First Duck Call


After several unsuccessful tries, B completed his first duck call yesterday.  I’m so thankful for the time he got to spend with his Grandpa learning to work the lathe, the band saw, and the drill press.  The call works, and it is his own creation.  Yes, I’m proud of this young man!

B Shows off His First Duck Call

B Shows off His First Duck Call


The Oshkosh Cheesesteak…


A few weeks ago, K recalled the brat dog and said it was time to invent another sandwich.  At the moment, I didn’t feel like inventing a sandwich, so I said the inspiration would come precisely at our time of need.  Last week, we produced what we think is a unique sandwich, named it the Oshkosh cheesesteak, and defined it like so: venison steak, cheddar cheese, fried onions, and fried bell peppers on wheat bread, grilled.  It was delicious!


Oshkosh cheesesteak

The Oshkosh cheesesteak is quick, easy, and savory!

Dickens Dominates


I’ve just recently started reading Charles Dickens. I read Oliver Twist, which took me about 4 months, and then read A Christmas Carol in a few days. Both of them are delightful. Interestingly, I read elsewhere today that G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis were also fans of Charles Dickens. I shall try to share more thoughts as they come up.

Also interestingly, over the weekend I stayed at a hotel whose guest list boasts the likes of Charles Dickens, U. S. Grant, and Mark Twain.

Old Hardy Boys


This summer, I picked up some old books at a flea market, two of which were first editions of The Hardy Boys. Tonight, I was reading The Tower Treasure and noticed something I had not noticed when reading the books as a boy, namely, that the farmers were pulling their wagons with horses. I did not remember that from the original series; still it was not out of place in a book written in 1927. But on a whim I checked a 1987 edition of the same book that I happen to possess and what did I not find? Chapter IV! Moreover, Chet’s “gay-looking speed-wagon” had become “The Queen.” There was no trace of the pointless prank the Hardys’ “chubby friend” played on the local “indolent” farmer, and he wasn’t even so “chubby” anymore. That is right chums, The Hardy Boys series was expurgated, to our loss, sometime during the 1960s!

A quick search revealed that others have figured out the same. Well, I shall enjoy reading this edition, for it surely holds some pleasant surprises.

Twain in Europe


Found this quotation in A Tramp Abroad (pub. 1880) and I think it’s worth sharing.

From ch. 46: “But in Europe everywhere except in the mountains, the water is flat and insipid beyond the power of words to describe. It is served lukewarm; but no matter, ice could not help it; it is incurably flat, incurably insipid. It is only good to wash with; I wonder it doesn’t occur to the average inhabitant to try it for that.”

MG comments, “Zing! Score 1 for Twain, The whole of 19th Century Europe 0! It started off so unsuspecting…just a critical remark on water in Europe…I read the end and immediately thought OH!”

ZH (recently back from Europe) responds, “It is still an issue! No ice…it’s too expensive!”

Flying Tigers


Recently finished a book called Flying Tigers — the story of Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer Group (AVG). If you recall, they were the mercenary fliers who, in shark-nosed P-40s, defended Burma and China at the beginning of World War II. A few of the more or less interesting things I learned:

– Their kill ratios were probably inflated, although still quite good.

– The John Wayne movie was wildly inaccurate.

– Most things considered, it cost China about $75,000 for each Japanese airship the AVG destroyed — one of the few times in warfare when the things doing the destruction cost less than the things destroyed.

– The movie Air America was about an air transport group started during the cold war by Claire Chennault.

King Kong


Tonight, we went to the cinema and paid the price of admission for only one movie. So we weren’t expecting to see seven movies:

  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • Clear and Present Danger
  • Jurassic Park
  • Starship Troopers
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Orange County
  • and Sleepless in SeatleThat’s right folks, King Kong dazzled us, made us laugh, and reminded us of every movie we’ve ever seen before. I’m not sure if any of these effects were intentional save the first.
  • Coyote Sighted

    Adventures, Opuses

    Saw a coyote today on the way to work. Definitely could have fetched him with Old Betsy.

    This calls for an quotation of Mark Twain:

    “Along about an hour after breakfast we saw the first prairie-dog villages, the first antelope, and the first wolf. If I remember rightly, this latter was the regular cayote (pronounced ky-o-te) of the farther deserts. And if it was, he was not a pretty creature or respectable either, for I got well acquainted with his race afterward, and can speak with confidence. The cayote is a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolf-skin stretched over it, a tolerably bushy tail that forever sags down with a despairing expression of forsakenness and misery, a furtive and evil eye, and a long, sharp face, with slightly lifted lip and exposed teeth. He has a general slinking expression all over. The cayote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry.

    He is always poor, out of luck and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede. He is so spiritless and cowardly that even while his exposed teeth are pretending a threat, the rest of his face is apologizing for it.”