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.