture here.
7. During my research, I encountered a tangentially interesting article by someone whose last name was "Elfgang". Whatever it means in German, it evokes a wholly unintimidating and somewhat comic mental image in the of mind this English speaker!
8. C. August and I were thinking about meeting at a pub he described as "a place on Boylston (near the Publick Gahhden) that has a pretty good selection of beers.... I can picture it, but can't think of the name." We both turned out to be too busy to do so. When I was eating lunch, between errands in Cambridge later that day, I was looking at a tourist map and noticed the location of the Bull and Finch Pub and thought perhaps this was the place he was referring to. So I laughed. I must have seemed odd to the other patrons of the bah, staring at a map and laughing! The Bull and Finch isn't on Boylston, though, so the identity of the bah remains a mystery to me.
9. When Oliver Wendell Holmes described the State House in Boston as the "hub of the solar system", the Bostonians of the time "corrected" him by adopting "hub of the universe" as the nickname of their fair city. Creative and spirited, yes, but I must point out that they were merely being speculative. When I arrive there for good, they will, finally, be correct!
10. And yet, upon stumbling upon what turned out to be the "Hempfest" at Boston Common, I was walking behind a local who apparently self-identified as a prole! (His tee shirt read something like "Boston Proletariat"). I may post the snapshot I took of it later, if it isn't as fuzzy as it looks on the camera's viewer. Hempfest was unintentionally funny and, for about ten minutes, entertaining. Then we left.
Today: Corrected some formatting errors and a typo.