C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Drive: Strauss, An der schönen blauen Donau

A few peaceful moments of pure joy and beauty that I think all my truckbuddies will appreciate: André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra playing "The Beautiful Blue Danube," recorded live in July 2006 at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Don't Be a Sucker

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Everything old is new again:  so here's an anti-fascist educational film produced by the War Department in 1943 (re-released in 1947) that remains as up-to-date as today's headlines:

When will we ever learn?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Drive: Summer Rain

The 1967 hit from the great Johnny Rivers:

As it happens, it rained here twice yesterday, bringing us a little relief from the heat.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Drive: Summertime Blues

As performed by country-music giant Alan Jackson, 1994:

Friday, August 4, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend

It's just too damn hot for clothes, even a swimsuit.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Drive: Let's Fall in Love

The other night, M. P. and I watched Judy Holliday and Jack Lemon sing this tune in the delightful 1954 comedy It Should Happen to You.  M. P. was so taken with this song, he suggested I use it for today's post - and so here it is, as performed by Margaret Whiting in 1955.  Pictured with Whiting is studly Hugh O'Brian, a. k. a. Wyatt Earp.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Drive: Summertime

As performed by the great Les Paul in 1992:

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Today's Tidbits, 072217

Maria van Oosterwijk, Vanitas--Still Life (1693)

The other day would have been my darling mama's 95th birthday - strange to say.  Perhaps you will think it even stranger if I say, I'm glad she did not live to see the world as it now is, nor any of my kin.  Things high and low are out of hand, out of joint, out of control, and I fear that evil days are upon us.  But what do I know.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I used to have a lot more to say about gay rights and politics and all sorts of topics.  But once past 60, one realizes that the steam in the boiler drops gradually but steadily lower, and one has much less patience for the foolishness and futility of the world.  One also understands, finally, that one is just a very small ripple in the immense, immeasurable ocean of life, an endless rolling tide of change -- like it or not.  So why waste the time left to you, be it long or short, with utterly useless protests?  Leave that to the armies of youth, who have strength and passion a-plenty, and still believe they can change the world.

All that being said, I suppose there's really no point in my continuing this blog -- but somehow I just can't quite let go of it yet.  Even at only one or two posts a week, it gives a little rhythm to my otherwise mostly bland, blank life in retirement, a something to look forward to.  But what to post?  I am so utterly disgusted and outraged and horrified by the shambles in Washington and elsewhere that I have stopped reading news articles almost entirely - most days I can hardly bear even to glance at the headlines.  So no more of that here.

I do, however, spend my days looking up and contemplating many other, much more interesting things.  But I have usually hesitated to post that kind of potpourri here, since it falls under no heading and would be such an odd mix of unrelated topics.

Still, perhaps a potpourri is better than an empty bowl.  So starting today, I may from time to time give you all a sampling of my finds - none of which are necessarily cool, groovy, sexy, personal to me, or relevant to anything happening now in the world.  But they recall a memory, delight the eye, raise a smile, or give food for thought - is that so bad?  At any rate, it is the best this tired old sod can manage.  And it passes the time.

Click images to enlarge:

Fritos fried chicken recipe, 1950s

Grocery prices in Perry, Georgia, 1940; multiply by 17 to get today's equivalent.

Cutaway view of a Pan Am Stratocruiser

Still as true as ever.

Benham Park, Berkshire, England

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Drive: A Summer Place

So last night I finally saw A Summer Place, nearly sixty years late.  I've heard the lovely Max Steiner theme all my life, of course, but somehow never saw the show.

I wish I could say it was worth waiting for, but no.  Just crazed, convoluted melodrama that goes on waaaay too long, until you don't know whether to laugh or cry or jump out the window.  But Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue are both young and pretty, and rich dad Richard Egan is a sight for sore eyes.

Here's a rare clip of Percy Faith conducting his orchestra in a performance of the 1960 number-one hit.  It sounds just like summer should feel when you are young and carefree and full of sunny dreams.  I'm on the shady side of life now, but I can still remember.  Enjoy.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend

Just mute the sound and enjoy the pictures:

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Drive: God Bless America

The Irving Berlin classic, as performed by the great and lovely Kate Smith in the 1943 film This Is the Army:

We are certainly in great need of blessing and guidance now, as then.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Canada 150

Official logo of the Canadian sesquicentennial.

Happy Canada Day - Bonne fête du Canada - to all my Canadian truckbuddies on the 150th anniversary of Confederation.  You all have made great progress in that time, from a sprawling wilderness to a civilized democracy, a beacon of hope for all the world.  I wish my country could say the same.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeted his fellow Canadians in this video message:

To mark the occasions, HM The Queen of Canada issued a new official photograph, taken by a Toronto photographer, in which she is wearing a diamond maple leaf brooch first worn by her mother during the 1939 Royal Tour:

There's something to be said for having a dignified, non-political Head of State at the top of the ladder, and also the historical continuity of family ties.  Representing the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were on hand in Ottawa today to celebrate with Canadians.

A monarchy wouldn't work here, of course; but sometimes it's nice to think of, from a distance.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Flannel Boards and How to Use Them (1958)

Oh my, does this bring back memories of my early school days, and Sunday School, too.  Your Head Trucker has often wondered in the long years since then just how the little paper figurines stayed there on the flannel.  Do you know?  All is revealed in this charmingly straightforward demonstration film from 1958.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Drive: Les Huguenots

The Queen's Official Birthday was observed in London yesterday with the brilliant pageantry of Trooping the Colour, which this year also marks Her Majesty's 65 years on the Throne - and long may she reign. The march from Meyerbeer's opera Les Huguenots is said to be a particular favorite of the Queen's; here is a clip of it from the 2014 ceremony - watch to see Her Majesty tapping her foot in time with the music:

And for those who may wish to watch, here is the BBC telecast of yesterday's events, including the RAF fly-past after the Royal Family appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace:

The Queen also issued this statement yesterday regarding the recent tragedies that have afflicted the United Kingdom:

Click to enlarge.

Friday, June 16, 2017

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