Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poem o' the Week: O water, voice of my heart

O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand,
All night long crying with a mournful cry,
As I lie and listen, and cannot understand
The voice of my heart in my side or the voice of the sea,
O water, crying for rest, is it I, is it I?
All night long the water is crying to me.
Unresting water, there shall never be rest
Till the last moon droop and the last tide fail,
And the fire of the end begin to burn in the west;
And the heart shall be weary and wonder and cry like the sea,
All life long crying without avail,
As the water all night long is crying to me.
- Arthur Symons
Arthur Symons

Monday, November 16, 2009

Poem o' the Week: The Turtle Dove ( English Folk Song)

The Turtle Dove

Fare you well, my dear, I must be gone,
And leave you for a while;
If I roam away I'll come back again,
Though I roam ten thousand miles, my dear,
Though I roam ten thousand miles.

So fair thou art, my bonny lass,
So deep in love am I;
But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
Till the stars fall from the sky, my dear,
Till the stars fall from the sky.

The sea will never run dry, my dear,
Nor the rocks melt with the sun,
But I never will prove false to the bonny lass I love,
Till all these things be done, my dear,
Till all these things be done.

O yonder doth sit that little turtle dove,
He doth sit on yonder high tree,
A-making a moan for the loss of his love,
As I will do for thee, my dear,
As I will do for thee.

Bryn Terfel Sings "The Turtle Dove", Arr. R Vaugh Williams
This is from the Last Night of The Proms. I wish the some of the Proms, especially the Last Night were broadcast in the USA.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Poem o' the Week: Silent Noon by D.G. Rossetti

Silent Noon

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)

YOUR hands lie open in the long, fresh grass,—
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
’Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass, 
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn hedge.
’Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky,—
So this wing’d hour is dropped to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

Ian Bostridge Sings "Silent Noon" Comp. Ralph Vaugh Williams

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Belle Baker Sings "Blue Moon"

My favorite version of this song. ENJOY!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Arnold Friberg's Famous RCMP Paintings

Arnold Freiberg did a series of paintings for the Northwest Paper company calendars for the printing trade that was very popular.  The paper company wanted to prove the quality of their paper and its ability to hold gorgeous colors so the company chose the subject of the mounties in their iconic red jackets and the beautiful landscapes of the Canadian wilderness.  (Surely one of the great marketing moves of all time.)

Spring Time in The North

"Maintaining the Right"
This painting was commissioned by the RCMP.

Just for fun, let's not forget Nelson Eddy, the best singing Mountie!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Poem o' the Week


DARK, deep, and cold the current flows
Unto the sea where no wind blows,
Seeking the land which no one knows.

O'er its sad gloom still comes and goes
The mingled wail of friends and foes,
Borne to the land which no one knows.

Why shrieks for help yon wretch, who goes
With millions, from a world of woes,
Unto the land which no one knows?

Though myriads go with him who goes,
Alone he goes where no wind blows,
Unto the land which no one knows.

For all must go where no wind blows,
And none can go for him who goes;
None, none return whence no one knows.

Yet why should he who shrieking goes
With millions, from a world of woes,
Reunion seek with it or those?

Alone with God, where no wind blows,
And Death, his shadow—doom'd, he goes.
That God is there the shadow shows.

O shoreless Deep, where no wind blows!
And thou, O Land which no one knows!
That God is All, His shadow shows.

-Ebenezer Elliott. 1781–1849

Friday, October 9, 2009

Black Bart - Jersey Giant Chicken

Black Bart is the young rooster.  He's almost three months old and supposedly could weigh 12 pounds when mature.  I feed him enough nutritious food - he'd better get huge. 
The problem is that General Patton is so agressive we fear for Black Bart's well being. They are always separated. Should General Patton become a Sunday dinner with dumplings?

Chickens Meet Bobcat

Why are the young chickens hiding in the tall grass at 4:00 in the afternoon?    A bobcat came out of the brush at the end of the yard and was stalking them.  The cats ran away, the rabbit jumped around in her cage and the chickens hunkered down in a clump of timothy grass. I shot the bob cat THREE times with the BB gun before it left. It jumped in the air and made a 360° summersault. Very funny, too bad I didn't get that on video! The chicks usually let me herd them around the yard, but I could not lead them back to the coop, so I picked them up two at a time and locked them up. All is well. I hope the bobcat doesn't become a pest, it's a gorgeous animal and it's probably easier to shoot than trap.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pulp of the Day - "Soft Bodies for the Nazi's Hall of the Living Dead!"

Pulp of the Day Blog is highly recommended - check it out:
Leave an entry for the caption contest..
I love the character on the right grasping the victim's thigh.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It was a fun Labor Day

I may - or may not - have saved this spunky gopher from the Jaws of Death...
Girly is a tiny cat and an excellent hunter. Gophers are like mini beavers - all teeth, and very feisty. Girly had a hard time delivering the coup de grace because the gopher was fighting back. The gopher did not appear to be seriously wounded so I put it under a woodpile to recover. It was such a spunky lil' bastard I thought it deserved a second chance. (Of course, if there was a gopher snake under the woodpile, I didn't do the gopher any favor.) Mind, if the gopher had been the little digging demon of the lettuce patch who ate a row of parsley, I would have cheerfully delivered the coup de grace myself!
The camera amplifies all the background noise, but you can hear the gopher chattering his teeth. So cute!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Charles Laughton, The Great Ham

This is a very cute, fluffy, highly enjoyable film where Laughton plays a distinguished stage actor and even greater ham. Maybe he played himself.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Big Book Of Lesbian Horse Stories

"When these Sapphic sisters saddle up, ecstasy is only a heartbeat away."

Buy your copy today!!!
Won't this perpetuate the myth that women like to ride astride for the - ahem - stimulating effects?

Horse o' The Week - Section D Welsh Cob

A great description here:
Section D Welsh Cob Mare

Section D Welsh Cob Stallion


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Olivier Latry plays opening chant at Mass at Notre Dame

Olivier Latry, one of the best organists in the world, is one of three organists of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The organist cannot directly see the cantor or chorus, so watches them via video or a mirror.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One Guinea Pig in the Hand is Worth Two in the...?

Guinea Pigs are entertaining animals who speak with funny squeaks and whistles. I used to have several and when I came home from work, would be greeted with a chorus of  "Wheek!Wheek! Wheek!" all demanding food of course. They are a favored food source in the Andes.  Peruvian restaturants are getting popular in the USA - I wonder if they serve guinea pig? I'd try it if it was on a menu.   The babies are born with teeth, fur and their eyes fully open, they can eat adult food almost immediately.  There is nothing cuter!
This little fellow was very mellow!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Famous People - Admit it - You Wish You Could be this Man

Louis XIV
...[his] vanity was without limit or restraint." -- St. Simon

"Dieu a donc oublié tout ce que j'ai fait pour lui?"
Has God forgotten all I have done for him? - Louis XIV

Friday, August 28, 2009

Horse o' The Week - Dutch Harness Horse

The Dutch have a tradition of exceptional harness horses.  Traditionally, they were versatile horses, strong enough for farm work and elegant enough to take the family on outings or to compete.  Since WWII and the decline of farm horses, they are now bred for sport.  The breed was refined with an infusion of Hackney and American Saddlebred.  Breed standards are very strict and the population is small.  Like so many European Warmblood breeds, breeding stock goes through very strict testing in order to be registered. This ensures very high quality and exceptional health.
In the USA, they are crossed with Arabians to create a larger "Park" horse than the Saddlebred or Tennesse Walker.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal described the economic woes of the Amish.  The Amish benefitted during the recent contruction and housing boom. They used the extra income to purchase some luxuries, including fancy carriages (with LED lighting!) and Dutch Harness Horses.  It was the Cadillac Escalade of the Amish world.

(click to enlarge)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Igor and the Cotton Tail

This rabbit's feet didn't bring it any good luck this morning! Igor is a very good hunter. If only he would spend more time hunting rats in the hay barn...
Here is Igor in a more relaxed moment...such a sweetie

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bunschen, pet bunny

Bünschen lived in a pen, which was totally enclosed so other animals could not get at him. He had a large white bunny buddy named Bünzel who was very camera shy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Baby" Hen - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

5 weeks ago, a fluffy little black chick with a fuzzy yellow behind, today, a leetle chicken. Her name is Tooty. She has a hatch mate named Tweedy.

August 20, 2009

July 14 2009

Fourth Poem of the Week

A Sonnet of the Moon

Look how the pale queen of the silent night
Doth cause the ocean to attend upon her,
And he, as long as she is in his sight,
With her full tide is ready her to honor:
But when the silver wagon of the moon
Is mounted up so high he cannot follow,
The sea calls home his crystal waves to wone,
And with low ebb doth manifest his sorrow.
So you, that are the sovereign of my heart,
Have all my joys attending on your will:
My joys low-ebbing when you do depart,
When you return, their tide my heart doth fill.
So as you come and as you do depart,
Joys ebb and flow within my tender heart.

- Charles Best

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Third Poem of the Week

A Modest Love

The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little sparks their heat;
The slender hairs cast shadows, though but small,
And bees have stings, although they be not great;
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs;
And love is love, in beggars as in kings.

Where rivers smoothest run, deep are the fords;
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move;
The firmest faith is in the fewest words;
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love:
True hearts have eyes and ears, no tongues to speak;
They hear and see, and sigh, and then they break.

-Sir Edward Dyer

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Second Poem of the Week

The Silent Pool

Look downward in the silent pool:
The weeds cling to the ground they love;
They live so quietly, are so cool;
They do not need to think, or move.

Look down in the unconcious mind:
There everything is quiet too
And deep and cool, and you will find
Calm growth and nothing hard to do,
And nothing that need trouble you.
-Harold Monro

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Poem o' the Week

Night, and the wisdom of eternal loss,
and down the straight road, far as I can spy,
a form goes plodding, and that form is I,
a fated stone that cannot gather moss.

But faintly through the darkness he hears come
the echo of another's feet, and squares
his shoulders neath the burden that he bears,
steps out - and empty is the dark and dumb.
- Charles Williams

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Answer to MovieTone News Quiz

Answer to the quiz found at this blog:

1. Your favourite Humphrey Bogart film in which he doesn't play a gangster or a private eye. (Oh, and not including Casablanca either.)
The Caine Mutiny
2. Your favourite appearance by a star in drag (boy-girl or girl-boy).
1) William Powell in Love Crazy,
2) Lionel Barrymore in Devil Doll (I just had to mention this because it's such a uniquely entertaining film directed by Tod Browning. It also illustrates that there was no scenery Lionel Barrymore could not chew - completely appropriate in this story. Great special effects.)

3. Your favourite Laurel & Hardy film; short or feature, or one of each. (This will sort out the men from the boys - or perhaps the men from the girls.)
Babes in Toyland ( I love Victor Herbert, it's the winning touch for this film.)4. Your favourite appearance by one star in a role strongly associated with another star. (Eg: Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade, Grace Kelly as Tracy Lord, Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates...)
Jack Palance as Roy Earle
5. The thirties or forties star or stars you most think you'd like, but have yet to really get to know.
Female: Evelyn Venable
Male: John Boles musicals
6. Your favourite pre-Petrified Forest Bette Davis film.
Cabin in the Cotton7. Your favourite post-Mildred Pierce Joan Crawford film.
Sudden Fear is the best production and great acting from everyone. Very exciting and suspenseful.
“Humoresque” is a sentimental favourite – Crawford is very beautiful and touching, the music is lovely, the ending so…well, Crawford, in tears and soft focus, the Love Death from Tristan & Isolde . Who can resist? (SCTV also did a great parody of the film.)
8. Your favourite film that ends with the main character's death.
Cowboy: Western Union with Randolph Scott
Man: Sterling Hayden in Asphalt Jungle
Woman: Symphonie Pastorale with Michelle Morgan
Man & Woman: Odd Man Out
Child: Miracle of Marcellino (1955)
A Donkey: Au Hazard Balthazar
A Dog: The Biscuit Eater (1940)

9. Your favourite Chaplin talkie.
Monsieur Verdoux - so sinister, yet sentimental - a bigamist who murders to help his beloved wife10. Your favourite British actor and actress.
John Mills, Wendy Hiller (Great stars of some of my favorite British films: John Mills in Tunes of Glory, Hobson's Choice, Ending Up. Wendy Hiller in I Know Where I'm Going, Major Barbara, All Passions Spent)11. Your favourite post-1960 appearance by a 1930's star.
Male: Frederic March in Seven Days in May
Female: Bette Davis in Baby Jane. So over the top, yet convincing. Horrifying yet pitiful. (Crawford and Davis were really both perfect in the film. )
12. Dietrich or Garbo?
Dietrich – she had loads of talent. Garbo is beautiful and unique but not terribly talented. I like to look at pictures of Garbo, I like to watch Dietrich perform.13. Karloff or Lugosi?
I simply cannot choose between them. I ‘ll have to pass on this one.14. Chaplin or Keaton? (I know some of you will want to say both for all of the above. Me too. But you can't.)
Keaton15. Your favourite star associated predominantly with the 1950's.
50's Hollywood- Male: Stewart Granger, Female: Cyd Charisse
16. Your favourite Melvyn Douglas movie.
1930's : The Old Dark House
Over All: Hud. (In so many earlier films, Douglas seemed to play a trademark Melvin Douglas personality. I liked him much better after he did character roles.)

17. The box-office failure you most think should have been a success.
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
18. Your favourite performance by an actor or actress playing drunk.
1930's: John Barrymore in Dinner at 8. Very pathetic. He knew the subject!
1950s: Bing Crosby in The Country Girl. I was convinced that’s what Crosby was like in real life. (Whatever his flaws, I don’t think Crosby was ever a drunk)19. Your favourite last scene of any thirties movie.
Here's two completely different but equally effecting:
The End of Public Enemy when James Cagney is dumped at his mother's house strapped in a stretcher
The End of Maytime when the lovers are reunited
20. Your favourite American non-comedy silent movie.
The Man Who Laughs21. Your favourite Jean Harlow performance.
I've only seen a couple of her movies so I will choose "Dinner at Eight". I really need to see more of such a distinctive icon.
22. Your favourite remake. (Quizmaster's definition: second or later version of a work written as a movie, not a later adaptation of the same novel or play.)
I Died a Thousand Times – It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I seem to remember it’s as good as High Sirerra
23. Your favourite Orson Welles performance in a film he did not direct, not including The Third Man.
Father Mapple in Moby Dick
24. Your favourite non-gangster or musical James Cagney film or performance.
The Strawberry Blonde, Tribute to a Bad Man
25. Your favourite Lubitsch movie.
Touble in Paradise. ( It is my favourite Lubitsch film because I’m also a big fan of Kay Francis)
26. Who would win in a fight: Miriam Hopkins or Barbara Stanwyck? (Both in their prime; say in 1934 or so.)
Hopkins27. Name the two stars you most regret never having co-starred with each other, and - if you want - choose your dream scenario for them. (Quizmaster's qualification: they have to be sufficiently contemporary to make it possible. So, yes to Cary Grant and Lon Chaney Jr as two conmen in a Howard Hawks screwball; no to Clara Bow and Kirsten Dunst as twin sisters on the run from prohibition agents in twenties Chicago, much though that may entice.)
Basil Rathbone winning a sword duel against anyone else who could really fence. (Romeo and Juliet doesn’t count .)28. Your favourite Lionel Barrymore performance.
"On Borrowed Time"29. Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard or Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour? (See note on question 14.)
Hope & Goddard (Lamour is great but Goddard had more snap.)30. You won't want to answer this, but: there's been a terrible fire raging in the film libraries of all the major studios. It's far too late to save everything. All you can do is save as much as you can. You've been assigned the thirties. All you'll have time to drag from the obliterating inferno is one 1930's film each from Paramount, MGM, RKO, Columbia, Universal and Warners. Do you stomp around in a film buff's huff saying 'it's too hard, I can't choose just one' and watch them all go up in smoke? Or do you roll your sleeves up and start saving movies?
But if the latter: which ones...?
MGM: Maytime
Paramount: Trouble in Paradise
RKO: The Life of Vergie Winters
Columbia: The Miracle Woman
Universal: Bride of Frankenstein
Warners: The Roaring 20's
You didn’t mention Fox: Captain January. (quintessential Depression movie)

I’d like to add a couple items, just to share some pleasures:
Favourite 30's SciFi movie: Transatlantic Tunnel
Favorite Serial: King of the Royal Mounted

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Rooster, General Patton

This is General Patton. He's a year old and very friendly and also very agressive. He has really lived up to his name. He attacks everything, including me. At this time he has two wives: Mrs. Patton and Mrs. Henny Penny.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Horse o' the Week

For Independence Day we will honor the US Cavalry and the hardy remounts. Click on each image for full size picture.
20th Century
Union Cavalry

Morgan Stallion

Jenny Camp, US Army. 1932 Olympic Champion

Friday, June 5, 2009