Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Such, Such Were the Joys ....

Since talk of the Prism program is in the air - Eric Arthur Blair was born on this day in 1903, in the Indian village of Motihari near the Nepalese border. His British father was an agent in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service (why is this job no longer available.) The family returned to England in 1907 so that young Eric could struggle and drop out of school. By 1921 he had returned to the subcontinent and joined the police in Burma (now known as Myanmar but for our purposes and to annoy the generals there, we'll continue to refer to it as Burma.)  He spent five years with the Burmese police before returning to England to quit and struggle. He stayed in England for a year, then went to France to be poor.

Finally he returned to England and wrote a book about being poor in Paris but no one wanted to publish it. He told his mother to burn the book (she did not), then wrote a new one about being a policeman in Burma. It too was rejected by several publishers. Meanwhile, however, his mother had been sneaking around with the book she hadn't burned and had found a publisher for her son.

Upon submitting the final manuscript to the publisher, Blair decided that a book about being poor in Paris written by a middle-class servant of the British Empire might not look good, so he decided to write under a pen-name. The name he chose was George Orwell.

Later he wrote a book about the poor voting habits of farm animals and another one about a future involving apple computer that sucked (he later acknowledged that it would have been a cheerier book if he hadn't been dying of tuberculosis).

Finally he became a Famous Author and even a Great Writer, but by then he was dead, whatever his name was.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A sad day for us

... But soon we shall die and all memory of those we knew will have left earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten.

But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love.

There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.... - Thornton Wilder 

Bon Voyage Romolo

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Don't you hate when this happens

The elastic on your panties gives way ...

Remember, make sure your undergarments are re-enforced with ACME waist bands. ACME re-enforced bands come in all sizes, are fantastically elasitc, and are great at tripping road runners (when used properly)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Honi soit qui mal y pense

There may always be an England even if they've lost their empire and world status because they still have had the same Queen for 60 years.

At 87, Elizabeth is the oldest living monarch in British history, although she isn’t the longest-reigning one. That honor goes to Queen Victoria, whose 63 years and seven months on the throne would be surpassed by Elizabeth in September 2015. (The closest analogy many people can identify with the “monarch for life” concept is the Catholic papacy. But even Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who is a year younger than Elizabeth, broke with centuries-old tradition when he resigned earlier this year because of his ailing health. )

There have been only three Diamond Jubilees of Heads of State celebrated throughout the world during The Queen’s reign. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand celebrated 60 years on the throne in 2006; the former Sultan of Johor (now a part of Malaysia) celebrated his in 1955; and the late Emperor Hirohito of Japan celebrated his in 1986.

Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom who served QEII

Sir Winston Churchill   1952–1955
Sir Anthony Eden            1955–1957
Harold Macmillan           1957–1963
Sir Alec Douglas-Home   1963–1964   
Harold Wilson                  1964–1970
Edward Heath                  1970–1974
Harold Wilson                  1974–1976
James Callaghan             1976–1979
Margaret Thatcher         1979–1990
John Major                      1990–1997
Tony Blair **                   1997–2007
Gordon Brown                 2007–2010
David Cameron  ***       current

*  Incredibly Churchill had the distinction of being the only MP to be elected under both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II.
**  Tony Blair was the first Prime Minister to have been born during The Queen's reign. He was born in early May, 1953 - a month before the Coronation.
*** David Cameron was born in 1966; Prince Andrew, the Queen's third child was already 6 years old at the time.

Presidents of the United States during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

(I wonder what filthy joke the Duke is telling Jackie)

Harry S. Truman                       - 1953
Dwight D. Eisenhower      1953 - 1961
John F Kennedy                1961 - 1963
Lyndon B. Johnson           1963 - 1969
Richard Nixon                   1969 - 1974
Gerald Ford                       1974 - 1977
James E. Carter                1977 - 1981
Ronald Reagan                 1981 - 1989
George H. W. Bush           1989 - 1993
William Jefferson Clinton 1993 - 2001
George W. Bush                2001 - 2009
Barack Obama.jpg            current

Presidents of France during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Vincent Auriol                             - 1954
René Coty                          1954 - 1959
Charles de Gaulle              1959 - 1969
Alain Poher (interim)         1969 - 1969
Georges Pompidou            1969 - 1974
Alain Poher (interim)         1974 - 1974
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing  1974 - 1981
François Mitterrand          1981 - 1995
Jacques Chirac                  1995 - 2007
Nicolas Sarkozy                 2007 - 2012
François Hollande              current

Chancellors of Germany* (the good one, not the communist one, shhh, don't mention WW II) during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Konrad Adenauer                  - 1963 
Ludwig Erhard              1963 - 1966
Kurt Georg Kiesinger    1966 - 1969
Willy Brandt                  1969 - 1974
Walter Scheel (interim)  1974 - 1974
Helmut Schmidt             1974 - 1982
Helmut Kohl                  1982 - 1998
Gerhard Schröder          1998 - 2005
Angela Merkel               current

Popes during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

(I wonder if they're saying, "What do you know, I'm the head of a church too!")

Pius XII                       - 1958   (shhh, don't mention WW II)  
John XXIII         1958 - 1963
Paul VI                1963 - 1978
John Paul I          1978 - 1978   (shhh, don't mention Godfather III)
John Paul II        19782005
Benedykt XVI    2005  - 2013  (shhh, don't mention WW II)
Francis I              current

The Queen's reign is longer than those of her four immediate predecessors combined (Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI). She is the third longest reigning British or English monarch, the second-longest-serving current monarch of a sovereign state (after King Bhumibol of Thailand) and the oldest reigning British monarch.

Put your feet up and have a G & T on us.

Et ita abscedit

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I read the news today

June 1, 1967 -
It was 46 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.

The Beatles officially released their new album and was certified "gold" on the same day of release.

It topped the charts all over the world, holding the number one slot in Britain for 27 weeks and for 19 in America. It received four Grammys including Best Album.

The album is a strange mix of songs about drug use, contrasting personae of the songwriters, heroin injection, teenage runaways, circuses (yeah right, more drug use), deep introspection, aging, amorous traffic enforcement agents and the mundane things in life, among other things.

What a cheerful album!

Jean Stapleton, RIP

First, you do a piece of material that begins and ends and has a flow; it's not chopped up as in a film, where in an extreme case you might be doing the last scene of the script the first day that you go to work, and you don't know enough about the character you're playing