Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Quote I Like 3/31/10

If you live with someone with the "Sorry-I'm-Late Syndrome, you must resign yourself to never seeing the bride walk down the aisle, never seeing the opening moments of a movie, and never hearing the national anthem to a ball game.

- Erma Bombeck

More on Erma Bombeck

Innocents Abroad - Chapter Two - 18

by Mark Twain


A little after noon on that distinguished Saturday I reached the ship and went on board. All was bustle and confusion. [I have seen that remark before somewhere.] The pier was crowded with carriages and men; passengers were arriving and hurrying on board; the vessel's decks were encumbered with trunks and valises; groups of excursionists, arrayed in unattractive traveling costumes, were moping about in a drizzling rain and looking as droopy and woebegone as so many molting chickens. The gallant flag was up, but it was under the spell, too, and hung limp and disheartened by the mast. Altogether, it was the bluest, bluest spectacle! It was a pleasure excursion--there was no gainsaying that, because the program said so--it was so nominated in the bond--but it surely hadn't the general aspect of one.

Finally, above the banging, and rumbling, and shouting, and hissing of steam rang the order to "cast off!"--a sudden rush to the gangways—a scampering ashore of visitors-a revolution of the wheels, and we were off--the pic-nic was begun! Two very mild cheers went up from the dripping crowd on the pier; we answered them gently from the slippery decks; the flag made an effort to wave, and failed; the "battery of guns" spake not--the ammunition was out.

We steamed down to the foot of the harbor and came to anchor. It was still raining. And not only raining, but storming. "Outside" we could see, ourselves, that there was a tremendous sea on. We must lie still, in the calm harbor, till the storm should abate. Our passengers hailed from fifteen states; only a few of them had ever been to sea before; manifestly it would not do to pit them against a full-blown tempest until they had got their sea-legs on.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

More About This Book


This travelogue cemented this rising author's reputation when it was published in 1869.

Chapter Summary: Grand Preparations--An Imposing Dignitary--The European Exodus--Mr. Blucher's Opinion--Stateroom No. 10--The Assembling of the Clans
--At Sea at Last

Photo: Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) by Matthew Brady Feb. 7, 1871.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kim - Chapter One - 18

by Rudyard Kipling




The first minutes of the movie; the first pages of the book.




'It is written. I have read.'

'And, overshooting all other marks, the arrow passed far and far beyond sight. At the last it fell; and, where it touched earth, there broke out a stream which presently became a River, whose nature, by our Lord's beneficence, and that merit He acquired ere He freed himself, is that whoso bathes in it washes away all taint and speckle of sin.'

'So it is written,' said the Curator sadly.

The lama drew a long breath. 'Where is that River? Fountain of Wisdom, where fell the arrow?'

'Alas, my brother, I do not know,' said the Curator.

'Nay, if it please thee to forget--the one thing only that thou hast not told me. Surely thou must know? See, I am an old man! I ask with my head between thy feet, O Fountain of Wisdom. We know He drew the bow! We know the arrow fell! We know the stream gushed! Where, then, is the River? My dream told me to find it. So I came. I am here. But where is the River?'




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.

More About This Book


Kipling's novel of India and the British empire, published in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Illiad - Book One - 18

by Homer


As he spoke he wept aloud, and his mother heard him where she was
sitting in the depths of the sea hard by the old man her father.
Forthwith she rose as it were a grey mist out of the waves, sat
down before him as he stood weeping, caressed him with her hand,
and said, "My son, why are you weeping? What is it that grieves
you? Keep it not from me, but tell me, that we may know it
together."

Achilles drew a deep sigh and said, "You know it; why tell you
what you know well already? We went to Thebe the strong city of
Eetion, sacked it, and brought hither the spoil. The sons of the
Achaeans shared it duly among themselves, and chose lovely
Chryseis as the meed of Agamemnon; but Chryses, priest of Apollo,
came to the ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and
brought with him a great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the
sceptre of Apollo, wreathed with a suppliant's wreath, and he
besought the Achaeans, but most of all the two sons of Atreus who
were their chiefs.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

More About This Book


From the earliest days of Ancient Greece, the author(s) of this poem were contemporaries of the writers of the Bible's Old Testament.

Summary of First Book: The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws from the war, and sends his mother Thetis to ask Jove to help the Trojans--Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus.

Painting: The Wrath of Achilles by Michael Drolling, 1819.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thousand and One Nights - 18

The Merchant and the Genie


So they took me sleeping beside my wife and lifted us both up and threw us into the sea. When my wife awoke, she shook herself and becoming an Afriteh, took me up and carried me to an island, where she left me for awhile. In the morning, she returned and said to me, "I have paid thee my debt, for it is I who bore thee up out of the sea and saved thee from death, by permission of God the Most High. Know that I am of the Jinn who believe in God and His Apostle (whom God bless and preserve!) and I saw thee and loved thee for God's sake. So I came to thee in the plight thou knowest of and thou didst marry me, and now I have saved thee from drowning. But I am wroth with thy brothers, and needs must I kill them." When I heard her words, I wondered and thanked her for what she had done and begged her not to kill my brothers. Then I told her all that had passed between us, and she said, "This very night will I fly to them and sink their ship and make an end of them." "God on thee," answered I, "do not do this, for the proverb says, 'O thou who dost good to those who do evil, let his deeds suffice the evil doer!' After all, they are my brothers." Quoth she, "By Allah, I must kill them." And I besought her till she lifted me up and flying away with me, set me down on the roof of my own house, where she left me. I went down and unlocked the doors and brought out what I had hidden under the earth and opened my shop, after I had saluted the folk and bought goods.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Illiad by Homer.


More About This Book


From the Arab world: these stories date back to the Middle Ages.

Picture: Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryār.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lays of Ancient Rome - 17

Horatius at the Bridge
by Thomas B. Macaulay


XXXIII

Now Roman is to Roman
       
More hateful than a foe,
And the Tribunes beard the high,
       
And the Fathers grind the low.
As we wax hot in faction,
       
In battle we wax cold:
Wherefore men fight not as they fought
       
In the brave days of old.

XXXIV

Now while the Three were tightening
       
Their harness on their backs,
The Consul was the foremost man
       
To take in hand an axe:
And Fathers mixed with Commons
       
Seized hatchet, bar, and crow,
And smote upon the planks above,
       
And loosed the props below.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from the great Arab book Thousand and One Nights.

More About This Book


This poem celebrates one of the great heroic legends of history. Horatius saves Rome from the Etruscan invaders in 642 BC. Scottish poet Macaulay published this in 1842.

Illustration: Horatio at the Bridge from the first edition.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Friday, March 26, 2010

King's Gambit (2)

Get ready to play in a chess tournament this weekend.

Here's a little video to help you get your engine started. (-or to just learn a little more about the game.)





Chess events in your area . . . and visit The Chess Website who created these wonderful videos.

A Retrieved Reformation - 17

by O'Henry


"There isn't a man nearer than Little Rock who can open that door," said Mr. Adams, in a shaky voice. "My God! Spencer, what shall we do? That child - she can't stand it long in there. There isn't enough air, and, besides, she'll go into convulsions from fright."

Agatha's mother, frantic now, beat the door of the vault with her hands. Somebody wildly suggested dynamite. Annabel turned to Jimmy, her large eyes full of anguish, but not yet despairing. To a woman nothing seems quite impossible to the powers of the man she worships.

"Can't you do something, Ralph - try, won't you?"

He looked at her with a queer, soft smile on his lips and in his keen eyes.

"Annabel," he said, "give me that rose you are wearing, will you?"

Hardly believing that she heard him aright, she unpinned the bud from the bosom of her dress, and placed it in his hand. Jimmy stuffed it into his vest-pocket, threw off his coat and pulled up his shirt-sleeves. With that act Ralph D. Spencer passed away and Jimmy Valentine took his place.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Lays of Ancient Rome by Macaulay.

More About This Story


My favorite short story writer. His word play and his subject matter are the two best parts of his writing. This is one of his most admired stories.

Photo: Author's home in Austin, TX. Now the O'Henry Museum. (CC) Larry D. Moore.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday coming up

Watched Man from Uncle tonight

Wizard of Oz - Chapter Two - 17

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum


"Then that accounts for it. In the civilized countries I believe there are no witches left, nor wizards, nor sorceresses, nor magicians. But, you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from all the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and wizards amongst us."

"Who are the wizards?" asked Dorothy.

"Oz himself is the Great Wizard," answered the Witch, sinking her voice to a whisper. "He is more powerful than all the rest of us together. He lives in the City of Emeralds."

Dorothy was going to ask another question, but just then the Munchkins, who had been standing silently by, gave a loud shout and pointed to the corner of the house where the Wicked Witch had been lying.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from A Retreived Reformation by O' Henry.

The trailer of Judy Garland's breakout movie of 1939; why wasn't the rest of Baum's Oz books made into movies?

Illustrated: cover of the book's first edition in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Quote I Like 3/24/10


Service must be the ultimate motive of your life. Your work is the way you perform the service. Success, happiness, and prosperity come from having served well.


- Larry Winget

Innocents Abroad - Chapter Two - 17

by Mark Twain


My comrade took his purchase and walked out of the store without a word --walked out with an injured look upon his countenance. Up the street apiece he broke silence and said impressively: "It was a lie--that is my opinion of it!"

In the fullness of time the ship was ready to receive her passengers. I was introduced to the young gentleman who was to be my roommate, and found him to be intelligent, cheerful of spirit, unselfish, full of generous impulses, patient, considerate, and wonderfully good-natured. Not any passenger that sailed in the Quaker City will withhold his endorsement of what I have just said. We selected a stateroom forward of the wheel, on the starboard side, "below decks." It bad two berths in it, a dismal dead-light, a sink with a washbowl in it, and a long, sumptuously cushioned locker, which was to do service as a sofa—partly --and partly as a hiding place for our things. Notwithstanding all this furniture, there was still room to turn around in, but not to swing a cat in, at least with entire security to the cat. However, the room was large, for a ship's stateroom, and was in every way satisfactory.

The vessel was appointed to sail on a certain Saturday early in June.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

More About This Book


This travelogue cemented this rising author's reputation when it was published in 1869.

Chapter Summary: Grand Preparations--An Imposing Dignitary--The European Exodus--Mr. Blucher's Opinion--Stateroom No. 10--The Assembling of the Clans
--At Sea at Last

Photo: Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) by Matthew Brady Feb. 7, 1871.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kim - Chapter One - 17

by Rudyard Kipling




The first minutes of the movie; the first pages of the book.




'Thinkest thou? The books of my lamassery I read, and they were dried pith; and the later ritual with which we of the Reformed Law have cumbered ourselves--that, too, had no worth to these old eyes. Even the followers of the Excellent One are at feud on feud with one another. It is all illusion. Ay, maya, illusion. But I have another desire'--the seamed yellow face drew within three inches of the Curator, and the long forefinger-nail tapped on the table. 'Your scholars, by these books, have followed the Blessed Feet in all their wanderings; but there are things which they have not sought out. I know nothing--nothing do I know--but I go to free myself from the Wheel of Things by a broad and open road.' He smiled with most simple triumph. 'As a pilgrim to the Holy Places I acquire merit. But there is more. Listen to a true thing. When our gracious Lord, being as yet a youth, sought a mate, men said, in His father's Court, that He was too tender for marriage. Thou knowest?'

The Curator nodded, wondering what would come next.

'So they made the triple trial of strength against all comers. And at the test of the Bow, our Lord first breaking that which they gave Him, called for such a bow as none might bend. Thou knowest?'





Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.

More About This Book


Kipling's novel of India and the British empire, published in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Monday, March 22, 2010

Victoria (The Game)



Spent the weekend playing this. It is a strategy game set in the 19th. century. I took the USA. Discovered that the best way is to build up and then launch an early colonial war against Britain. It was important to launch the colonial war even though there's a 100 point loss in prestige because waiting for the various in-game opportunities to get a war "for free" results in a full-scale war where Britain can invade all your territories. In a colonial war, the combatants are not allowed to invade each other's states. I took over the NW territories that Britain would have conceded with the Oregon Compromise but this way, I got to snap up western Canada, too.

Launched a quick colonial war versus Russia in order to get Alaska. Then came the Mexican War in the 1840's. - A bunch of quick wars, but the result was an early domination of the North American continent. Now, I'm set to expand beyond it - after the Civil War, of course!

The Illiad - Book One - 17

by Homer


They stood fearfully and reverently before him, and never a
word did they speak, but he knew them and said, "Welcome,
heralds, messengers of gods and men; draw near; my quarrel is not
with you but with Agamemnon who has sent you for the girl
Briseis. Therefore, Patroclus, bring her and give her to them,
but let them be witnesses by the blessed gods, by mortal men, and
by the fierceness of Agamemnon's anger, that if ever again there
be need of me to save the people from ruin, they shall seek and
they shall not find. Agamemnon is mad with rage and knows not how
to look before and after that the Achaeans may fight by their
ships in safety."

Patroclus did as his dear comrade had bidden him. He brought
Briseis from the tent and gave her over to the heralds, who took
her with them to the ships of the Achaeans--and the woman was
loth to go. Then Achilles went all alone by the side of the hoar
sea, weeping and looking out upon the boundless waste of waters.
He raised his hands in prayer to his immortal mother, "Mother,"
he cried, "you bore me doomed to live but for a little season;
surely Jove, who thunders from Olympus, might have made that
little glorious. It is not so. Agamemnon, son of Atreus, has done
me dishonour, and has robbed me of my prize by force."




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

More About This Book


From the earliest days of Ancient Greece, the author(s) of this poem were contemporaries of the writers of the Bible's Old Testament.

Summary of First Book: The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws from the war, and sends his mother Thetis to ask Jove to help the Trojans--Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus.

Painting: The Wrath of Achilles by Michael Drolling, 1819.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thousand and One Nights - 17

The Merchant and the Genie


After a month's voyage, we came to a city, in which we sold our goods at a profit of ten dinars on every one (of prime cost). And as we were about to take ship again, we found on the beach a damsel in tattered clothes, who kissed my hand and said to me, "O my lord, is there in thee kindness and charity? I will requite thee for them." Quoth I, "Indeed I love to do courtesy and charity, though I be not requited." And she said, "O my lord, I beg thee to marry me and clothe me and take me back to thy country, for I give myself to thee. Entreat me courteously, for indeed I am of those whom it behoves to use with kindness and consideration; and I will requite thee therefor: do not let my condition prejudice thee." When I heard what she said, my heart inclined to her, that what God (to whom belong might and majesty) willed might come to pass. So I carried her with me and clothed her and spread her a goodly bed in the ship and went in to her and made much of her. Then we set sail again and indeed my heart clove to her with a great love and I left her not night nor day and occupied myself with her to the exclusion of my brothers. Wherefore they were jealous of me and envied me my much substance; and they looked upon it with covetous eyes and took counsel together to kill me and to take my goods, saying, "Let us kill our brother, and all will be ours." And Satan made this to seem good in their eyes.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Illiad by Homer.


More About This Book


From the Arab world: these stories date back to the Middle Ages.

Picture: Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryār.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lays of Ancient Rome - 16

Horatius at the Bridge
by Thomas B. Macaulay


XXXI

"Horatius," quoth the Consul,
       
"As thou sayest, so let it be."
And straight against that great array
       
Forth went the dauntless Three.
For Romans in Rome's quarrel
       
Spared neither land nor gold,
Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life,
       
In the brave days of old.

XXXII

Then none was for a party;
       
Then all were for the state;
Then the great man helped the poor,
       
And the poor man loved the great:
Then lands were fairly portioned;
       
Then spoils were fairly sold:
The Romans were like brothers
       
In the brave days of old.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from the great Arab book Thousand and One Nights.

More About This Book


This poem celebrates one of the great heroic legends of history. Horatius saves Rome from the Etruscan invaders in 642 BC. Scottish poet Macaulay published this in 1842.

Illustration: Horatio at the Bridge from the first edition.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Friday, March 19, 2010

King's Gambit (1)

Get ready to play in a chess tournament this weekend.

Here's a little video to help you get your engine started. (-or to just learn a little more about the game.)





Chess events in your area . . . and visit The Chess Website who created these wonderful videos.

A Retrieved Reformation - 16

by O'Henry


The old banker sprang to the handle and tugged at it for a moment. "The door can't be opened," he groaned. "The clock hasn't been wound nor the combination set."

Agatha's mother screamed again, hysterically.

"Hush!" said Mr. Adams, raising his trembling hand. "All be quite for a moment. Agatha!" he called as loudly as he could. "Listen to me."

During the following silence they could just hear the faint sound of the child wildly shrieking in the dark vault in a panic of terror.

"My precious darling!" wailed the mother. "She will die of fright! Open the door! Oh, break it open! Can't you men do something?"




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Lays of Ancient Rome by Macaulay.

More About This Story


My favorite short story writer. His word play and his subject matter are the two best parts of his writing. This is one of his most admired stories.

Photo: Author's home in Austin, TX. Now the O'Henry Museum. (CC) Larry D. Moore.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What's Going On

Deep into doing taxes today. CPA Chapter meeting tonight.

What did the ancient Egyptians think about their Pharoahs? - Particularly the one who was a woman?

If the Health Care Bill passes, will it actually have passed? - I mean with all the gimmicks, will it have really passed or will the Dems just say it did?

On the chess blog, USCF Executive Board Member Mike Atkins explains Armed Forces Chess.

And over in my finance blog, I blog about Dave Ramsay's advice to not worry about what people think of your makeover.

Wizard of Oz - Chapter Two - 16

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum


"But I thought all witches were wicked," said the girl, who was half frightened at facing a real witch. "Oh, no, that is a great mistake. There were only four witches in all the Land of Oz, and two of them, those who live in the North and the South, are good witches. I know this is true, for I am one of them myself, and cannot be mistaken. Those who dwelt in the East and the West were, indeed, wicked witches; but now that you have killed one of them, there is but one Wicked Witch in all the Land of Oz--the one who lives in the West."

"But," said Dorothy, after a moment's thought, "Aunt Em has told me that the witches were all dead--years and years ago."

"Who is Aunt Em?" inquired the little old woman.

"She is my aunt who lives in Kansas, where I came from."

The Witch of the North seemed to think for a time, with her head bowed and her eyes upon the ground. Then she looked up and said, "I do not know where Kansas is, for I have never heard that country mentioned before. But tell me, is it a civilized country?"

“Oh, yes," replied Dorothy.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from A Retreived Reformation by O' Henry.

The trailer of Judy Garland's breakout movie of 1939; why wasn't the rest of Baum's Oz books made into movies?

Illustrated: cover of the book's first edition in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day






Here's my new twist on Ireland's Day from three years ago.

Innocents Abroad - Chapter Two - 16

by Mark Twain


Ah, if I had only known then that he was only a common mortal, and that his mission had nothing more overpowering about it than the collecting of seeds and uncommon yams and extraordinary cabbages and peculiar bullfrogs for that poor, useless, innocent, mildewed old fossil the Smithsonian Institute, I would have felt so much relieved.

During that memorable month I basked in the happiness of being for once in my life drifting with the tide of a great popular movement. Everybody was going to Europe--I, too, was going to Europe. Everybody was going to the famous Paris Exposition--I, too, was going to the Paris Exposition. The steamship lines were carrying Americans out of the various ports of the country at the rate of four or five thousand a week in the aggregate. If I met a dozen individuals during that month who were not going to Europe shortly, I have no distinct remembrance of it now. I walked about the city a good deal with a young Mr. Blucher, who was booked for the excursion. He was confiding, good-natured, unsophisticated, companionable; but he was not a man to set the river on fire. He had the most extraordinary notions about this European exodus and came at last to consider the whole nation as packing up for emigration to France. We stepped into a store on Broadway one day, where he bought a handkerchief, and when the man could not make change, Mr. B. said:

"Never mind, I'll hand it to you in Paris."

"But I am not going to Paris."

"How is--what did I understand you to say?"

"I said I am not going to Paris."

"Not going to Paris! Not g---- well, then, where in the nation are you going to?"

"Nowhere at all."

"Not anywhere whatsoever?--not any place on earth but this?"

"Not any place at all but just this--stay here all summer."




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

More About This Book


This travelogue cemented this rising author's reputation when it was published in 1869.

Chapter Summary: Grand Preparations--An Imposing Dignitary--The European Exodus--Mr. Blucher's Opinion--Stateroom No. 10--The Assembling of the Clans
--At Sea at Last

Photo: Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) by Matthew Brady Feb. 7, 1871.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Child Support Versus Alimony

Regarding Tax Treatment of Divorces:

Did you know that alimony payments are deductible to the person having to pay, and taxable income to the person receiving it?

Child support, on the other hand, is not deductible or taxable. That's supposedly something parents would have to pay for their children whether they stayed married or not.

Kim - Chapter One - 16

by Rudyard Kipling




The first minutes of the movie; the first pages of the book.




Out shuffled the lama to the main hall, and, the Curator beside him, went through the collection with the reverence of a devotee and the appreciative instinct of a craftsman.

Incident by incident in the beautiful story he identified on the blurred stone, puzzled here and there by the unfamiliar Greek convention, but delighted as a child at each new trove. Where the sequence failed, as in the Annunciation, the Curator supplied it from his mound of books--French and German, with photographs and reproductions.

Here was the devout Asita, the pendant of Simeon in the Christian story, holding the Holy Child on his knee while mother and father listened; and here were incidents in the legend of the cousin Devadatta. Here was the wicked woman who accused the Master of impurity, all confounded; here was the teaching in the Deer-park; the miracle that stunned the fire-worshippers; here was the Bodhisat in royal state as a prince; the miraculous birth; the death at Kusinagara, where the weak disciple fainted; while there were almost countless repetitions of the meditation under the Bodhi tree; and the adoration of the alms-bowl was everywhere. In a few minutes the Curator saw that his guest was no mere bead-telling mendicant, but a scholar of parts. And they went at it all over again, the lama taking snuff, wiping his spectacles, and talking at railway speed in a bewildering mixture of Urdu and Tibetan. He had heard of the travels of the Chinese pilgrims, Fu-Hiouen and Hwen-Tsiang, and was anxious to know if there was any translation of their record.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.

More About This Book


Kipling's novel of India and the British empire, published in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Monday, March 15, 2010

Serbia Begins Revolution

This is Karadorde Petrovic aka “Black George”. He’s 33 years old and living in a turbulent time in a turbulent place.

Serbia is a Balkan country just SE of Austria. It is owned by the Ottoman Empire. The Empire owns all of the Balkans but it is in trouble.

Turk army leaders in the area (Dahis) have rebelled against the Sultan and have set up shop here and Bulgaria to the east. 11 years ago, the Sultan had tried to pacify the land with his first reform ferman (decree). He followed that up in 1795 with another reform bill. The Dahis ignore that along with the Sultan’s rule. In fact, their rule over the Serbs is harsher than ever.

The country is seething; their nobles plot action. But ten days ago, on February 4, 1804 the Dahis acted with a brutal plan of killings. This day is remembered by Serb historians as “The Massacre of the Serbian Knights”. But they missed one.

Black George and his men surprised the assassins sent to kill him. When the fight was over, he was alive. The assassins were dead.

Today, February 14, 1804 the remnants of Serbia’s leaders met at a small village of Orasac and elected the tough guy, Black George their leader. The fight for Serbian independence was on.

More information: Karadorde Petrovic, First Serb Uprising,

The Illiad - Book One - 16

by Homer


These, then, went on board and sailed their ways over the sea.
But the son of Atreus bade the people purify themselves; so they
purified themselves and cast their filth into the sea. Then they
offered hecatombs of bulls and goats without blemish on the
sea-shore, and the smoke with the savour of their sacrifice rose
curling up towards heaven.

Thus did they busy themselves throughout the host. But Agamemnon
did not forget the threat that he had made Achilles, and called
his trusty messengers and squires Talthybius and Eurybates. "Go,"
said he, "to the tent of Achilles, son of Peleus; take Briseis by
the hand and bring her hither; if he will not give her I shall
come with others and take her--which will press him harder."

He charged them straightly further and dismissed them, whereon
they went their way sorrowfully by the seaside, till they came to
the tents and ships of the Myrmidons. They found Achilles sitting
by his tent and his ships, and ill-pleased he was when he beheld
them.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

More About This Book


From the earliest days of Ancient Greece, the author(s) of this poem were contemporaries of the writers of the Bible's Old Testament.

Summary of First Book: The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws from the war, and sends his mother Thetis to ask Jove to help the Trojans--Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus.

Painting: The Wrath of Achilles by Michael Drolling, 1819.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kathy Starts Her Garden



Tuesday Kathy started work on the garden. It rained in the days since so the seeds have yet to be planted. She will get to that tomorrow.

Thousand and One Nights - 16

The Merchant and the Genie


In this situation we remained for some time, till one day, my brothers came to me and would have me go on a voyage with them; but I refused and said to them, "What did your travels profit you, that I should look to profit by the same venture?" And I would not listen to them; so we abode in our shops, buying and selling, and every year they pressed me to travel, and I declined, until six years had elapsed. At last I yielded to their wishes and said to them, "O my brothers, I will make a voyage with you, but first let me see what you are worth." So I looked into their affairs and found they had nothing left, having wasted all their substance in eating and drinking and merrymaking. However, I said not a word of reproach to them, but sold my stock and got in all I had and found I was worth six thousand dinars. So I rejoiced and divided the sum into two equal parts and said to my brothers, "These three thousand dinars are for you and me to trade with." The other three thousand I buried, in case what befell them should befall me also, so that we might still have, on our return, wherewithal to open our shops again. They were content and I gave them each a thousand dinars and kept the like myself. Then we provided ourselves with the necessary merchandise and equipped ourselves for travel and chartered a ship, which we freighted with our goods.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Illiad by Homer.


More About This Book


From the Arab world: these stories date back to the Middle Ages.

Picture: Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryār.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Health Care Bill

If I could do my own health care bill, here’s what it would have:

1) Lawsuit costs lowered. Limiting the scope of lawsuits would have an impact beyond just the costs insurance companies have to pass on to doctors (who pass those on to consumers). It would lower

.. a)health insurance costs because less medical care costs the less the insurer has to pay – and the less premiums they would need from consumers.
Defensive medicine (i.e. the extra treatment doctors/nurses have to do to cover their butts in case they are sued.)

.. b) Legal fees. Even when patients win lawsuits, you know who wins really, don’t you? The lawyers, of course.

2) More medical schools to address the doctor/nurse shortage in America. We’ve been covering that through our immigration policies but every doctor we steal from the rest of the world means that someone out there has to do without. There’s plenty of Americans who want to be health professionals, who would be good at it, but there’s no place for them because our nation’s medical schools are so limited. That’s the bottleneck.

We can build more – lots more – but that costs money. Spending health care money on doctors and nurses instead of lawyers and bureaucrats is a spending program we can understand. It puts our health care priorities right.

It will also ultimately address doctor fees. - Law of supply and demand: shortages drives prices up; abundance drives them down.

3) Insurance portability across state lines. Maybe the Department of Commerce will have to do some regulating but the ease on the insurance pressure on a mobile America will be worth it.

Now for something really, really radical . . . (Drumroll!)

4) Start New Health Insurance Companies. Why not? This is something those limosine liberals could easily do. Obama wants to give the insurance companies some “competition”. he calls their profits “obscene”. Then just reducing profit margins to the “spectacular” level so they can produce more generous insurance provisions would quickly transform the industry. – And they wouldn’t have to worry about Republicans, filibusters, or even Senate reconciliation provisions.

Icing on the cake (listen up Charles Rangell, Christopher Dodd, et al) you can make yourselves a whole pile of money, to boot! - Of course, this last presumes that Obama’s rhetoric against the insurance companies were true.

- Alright, so 3 out of 4 ideas isn’t such a bad batting average!

Lays of Ancient Rome - 15

Horatius at the Bridge
by Thomas B. Macaulay


XXIX

"Haul down the bridge, Sir Consul,
       
With all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me,
       
Will hold the foe in play.
In yon strait path a thousand
       
May well be stopped by three.
Now who will stand on either hand,
       
And keep the bridge with me?"

XXX

Then out spake Spurius Lartius;
       
A Ramnian proud was he:
"Lo, I will stand at thy right hand,
       
And keep the bridge with thee."
And out spake strong Herminius;
       
Of Titian blood was he:
"I will abide on thy left side,
       
And keep the bridge with thee."




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from the great Arab book Thousand and One Nights.

More About This Book


This poem celebrates one of the great heroic legends of history. Horatius saves Rome from the Etruscan invaders in 642 BC. Scottish poet Macaulay published this in 1842.

Illustration: Horatio at the Bridge from the first edition.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Friday, March 12, 2010

Queen's Gambit

Get ready to play in a chess tournament this weekend.

Here's a little video to help you get your engine started. (-or to just learn a little more about the game.)



Almost always, when the Queen Pawn meets the Queen Pawn in the center, White supports with the Queen Bishop Pawn. While this forumation is not as deadly as its brother formation on the Kingside, it is more strategic and hence more practical.

I usually play this. I note that the QB pawn usually moves up next to the Q pawn no matter what Black does.

This is an overview for beginners.

Chess events in your area . . . and visit The Chess Website who created these wonderful videos.

A Retrieved Reformation - 15

by O'Henry


The Elmore Bank had just put in a new safe and vault. Mr. Adams was very proud of it, and insisted on an inspection by every one. The vault was a small one, but it had a new, patented door. It fastened with three solid steel bolts thrown simultaneously with a single handle, and had a time-lock. Mr. Adams beamingly explained its workings to Mr. Spencer, who showed a courteous but not too intelligent interest. The two children, May and Agatha, were delighted by the shining metal and funny clock and knobs.

While they were thus engaged Ben Price sauntered in and leaned on his elbow, looking casually inside between the railings. He told the teller that he didn't want anything; he was just waiting for a man he knew.

Suddenly there was a scream or two from the women, and a commotion. Unperceived by the elders, May, the nine-year-old girl, in a spirit of play, had shut Agatha in the vault. She had then shot the bolts and turned the knob of the combination as she had seen Mr. Adams do.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Lays of Ancient Rome by Macaulay.

More About This Story


My favorite short story writer. His word play and his subject matter are the two best parts of his writing. This is one of his most admired stories.

Photo: Author's home in Austin, TX. Now the O'Henry Museum. (CC) Larry D. Moore.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Thursday, March 11, 2010

NewsRadio

Below are the first minutes of the first episode of this series:



I watched the first 3 seasons on Netflix. They have on Instant Viewing. You can also watch many episodes on Youtube.

This is a workplace situation comedy. Dave Nelson is the News Director and most of the series is told from his viewpoint. Staff include Bill McNiel, the announcer, Lisa Miller, reporter, Matthew, the comic screw-up, and others. Others sadly includes a character played by Khandi Alexander who is not given much comedic goofiness, presumably because she’s both a woman and black. Sad, because I think that the Bill and Catherine characters could have been a great comic duo on the show. The real character for me is Jimmy James, the owner of the station. Here’s James explaining to Dave why he took away Dave’s desk:

Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave... there is a saying, I cried... because I had no desk until I met a man who had no feet... and the no feet guy explained that there was such a thing as a budget... and WNYX was way way over it. The End.

This show lasted 4 seasons.

More information: Wikipedia, EvilZero.

Wizard of Oz - Chapter Two - 15

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum


"They are the people who live in this land of the East where the Wicked Witch ruled."

"Are you a Munchkin?" asked Dorothy.

"No, but I am their friend, although I live in the land of the North. When they saw the Witch of the East was dead the Munchkins sent a swift messenger to me, and I came at once. I am the Witch of the North."

"Oh, gracious!" cried Dorothy. "Are you a real witch?"

"Yes, indeed," answered the little woman. "But I am a good witch, and the people love me. I am not as powerful as the Wicked Witch was who ruled here, or I should have set the people free myself."




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from A Retreived Reformation by O' Henry.

The trailer of Judy Garland's breakout movie of 1939; why wasn't the rest of Baum's Oz books made into movies?

Illustrated: cover of the book's first edition in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quote of the Day 3/10/10


Business that grow by development and improvement do not die. But when a business ceases to be creative, when it believes that it has reached perfection and needs to do nothing but produce - no improvement, no development - it is done.


- Henry Ford

More on Ford

Innocents Abroad - Chapter Two - 15

by Mark Twain


CHAPTER II.

Occasionally, during the following month, I dropped in at 117 Wall Street to inquire how the repairing and refurnishing of the vessel was coming on, how additions to the passenger list were averaging, how many people the committee were decreeing not "select" every day and banishing in sorrow and tribulation. I was glad to know that we were to have a little printing press on board and issue a daily newspaper of our own. I was glad to learn that our piano, our parlor organ, and our melodeon were to be the best instruments of the kind that could be had in the market. I was proud to observe that among our excursionists were three ministers of the gospel, eight doctors, sixteen or eighteen ladies, several military and naval chieftains with sounding titles, an ample crop of "Professors" of various kinds, and a gentleman who had "COMMISSIONER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO EUROPE, ASIA, AND AFRICA" thundering after his name in one awful blast! I had carefully prepared myself to take rather a back seat in that ship because of the uncommonly select material that would alone be permitted to pass through the camel's eye of that committee on credentials; I had schooled myself to expect an imposing array of military and naval heroes and to have to set that back seat still further back in consequence of it maybe; but I state frankly that I was all unprepared for this crusher.

I fell under that titular avalanche a torn and blighted thing. I said that if that potentate must go over in our ship, why, I supposed he must --but that to my thinking, when the United States considered it necessary to send a dignitary of that tonnage across the ocean, it would be in better taste, and safer, to take him apart and cart him over in sections in several ships.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

More About This Book


This travelogue cemented this rising author's reputation when it was published in 1869.

Chapter Summary: Grand Preparations--An Imposing Dignitary--The European Exodus--Mr. Blucher's Opinion--Stateroom No. 10--The Assembling of the Clans
--At Sea at Last

Photo: Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) by Matthew Brady Feb. 7, 1871.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jack on the Net 3/9/10

Yesterday, I read a book on Twitter. It was really an eye-opener for me. I did a little bit to my twitter site and my twitter practice. I went up from 6 to 65 followers. Here's my Twitter site, and check out the book, too.

Imagine Sam Sloan being respectable. Hard? Well, if Richard Nixon was able to make some kind of comeback after Watergate, why not him? Chess players will know who I'm talking about and why.

Here's another installment of Herodotus on my History Blog. H was a tourist as well as an historian in the 5th. century BC, so his description of the ancient Egypt he saw takes us back in time 2,400 years.

Now, with securities prices low is the best time to invest. In my Finance Blog, I ruminate on wisdom I found from Rich Dad and others.

Health Care dominates the news on my Politics Blog but the most far-reaching news is Obama's cutting back on the Space Program. What are the Left's goals in Space?

If you have access to the USCF's Issues Forum, lots of craziness to chuckle at. In fact, I think I'll reproduce it - just for fun.

Passive Income


Rich people generate passive income. This means that money comes in from some business or property without them actively working on it.

There is only so much that one person can do; hence only so much money he can earn from his own activity. Real money comes from multiple activities, hence Kiyosaki's emphasis on passive income.

Now how can I get me some of that?

Kim - Chapter One - 15

by Rudyard Kipling




The first minutes of the movie; the first pages of the book.




'Welcome, then, O lama from Tibet. Here be the images, and I am here'--he glanced at the lama's face--'to gather knowledge. Come to my office awhile.' The old man was trembling with excitement.

The office was but a little wooden cubicle partitioned off from the sculpture-lined gallery. Kim laid himself down, his ear against a crack in the heat-split cedar door, and, following his instinct, stretched out to listen and watch.

Most of the talk was altogether above his head. The lama, haltingly at first, spoke to the Curator of his own lamassery, the Such-zen, opposite the Painted Rocks, four months' march away. The Curator brought out a huge book of photos and showed him that very place, perched on its crag, overlooking the gigantic valley of many-hued strata.

'Ay, ay!' The lama mounted a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles of Chinese work. 'Here is the little door through which we bring wood before winter. And thou--the English know of these things? He who is now Abbot of Lung-Cho told me, but I did not believe. The Lord—the Excellent One--He has honour here too? And His life is known?'

'It is all carven upon the stones. Come and see, if thou art rested.'




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.

More About This Book


Kipling's novel of India and the British empire, published in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Monday, March 8, 2010

Robert Peel's Crisis

This is Robert Peel, the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Today, January 22, he is at the height of his power. His Tories command the majority of Parliament. He rises to commence his speech announcing his switch from protectionist trade policies to free trade ones.

He gave a detailed examination of the specific bill that would trigger the switch: the repeal of the Corn Laws. Lord John Russell, the opposition Whig leader followed with another detailed exposition in support.

There was the specific bill of corn prices. There was the larger issue of Free Trade versus Protectionism. Then there was the still larger issue of leaders taking first one side of an issue and then another. Peel, like many pols before and since, did not feel he needed to address those larger matters.

Then a young upstart, Benjamin Disraeli rose.

Let men stand by the principle by which they rise, right or wrong. I make no exception. If they bewrong, they must retire to that shade of private life with which our present rulers have so often threatened us. . . . Do not then because you see a great personage giving up his opinions – do not cheer him on, do not give so ready a reward to political tergiversation. Above all maintain the line of demarcation between the parties, for it is only by maintaining the independence of party that you can maintain the integrity of public men and the power and influence of Parliament itself.

War had been declared.

More information: Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli, Corn Laws.

The Illiad - Book One - 15

by Homer


Achilles interrupted him. "I should be a mean coward," he cried,
"were I to give in to you in all things. Order other people
about, not me, for I shall obey no longer. Furthermore I say--and
lay my saying to your heart--I shall fight neither you nor any
man about this girl, for those that take were those also that
gave. But of all else that is at my ship you shall carry away
nothing by force. Try, that others may see; if you do, my spear
shall be reddened with your blood."

When they had quarrelled thus angrily, they rose, and broke up
the assembly at the ships of the Achaeans. The son of Peleus went
back to his tents and ships with the son of Menoetius and his
company, while Agamemnon drew a vessel into the water and chose a
crew of twenty oarsmen. He escorted Chryseis on board and sent
moreover a hecatomb for the god. And Ulysses went as captain.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

More About This Book


From the earliest days of Ancient Greece, the author(s) of this poem were contemporaries of the writers of the Bible's Old Testament.

Summary of First Book: The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws from the war, and sends his mother Thetis to ask Jove to help the Trojans--Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus.

Painting: The Wrath of Achilles by Michael Drolling, 1819.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Our First Video



This is from our front porch on the day it snowed in Atlanta. The video was shot by Kathy, edited by myself. She mistakenly says that it was March 1; my title correctly says March 2.

Thousand and One Nights - 15

The Merchant and the Genie


Presently, my second brother arose like the first and sold his goods and all that belonged to him and determined to travel. We would have dissuaded him, but he would not be dissuaded and bought merchandise with which he set out on his travels, and we saw no more of him for a whole year; at the end of which time he came to us as had done his elder brother, and I said to him, "O my brother, did I not counsel thee not to travel?" And he wept and said, "O my brother, it was decreed: and behold, I am poor, without a dirhem or a shirt to my back." Then I carried him to the bath and clad him in a new suit of my own and brought him back to my shop, where we ate and drank together; after which, I said to him, "O my brother, I will make up the accounts of my shop, as is my wont once a year, and the increase shall be between thee and me." So I arose and took stock and found I was worth two thousand dinars increase, in excess of capital, wherefore I praised the Divine Creator and gave my brother a thousand dinars, with which he opened a shop.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Illiad by Homer.


More About This Book


From the Arab world: these stories date back to the Middle Ages.

Picture: Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryār.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Quote of the Day 3/6/10

You can name it anything you want—I don't recommend Constellation or Orion.


- Michael Coats, Director of the Johnson Space Center, explaining Agency efforts to retain existing programs while appearing to comply with White House directives to cut them. (Constellation and Orion are their present names.)

From Wall Street Journal.

Lays of Ancient Rome - 14

Horatius at the Bridge
by Thomas B. Macaulay


XXVII

Then out spake brave Horatius,
       
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth
       
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
       
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
       
And the temples of his gods,

XXVIII

"And for the tender mother
       
Who dandled him to rest,
And for the wife who nurses
       
His baby at her breast,
And for the holy maidens
       
Who feed the eternal flame,
To save them from false Sextus
       
That wrought the deed of shame?




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from the great Arab book Thousand and One Nights.

More About This Book


This poem celebrates one of the great heroic legends of history. Horatius saves Rome from the Etruscan invaders in 642 BC. Scottish poet Macaulay published this in 1842.

Illustration: Horatio at the Bridge from the first edition.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dutch Defense, Stonewall

Get ready to play in a chess tournament this weekend.

Here's a little video to help you get your engine started. (-or to just learn a little more about the game.)



The Stonewall has pawns on KB4, K3, Q4, and QB3. Either Black or White can move into this formation. In my experience, it is really hard to bust this formation. I recall Max Euwe's book on the middlegame had an extensive chapter on how to bust this formation.

This is one formation I recommend for beginning players.

Chess events in your area . . . and visit jrobi who created these wonderful videos.

A Retrieved Reformation - 14

by O'Henry


After breakfast quite a family party went downtown together - Mr. Adams, Annabel, Jimmy, and Annabel's married sister with her two little girls, aged five and nine. They came by the hotel where Jimmy still boarded, and he ran up to his room and brought along his suit-case. Then they went on to the bank. There stood Jimmy's horse and buggy and Dolph Gibson, who was going to drive him over to the railroad station.

All went inside the high, carved oak railings into the banking-room - Jimmy included, for Mr. Adams's future son-in-law was welcome anywhere. The clerks were pleased to be greeted by the good-looking, agreeable young man who was going to marry Miss Annabel. Jimmy set his suit-case down. Annabel, whose heart was bubbling with happiness and lively youth, put on Jimmy's hat, and picked up the suit-case. "Wouldn't I make a nice drummer?" said Annabel. "My! Ralph, how heavy it is? Feels like it was full of gold bricks."

"Lot of nickel-plated shoe-horns in there," said Jimmy, coolly, "that I'm going to return. Thought I'd save express charges by taking them up. I'm getting awfully economical."




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Lays of Ancient Rome by Macaulay.

More About This Story


My favorite short story writer. His word play and his subject matter are the two best parts of his writing. This is one of his most admired stories.

Photo: Author's home in Austin, TX. Now the O'Henry Museum. (CC) Larry D. Moore.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of This Series

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wizard of Oz - Chapter Two - 14

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum


"They are the people who live in this land of the East where the Wicked Witch ruled."

"Are you a Munchkin?" asked Dorothy.

"No, but I am their friend, although I live in the land of the North. When they saw the Witch of the East was dead the Munchkins sent a swift messenger to me, and I came at once. I am the Witch of the North."

"Oh, gracious!" cried Dorothy. "Are you a real witch?"

"Yes, indeed," answered the little woman. "But I am a good witch, and the people love me. I am not as powerful as the Wicked Witch was who ruled here, or I should have set the people free myself."




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from A Retreived Reformation by O' Henry.

The trailer of Judy Garland's breakout movie of 1939; why wasn't the rest of Baum's Oz books made into movies?

Illustrated: cover of the book's first edition in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Innocents Abroad - Chapter One - 14

by Mark Twain


This supplementary program also instructed the excursionists to provide themselves with light musical instruments for amusement in the ship, with saddles for Syrian travel, green spectacles and umbrellas, veils for Egypt, and substantial clothing to use in rough pilgrimizing in the Holy Land. Furthermore, it was suggested that although the ship's library would afford a fair amount of reading matter, it would still be well if each passenger would provide himself with a few guidebooks, a Bible, and some standard works of travel. A list was appended, which consisted chiefly of books relating to the Holy Land, since the Holy Land was part of the excursion and seemed to be its main feature.

Reverend Henry Ward Beecher was to have accompanied the expedition, but urgent duties obliged him to give up the idea. There were other passengers who could have been spared better and would have been spared more willingly. Lieutenant General Sherman was to have been of the party also, but the Indian war compelled his presence on the plains. A popular actress had entered her name on the ship's books, but something interfered and she couldn't go. The "Drummer Boy of the Potomac" deserted, and lo, we had never a celebrity left!

However, we were to have a "battery of guns" from the Navy Department (as per advertisement) to be used in answering royal salutes; and the document furnished by the Secretary of the Navy, which was to make "General Sherman and party" welcome guests in the courts and camps of the old world, was still left to us, though both document and battery, I think, were shorn of somewhat of their original august proportions. However, had not we the seductive program still, with its Paris, its Constantinople, Smyrna, Jerusalem, Jericho, and "our friends the Bermudians?" What did we care?




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

More About This Book


This travelogue cemented this rising author's reputation when it was published in 1869.

Chapter Summary: Popular Talk of the Excursion--Programme of the Trip--Duly Ticketed for the Excursion--Defection of the Celebrities

Photo: Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) by Matthew Brady Feb. 7, 1871.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kim - Chapter One - 14

by Rudyard Kipling




The first minutes of the movie; the first pages of the book.




'The Lord! The Lord! It is Sakya Muni himself,' the lama half sobbed; and under his breath began the wonderful Buddhist invocation:

To Him the Way, the Law, apart, Whom Maya held beneath her heart, Ananda's Lord, the Bodhisat.

'And He is here! The Most Excellent Law is here also. My pilgrimage is well begun. And what work! What work!'

'Yonder is the Sahib.' said Kim, and dodged sideways among the cases of the arts and manufacturers wing. A white-bearded Englishman was looking at the lama, who gravely turned and saluted him and after some fumbling drew forth a note-book and a scrap of paper.

'Yes, that is my name,' smiling at the clumsy, childish print.

'One of us who had made pilgrimage to the Holy Places--he is now Abbot of the Lung-Cho Monastery--gave it me,' stammered the lama. 'He spoke of these.' His lean hand moved tremulously round.




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain.

More About This Book


Kipling's novel of India and the British empire, published in 1900.

More information here:
Literature DailyMore of this Series

Monday, March 1, 2010

Facebook Adventures

I've now got 3 friends from the cast of the first season of Beauty and the Geek: Shawn, Chuck, and Caity. This was my fav season of my fav reality show. Sad to think that it was 5 years ago. Caity and Chuck were the team that won the thing. Shawn maintains a cool blog.

I'm still playing Mafia Wars. It is just a mindless game of clicking but it still has a certain charm. I'm at level 434. At the higher levels it is all about running missions. Fighting hardly matters. Even though the name of the game is "Mafia Wars", there is no reward for killing other players.

I discovered 2 similar games: Gangster City, and War Metal. Gangster City is played on a map of a city and has enough of a storyline to keep me interested. War Metal takes the same formula and extends it to the fighting. Here, when you fight another player, things happen. You take money and you get battle experience (BE). BE is another experience/leveling up system that operates independently of the regular system. You have one normal level and a different battle level. Battle levels get you access to other goodies that you don't get with ordinary levels.

What about Realm of Empires, you ask? It is such a great game and also demands so much time, I've had to cut way back. I became the most powerful player in my group and amassed over 50 towns. When tax season is over, I'll get back on it.

Jack on the Net 3/31/10

Recently on my blogs:

History Moments
The First Law of Television or how I started my Churchill Book.

Literature Daily
No need to link as I reprint them all here. I take a couple of minutes out each day to get a hit of great classic literature.

Finance Tips from the Greats
Want to get rich? Rich Dad says, get your hands on some of that passive income. - Now how can I do that?

The Political Journal
Krauthammer on Obama's Retreat from Space. So-called "progressives" really need to catch up to the Space Age.

Chess Blog
Another year, another race for the USCF's Executive Board. 2 seats, 3 candidates.

The Illiad - Book One - 14

by Homer


I came from distant Pylos, and went about among them, for they would
have me come, and I fought as it was in me to do. Not a man now
living could withstand them, but they heard my words, and were
persuaded by them. So be it also with yourselves, for this is the
more excellent way. Therefore, Agamemnon, though you be strong,
take not this girl away, for the sons of the Achaeans have
already given her to Achilles; and you, Achilles, strive not
further with the king, for no man who by the grace of Jove wields
a sceptre has like honour with Agamemnon. You are strong, and
have a goddess for your mother; but Agamemnon is stronger than
you, for he has more people under him. Son of Atreus, check your
anger, I implore you; end this quarrel with Achilles, who in the
day of battle is a tower of strength to the Achaeans."

And Agamemnon answered, "Sir, all that you have said is true, but
this fellow must needs become our lord and master: he must be
lord of all, king of all, and captain of all, and this shall
hardly be. Granted that the gods have made him a great warrior,
have they also given him the right to speak with railing?"




Continued next week. Tomorrow's installment from Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

More About This Book


From the earliest days of Ancient Greece, the author(s) of this poem were contemporaries of the writers of the Bible's Old Testament.

Summary of First Book: The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles--Achilles withdraws from the war, and sends his mother Thetis to ask Jove to help the Trojans--Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus.

Painting: The Wrath of Achilles by Michael Drolling, 1819.

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