The faintest of torches

I heartily endorse this practice, even though there is no way on God’s green earth that I’d ever do it myself:

Sandy Crocker, of British Columbia, just took a trip to Ireland in July 2011, but he has gone back for another four weeks to try to track down a woman that he met at a County Clare cafe during his last trip.

On July 9, 2011, Crocker met the one. He just didn’t realize it until it was too late. Crocker stopped at the An Teach Bia cafe in Ennistymon with his family to grab a bite to eat before heading to the popular Cliffs of Moher. Crocker spotted the woman at the cafe and stopped her to ask for direction to the Cliffs before she left. The two had a brief conversation.

And that was the last he saw of her. The next day he flew back to Canada, but he never stopped thinking about her:

“My breath was taken away to the point of near suffocation … She was gentle, graceful, the kind of girl who would enter a shoe store and leave with brown boots, [whose] mother probably thought blue glass was pretty and still collectible.”

It’s not like I’ve never heard of this thing happening before, either:

The trick about the town of Brigadoon, you may remember, is that it’s not always there: the enchantment that preserves it does so by bringing it to life only once every hundred years, thereby making sure it’s not influenced by contemporary evils. Which means that when Tommy Albright (Gene Kelly) falls hard for one of the town girls, he’s faced with the sort of choice you wouldn’t give Hobson: either he stays with her, thereby giving up his life in this world, or he returns to New York and never gets another shot. I remember yelling at the screen: “You fool! Go back to her!”

Not that I’d ever take my own advice, of course:

I hit the gymnasium first, quite by accident, and a kindly member of the athletic staff — like so many faculty members, he’s also an alumnus, in this case from 1972 — gave me The Tour. I didn’t recall too many names from ’72, with the notable exception of the young lady I sort of almost dated, and it seemed rather pointless to volunteer her name, so I didn’t. The gym is twice as big as the old one, and perhaps more important, so is the library. And with a student body roughly the same size as it was thirty years ago, the new staff (which, I note with delight, includes some of the old staff) should have a far easier time of it.

I thanked my guide and got back into my car and mused for a moment. A moment too long, as it turned out; once I got the car started, I spun around to look for traffic, and there was a woman in a Nissan Altima waiting for me to vacate the space. I rolled down the window to apologize for making her wait, and she smiled at me, and by the time I got off Daniel Island I remembered where I’d seen that face before. And I swear, it could have been the aforementioned young lady I sort of almost dated.

Were I the sort of person I’m supposed to be, or that I think I’d like to be, I would have done a 360 180 in the middle of the Mark Clark Expressway and gone back to ask. But being the sort of person I am, I kept going and didn’t say a word.

Perhaps I’ve learned my lesson, but that’s probably not the way to bet.

And speaking of bets, a UK bookmaker quotes the odds on Crocker’s finding his dream colleen:

U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes, Ireland, assigned 50/1 odds on Mr. Crocker marrying the mystery lady, giving it a 4/5 chance that she is already married. “It’s definitely a long shot travelling 8,000 kilometres to woo an anonymous Irish girl with red hair and freckles, but there’s a good chance Sandy could steal another Irish lady’s heart during his visit, so we’re offering 10/1 that he meets his future wife here,” said Ladbrokes spokeswoman Hayley O’Connor.

A likely story.

(Suggested by the Instant Man.)

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Slog control

Last year’s NBA season was shortened to 66 games as a result of the lockout, and NBA.com asked several coaches about this coming season’s return to normalcy. Only one — George Karl of the Nuggets — was willing to suggest that he’d didn’t really mind having fewer games to deal with:

I’m sure Commissioner Stern won’t like this, but I think the product would be better if we shortened the season. When we start playing in late October, the people are thinking football. If you could just get us less fatigue [in a shorter season], I think you’d have a better product. When they started on Christmas Day, I thought, “This is not a bad idea. This should be the start of NBA basketball … Maybe start Dec. 1 and play 62 games, whatever number they’d come to.”

I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I wouldn’t object to, say, a 76-game season starting the day after Election Day. (Four against each of four division rivals = 16; three against each of ten other conference rivals = 30; two against each team in the other conference = 30.) Still, football continues to creep later into the fall, and I suspect it is the policy of the major sports leagues to ignore, to the extent possible, each other’s existence. So 82 it is, for the foreseeable future.

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Strange search-engine queries (347)

And a gracious good Monday morning to you all, as we present a week’s worth of screwy search strings that led unwary Web surfers to this very site. No wagering, please.

whose fault is this!  When in doubt, blame San Andreas.

nude hosiery for 40 women:  Hot as it was this past summer, probably only 25 of them actually wore the stuff.

home depot false accuse shoplift:  More often, they swipe it from Lowe’s, and then try to return it at the Home Depot.

maureen dowd is a bitter old maid:  She’s hardly a maid.

i wanna see the invisible woman (1983):  But you can’t, and I shouldn’t have to explain why.

anatomically correct replica of 50-year-old non-smoker’s rag heart:  Raggedy Ann is 97 this year, and I don’t think she’s ever even dipped snuff.

“getting used to” thong:  Experiment with about twenty yards of dental floss.

bad erth quaks:  Bad enough to shake your ability to spell, I assume.

Why is Sherilyn Fenn so old:  It’s her birth date. Darn thing just won’t move forward.

postal annex Portland uh the gray wolf mean it’s stupid:  On the other paw, no gray wolf has ever come up with a search like that.

Ragaa. List some of the malicious things Trudy can do from this position:  I’m kind of hoping she turns you into a gray wolf and mails you to Portland.

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Routine Mittigation

Graphic from Page One, 9-23-12The Oklahoman and the Washington Examiner have been under common ownership for some time, and occasional Examiner editorials have been reprinted, usually in the second position, on the Oklahoman editorial page. Both papers have been enthusiastic, possibly even fervent, supporters of Mitt Romney. (In other news, there are enthusiastic, possibly even fervent, supporters of Mitt Romney.) This weekend, we were treated to a 10-part, 12-page supplement of Examiner articles on Barack Obama, titled The Man Behind the Image, which contains nothing I think of as being particularly incendiary; if you’ve been paying attention all along, you already knew all these things, and you’ve either filed them away for future reference or dismissed them as irrelevant.

There is, however, a punchline: the promo for the supplement, as it appeared in the newspaper’s Page One sidebar, describes it as “A special report from The Washington Examiner in today’s comics package.” Make of that what you will.

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If your sin’s original

Why are things so screwed up? The more I think about it, the more I feel like blaming two naked humans and a snake.

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It costs more to live on your own

On the upside, it avoids unpleasant situations like this:

Found out this weekend that my roommate — the primary on the lease — had called the landlord to inform him that he was through being a tenant. Unfortunately, said roommate did this without talking to me first, nor did he let me know anything about this until the landlord sent that email.

Judging from prior reports, said roommate was also less than diligent about paying the bills. Good riddance — but the timing of this event, inevitably, was not so good.

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Status markers

I have never thought of myself as being rich, exactly, though my net worth is on the positive side of the ledger, which presumably makes me better off than some, and while my assets aren’t growing much at all, my liabilities continue to decline, which must be scored as an advantage. More to the point, I have enough Worldly Goods to meet my current level of demand, though I suppose I might feel a bit closer to that elusive ideal of richness if I’d just buy a few more, um, things:

When I was young, to be rich meant owning a Coach bag, drinking Pellegrino water, listening to a Bose Wave radio, wearing cashmere sweaters, and having hardwood floors in my home. In some ways, I still feel that way.

Still, as needs go, these are relatively easily met:

This weekend I decided to tackle it. I bought a Coach bag and then I went to Best Buy and bought the Sonos multi-room digital music system (Bose is so 20th century). The other items are things I already consumed… I have a number of cashmere sweaters and my house has hardwood flooring. San Pellegrino is a quick trip to the grocery store.

Come to think of it, I’ve completed about 40 percent of that list myself: I have nice parquet floors, except in the kitchen and bathroom, and I own three single-unit radios — one by JBL, two by Cambridge Soundworks — that compete pretty well with the Bose Wave. I do have Bose audio in the car, but it’s a 2000 model — so 20th century.

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A cure for what ails you

Monday is — well, it’s a Monday, so it needs all the help it can get, and let’s face it, every day is improved by bacon. Accordingly:

On Monday, September 24, Call Me Stormy will unveil our most ambitious project to date — A DAY OF BACON — an all-out, non-stop salute to bacon. Every hour on the hour, covering an entire 24-hour marathon, we will post a clip from a movie, cartoon, TV show, stand-up comedy routine, music video or newsreel celebrating the wonders of bacon.

That’s a whole lotta bacon. And why, you ask?

No other meat tastes as sweet as candy. None is so richly aromatic. And none so well represents our spirit at a time when we are under assault from violent extremists who are hellbent to limit our freedoms, including the choice of bacon as a breakfast entree. We could use a laugh and a pick-me-up, and bacon’s just the right thing to do the trick.

And besides, it’s been weeks since International Bacon Day.

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Romy

There are several reasons to remember German actress Romy Schneider, who did most of her best work in the French cinema but made some serious noise in Hollywood in the Sixties, including The Cardinal, opposite Tom Tryon, and What’s New Pussycat, in which she plays the fiancée of an unrepentant womanizer played by Peter O’Toole. How unrepentant, you ask?

RS: We’re married thirty seconds and already you look at other women.

PO: I had to look at her, she was talking to me, I looked in the direction the sound was coming from.

A very Woody Allen-ish exchange, which seems reasonable, inasmuch as it was written by Woody Allen.

Romy Schneider

Schneider’s life spiraled rapidly downward in 1981, when her teenage son David died after trying to climb a wire fence and slashed an artery. When she was found dead in her Paris apartment the following spring, she was believed to have committed suicide. French officials ruled she hadn’t. She was forty-three; she would have been seventy-four tomorrow.

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A hard hobbit to break

Rule 85: If it exists, there is pony of it.

And right on time, too.

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This here is a love song

Roger, after careful consideration, has decided to participate in that Six Songs of Me business (I did it here), and one of his selections makes me jump just a little:

What is your perfect love song?

Forever I have been a sucker for “I Only Have Eyes for You” by the Flamingoes. Always makes me a bit misty.

Seems to work on unicorns, too.

(Title courtesy of Brinsley Schwarz.)

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No news from Winder

I was following a news item on wsbtv.com, and this semi-nifty little map appeared in the sidebar, offering “County by County News”:

Local coverage on WSB-TV

Note that Clarke County is sitting out there to the east all by its lonesome, while several closer counties — Barrow, Oconee, Walton — are apparently spurned by WSB-TV. My first thought was “Maybe they have a translator out there,” and as maybes go, this is one of the more definite examples: there is indeed a WSB translator licensed to Athens, which is in Clarke County — in fact, Athens and Clarke County were consolidated in 1990 — though the actual broadcast site is outside Winder, in Barrow County.

Then again, nothing here is quite as amusing as the shape of Fulton County, which resembles a lolcat peering around a corner.

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Celestia shrugged

Dating Fails has this under the title “You Can’t Be a Real Person”:

Profile of patriotpony1986

I suspect he’s still crushed that Princess Cadance totally saved Shining Armor’s ass on their wedding day.

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Almost live and indirect

I have yet to happen upon any concert footage from Wild 100, the August concert on the Jersey shore in which Rebecca Black appeared, but RB did favor us with thirty seconds of video connected to the event, and for now, that’s going to have to do:

It’s billed as a “trailer,” and there’s that “COMING SOON” blurb, so I remain hopeful.

(Title swiped from a DJ I remember from forty-odd years ago.)

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It needs to be about 20 percent shufflier

Tam reports an anomaly among her most-played iPod tracks:

[T]he one I don’t get is the Gin Blossoms song ["Hey Jealousy"]. How did it get that high up there? I don’t use playlists, everything is random shuffle, and I know I’ve never repeated it, because I don’t even particularly like it. However, it is blandly inoffensive enough that I’ve probably never skipped it either when it’s been served up; it’s the acoustic equivalent of eggshell white paint on the walls.

There must be something about Gin Blossoms. I have exactly three Gin Blossoms tracks out of 6800 on the work box, and yet they seem to come up every third day or so.

Also high on her list was the Emerson, Lake & Powell epic “Touch and Go,” which to me has always sounded like Greg Lake’s attempt at recreating King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” — on which, incidentally, he sang. Certainly Lake’s lyric style here is a direct descendant of Pete Sinfield’s there.

Note: I had originally intended to post this as a comment to Tam’s original post, but Blogger was having one of its periodic snits.

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Vroom with a view

Jack Baruth waxes lyrical about the Shelby GT500, and it ain’t Turtle Wax either:

It cruises windows-up at 72 mph on the freeway, delivers twenty miles per gallon, chills the cabin, plays Sade’s “Love Deluxe” with appropriate fidelity, doesn’t cook the luggage in the mail-slot trunk, rides acceptably on bad pavement, looks spectacular, costs less than a loaded German mid-size sedan, will be sought-after in the used market as long as there’s a gallon of gasoline to be had anywhere. It reaches for the road ahead with incandescent aggression and remains stable long after the fenceposts have blurred into invisibility.

I actually passed a GT500 ragtop yesterday in the general vicinity of the I-44/I-235 clusterfark, not because I had superior speed or mad driving skillz or anything like that, but because I saw the hole open up and the Shelby didn’t take it. Then again, it might be horrifying to think about your astronomical horsepower numbers while you’re practically idling at 59 mph. I did, however, have time to note the ponycar’s tag: VROOOOM. I think it was four O’s.

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