Politeness in All Things

A slice of life from when my sons were eleven years younger than they are now.We are raising very polite children, apparently. Yesterday David and James were playing with David's Star Wars Lego toys, and in between such comments as "We are evil!" (said in a low, gutteral voice), "I put the girl in the dungeon with the ogre." and "Where is the girl?" "The girl is in the box." were occasional statements like, "Thank you, Darth Vader," and "That was very nice of you, Darth Vader," (invariably … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: The College of Cardinals

Choral group The College of Cardinals is one of the longest lived ensembles in history, and would probably be the top-selling a cappella singers in the world today were it not for their eccentric release schedule. The Cardinals are a kind of all-star group, drawing the best singers from choirs all over the world, yet it is not unusual for a newly tapped member to die before ever having recorded a note with the full group.Rare as they are, however, each new track receives a great deal of … [Read more...]


This bit is a re-run from November, 2002."From what I just read, she was enough.""Enough to be getting started with, I guess. You can't run a sideshow with only one attraction.""But what an attraction!""That's true. She was the foundation of his fortune, right enough. 'Course, she ruined him too." Hank leaned over and spat in the can by the wood burning stove, then tipped back in his chair, front legs off of the floor. "You never saw her, I collect?""You know I never did, … [Read more...]

The Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Pauline Privilege and the Annulments

Born Minerva Murphy, Pauline Privilege was a singer and band-leader in the waning years of the Big Band Era. Not only a singer but also a lyricist and arranger, she was well known for her arrangements (some said re-arrangements) of such popular tunes as "I Can't Get Started," "Tipi-Tipi Time's Up," "One O'Clock Stump," and "It's Over." She was a lively performer, interspersing her songs with comic patter and bad jokes. The name of her band, the Annulments, was both a running gag and an … [Read more...]

Beauty and the Beast: The Secret History

So what's the real story of Beauty and the Beast?This is a post from the first incarnation of my blog, back in October of 2002. In those days I was still creating the blog pages "by hand" rather than using software like WordPress, and my eldest was five years old. It was the first in a series I'd intended to write, entitled "Pedant Errant", but alas! it was the only post of its kind.As everyone with children already knows, Disney has just released Beauty and the Beast on DVD. My … [Read more...]

The Warden

The Warden is the first of Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire novels, which I started reading many years ago during one of my Great Literature kicks. Every so often I figure that there's more to life than genre fiction, and go looking for something more classic. At that time I was a participant in the rec.arts.books newsgroup on Usenet (remember that?) and lots of people were talking about Trollope, so I gave it a go. I got through the first two books in the series, had trouble locating the third … [Read more...]

Chicken-based Camera Stabilization

You too can use a chicken to stabilize your long video shots!This one's for Tom McDonald, noted Chicken Fancier, courtesy of PetaPixel. … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Obscure Catholic Music: Wimple

The girl group Wimple emerged on the Seattle music scene in the early 1990's with a not particularly infectious blend of pop standards, show tunes, and contemporary worship music. Although the band performed live in full habit, wimple and all, it was never clear whether or not the members were actually Catholic sisters, as they refused all interviews and never gave their personal names. They released two albums, the self-titled Wimple in 1989 and a follow-on, Roses and Thorns, in 1990, neither … [Read more...]