Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Dale Carnegie (1888 – 1955), the American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills (so says Wikipedia), said that. He also wrote How To Win Friends And Influence People, but that is neither here nor there not what this post is about.

This post is about the answer to the question posed in yesterday's (August 21, 2017) post, "What do the following words have in common and what does the title of the post (Yesterday tomorrow) mean?" which was then followed by (surprise, surprise!) this list of words:

alibi, burglar, corpse, deadbeat, evidence, fugitive, gumshoe, homicide, innocent, judgment, killer, lawless, malice, noose, outlaw, peril, quarry, ricochet, silence, trespass, undertow, vengeance, wasted, x, yesterday

The answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind, it is right here, in two parts:

1. What the words have in common is that they are used in titles to an alphabetic series of detective novels by American writer Sue Grafton (1940 - ). Clicking on the link in the previous sentence will show you each book's dust jacket and reveal a little about each book. Please do (click on the etc.).

2. Today, August 22, 2017, is the publication date of the most recent and eventually penultimate book in the series, Y Is For Yesterday.

It's that simple. I do apologize (British: apologise) for having caused any pre-apocalyptic concerns amongst my vast readership (at least four).

P.S. -- Ms. Grafton has already announced that the final book in the series will be entitled Z Is For Zero, which selection doesn't seem to have any connection to the previous 25 choices. Wait, neither did the word Yesterday.

P.P.S. -- This post is not meant to be a recommendation of Ms. Grafton's work as I have never read a single word of hers. Mrs. RWP has read a few of the books but stopped because of the strong language she encountered. Mrs. RWP recommends that if you like the genre but prefer milder language, read John Grisham.

P.P.P.S -- Lastly, it may be of interest to certain readers that Ms. Grafton herself says that she was inspired to begin the series, which began in 1982, after reading Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies.

(2009 photo by Mark Coggins, used in accordance with CC BY 2.0)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Yesterday tomorrow

What do the following words have in common and what does the post's title mean?

alibi, burglar, corpse, deadbeat, evidence, fugitive, gumshoe, homicide, innocent, judgment, killer, lawless, malice, noose, outlaw, peril, quarry, ricochet, silence, trespass, undertow, vengeance, wasted, x, yesterday

No fair googling. Either you know it or you don't.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

If you're going to be forced to spend a day at a beach in Florida...

...it may as well be with beautiful people.




(Photographs by Linda C. Brown a.k.a. Aunt Da, August 2017)

These people, who are beautiful inside and out, are my younger son and his wife with their two sons, aged 21 and 19, on a last outing of summer before the younger set return to their respective universities. One almost expects Gatsby to appear over the dunes.

This post represents the opinion of its creator. Our sponsor, the Blogging Powers That Be, is (are?) not responsible in any way for the thoughts and opinions expressed herein. Any comments should be sent directly to the creator of the post.

Monday, July 31, 2017

One little, two little, three little hymnals. Four little, five little, six little hymnals...

My friend Snowbrush out in Oregon noticed the new header on my blog and left a comment that began, "Maybe your church is ready for a new edition of its hymnal."

It made me chuckle. Actually, there have been several editions of the Methodist Hymnal since that particular one was published. More about that later in this post.

Snowbrush also said, "I left my last comment while listening to "With Heart and Voice," which is a weekly program of religious music. Its original presenter was an Englishman named Richard Gladwell (sad to say, but the current presenter is not his equal) who served on a bomber during WWII, but ended up living in the U.S. Though Gladwell was an Episcopalian, he received the Benemerenti medal from the pope."

Having never heard of the Benemerenti medal, my naturally inquisitive self ("Curiosity killed the cat" according to my mother, but my wife adds, "Finding out brought it back") had to learn more. I learned that Benemerenti means "well-deserved" in Latin and the medal has been awarded many times by many popes since its creation nearly 200 years ago. The current version looks like this:




















The design of the medal does change from time to time. Here's what it looked like in 1984. This particular medal is on display in the Cork Public Museum in Ireland:







(Photograph by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, used in accordance with the terms of CC BY-SA 3.0)








"While studying your new blog format," Snowbrush continued, "I noticed that the book in the photo is a very old Methodist hymnal, and I was rather hoping that you would say more about it. I was also wondering if any of the old Methodist hymns have since been "cleaned up" in terms of gender references (one of the most appalling instances that I've heard was changing "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" to "Parent, Child, and Holy Spirit")."


The Methodist Hymnal up at the top of the blog (here's a smaller photo for those of you who don't scroll) was given to me by Mrs. Joan M., who found it among her mother’s things after her mother died two or three years ago. It is quite small and contains lyrics only, no musical notes. And lest you think I placed a very large cup next to a normal-sized book, here is the book next to my very wrinkly hand to give you some perspective:


This book is the oldest item in my home. I have a maple rocking chair my mother bought me when I was four (1945), a torchiere-style floor lamp from my wife's mother's living room (circa 1940), and my maternal grandmother's triple-strand of pearls that she wore at her wedding (1897), but the title page of the little book of Methodist Hymns indicates a publication date of 1845:


Snowbrush added, "I own several hymnals (Episcopal, Church of Christ, and Southern Baptist--the latter arrived by way of Peggy who, as you might recall, grew up in an observant Southern Baptist household), some of them old. I also have various Episcopal prayer books, some of which are SO old that they contain references to debtors' prisons, and have prayers for prisoners who were about to be hung."

As it happens, I own several hymnals also. On either side of my computer monitor and keyboard is a six-foot-tall bookshelf with five shelves each (let's see, five shelves times two bookcases, that's, er, um, carry the four, divide by seven, that's ten shelves in all) that I put together with my own two hands, ten shelves of books in our bedroom sitting area, and the highest shelf in the left side bookcase contains these:


I was going to add that Methodist Hymnals traditionally begin with Charles Wesley's, "O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing My Great Redeemer's Praise" (the 1845 version does) but a quick check of the dark blue one on that shelf burst my bubble. It is from the 1930s and begins with "Holy! Holy! Holy!" -- so much for supposed traditions.

Snowbrush's comment ended with a request: "I usually listen to religious music on Sunday morning, but my private collection isn't great, so I'm wondering if you could offer some suggestions, preferably something newer than Bach but (ideally, though not necessarily) a bit older than the Fanny Crosby era. I prefer music that includes singing."

That is a hard one. I was going to suggest several Charles Wesley hymns, but his lifespan overlaps Bach's. So does Isaac Watts's. So does George Frederic Handel's. There are many, many hymns from the mid-to-late nineteenth century, but that's Fanny Crosby's era. What to do? What to do?

I am recommending that Snowbrush and everybody else listen to the oratorio Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn. There are some wonderful selections in it including "If With All Your Hearts Ye Truly Seek Me" and "O Rest In The Lord, Wait Patiently For Him" and "Then Shall The Righteous Shine Forth As The Sun In Their Heavenly Father's Realm" and -- my favorite -- the gorgeous choral number "He Watching Over Israel Slumbers Not Nor Sleeps."

Here's the first one (3:18), and you should look for the others on Youtube yourself.

I'm grateful to Snowbrush for inspiring this post. I need all the help I can get.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

My hero

My preceding post included a photo of Ryan Seacrest, a graduate of Dunwoody High School in Atlanta who became a radio personality, television host, and producer. He gained celebrity for his associations with American Idol, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, E! Live, and most recently as co-host of Live With Kelly and Ryan. He is, I guess, a pop culture icon. I say guess because pop culture is not my area of expertise.

I also mentioned that my heart surgeon looks younger than Ryan Seacrest.

Kylie, a new reader of this blog who lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, left the following comment: "What i want to know about your surgeon is not if he looks younger than Ryan Seacrest but does he look as good?"

I certainly am not the one to ask. I have no idea. I know of no authoritative scale by which the attractiveness to females of one male over another can be measured. I suppose -- write this down -- that beauty or handsomeness is in the eye of the beholder.

So here, for Kylie and anybody else who might be wondering the same thing, is my hero, The Man Who Put The Stents In My Coronary Arteries:


You tell me!

For the record, Ryan Seacrest is 42 (in yesterday's photo from 2013 he was 39) and my doctor, according to his bio at the hospital, is 48.

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's all over but the shouting

I'm back at home from my adventures in angioplasty, which felt more like MY ADVENTURES IN A*N*G*I*O*P*L*A*S*T*Y!!! (with sincere apologies to Hyman Kaplan).

I spent two days in hospital with some very nice people that I hope I never need to see again, including an amazing cardiac surgeon who looked all of twenty years old but must have been about fifty. Just a kid*.

I came home Thursday afternoon with five stents in my coronary arteries that weren't there when I left on Wednesday morning.

It certainly isn't all about me, me, me but if you look closely you will find that the first three paragraphs of this post still managed to sneak in the personal pronoun eight times.

How thoroughly self-centered of them.

All things either having returned to more or less normal or having been significantly altered forever, depending on how you look at it, the period of recovery and rehabilitation now begins.

If you want to know more about angioplasty, click here.

Until next time, Seacrest out.

(Photo by Glenn Francis, 2013, used in accordance with the terms of GFDL)

*Ryan Seacrest, pictured above at age 39 in 2013, looks older than my cardiac surgeon. There's that darned personal pronoun again.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Remembrance of things recently past: Graduation 2017

We traveled to Alabama to attend the high-school graduation of our oldest grandson there (not our oldest grandson of all, but our oldest grandson there).

Here are a few scenes of that day for posterity my vast reading audience's personal perusal and pleasure (alliteration lessons available for a small fee):