Saturday, April 21, 2018

Weekend Joke: Art and the Thief

A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre.

After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings, and made it safely to his van.

However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas.

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied: "Monsieur, that is the reason I stole the paintings. I had no Monet ... to buy Degas ... to make the Van Gogh."

San Jacinto Day! Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!

Thank goodness that my friend Don never forgets ... he's the one always reminding me it is San Jacinto Day He has told me many a time:
I try to remember all of these good Texas holidays. They really bring home how unique the state –and future Republic?—truly is. This one is a real holiday, not like Cinco de Mayo. I mean, if you have a holiday to celebrate beating the French, then every day would be a holiday!
Ha! No kidding!

Let's all go get a few margaritas and lift them high to the Texian heroes of the decisive battle of the Texas revolution!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: The Snake Charmer

Jean-Léon Gérôme, The Snake Charmer

Well Said: Tolkien's Concern

It may be true that the story of the Ring is less morally ambiguous than the average realistic novel, but that’s primarily because Tolkien wasn’t especially interested in the problem of knowing right from wrong. His concern was to explore the psychology of the moment when you know right from wrong but aren’t sure whether you have the courage and fortitude to do the right thing.
Alan Jacobs
via C.K. Kubasik, via Joseph Susanka
From about 5 years ago, but I love it so much that we will enjoy it together again now.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Last Shot Boots and Dr. Pepper

Taken by my brother as he wended his way between Dallas and San Angelo. His visit over two consecutive weekends was truly a delight, all the more so since I hadn't seen him for about five years.

Lagniappe: The courageous heat of the stars

The waxing moon tossed a dull glow on the surface of the clouds, but it was the scattered layers of stars that held my attention. I looked at them and tried to feel the courageous heat of their battle as they fought against the natural state of all things in the universe: dead cold.
Craig Johnson, Hell is Empty
I just loved how this is put. It makes me think of Hell in Dante's Divine Comedy ... where it is very cold.

What We've Been Watching: Jumanji, Coco

Both of these movies were tons of  fun. They have solid moral themes, as we would expect considering their intended family/youngster audience, and make nice light viewing.

Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead trying to get back to his family while not relinquishing his dreams.
Coco is very enjoyable, albeit with somewhat simpler theme development than could be hoped for (a la Cars). Satisfying messages of love, family, memory, and loss are anchored in a love letter to Mexican culture, especially the Day of the Dead (Ray Bradbury would approve). It is a feast for the eyes as well as the heart. Don't miss it.

Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are sucked into the game, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives and change the way they think about themselves - or be stuck in the game forever.
Welcome to the best possible version of The Breakfast Club. The performances from Dwayne Johnson (a.k.a. The Rock) and Jack Black elevate this beyond story gimmick to a level of real entertainment. Neither ever lets you forget the inner nerd or beauty queen who inhabit their unlikely avatars. If you've ever played a video game then you're going to enjoy this one.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: An Elephant

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - An Elephant
I came across this in this great list of Rembrandt drawings which shows which major art pieces the sketches are thought to be associated with. Really interesting.

The elephant is on his own. Just a fun sketch with no painting done.

Lagniappe: Eccentric Houses

Houses, like people, are apt to become rather eccentric if left too much on their own; this house was the architectural equivalent of an old gentleman in a worn dressing-gown and torn slippers, who got up and went to bed at odd times of day, and who kept up a continual conversation with friends who no one else could see.
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Youngster

Remo Savisaar, Youngster

Well Said: The great democracy of the Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church was then, as it is now, a great democracy. There was no peasant so humble that he might not become a priest, and no priest so obscure that he might not become Pope of Christendom....What kept government alive in the Middle Ages was this constant rise of the sap from the bottom, from the rank and file of the great body of the people through the open channels of the priesthood.
President Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom, 1913

Scott orders a tall stack, Julie orders corned beef hash. They both have seconds of sock juice.

That's because we're having Pancakes in Paris, the subject of episode 180 of A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast this week.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Worth a Thousand Words: Spring in Worpswede

Hans am Ende, Spring in Worpswede

Well Said: Private confession and the dignity of the individual

The practice of private confession also burned onto the Western soul a principle that is not native to the other influential civilizations of humanity: that the individual man, woman, or child is above the tribe, nation, state, and collectivity. Because men were willing to spend hours on end, in huge city cathedrals or tiny rural chapels, amid the coldness of winter and the heat of summer, attentive to the woes of both king and beggar, listening compassionately in order "to make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of their sins, the loving kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death and guide...into the way of peace" (Lk 1:68-79), the concept of the dignity of the individual hit home. It because clear through this one-on-one dialogue that God, through his representative, loved each man as an individual—regardless of race or rank. ... all were equal as they waited for the sacrament, and if someone tried to alter this egalitarian state of affairs, priests were quite capable of calling the violator to order. One such incident from the seventeenth century occurred when a wealthy white lady in Cartagena, Colombia, jumped the queue, going ahead of a black slave, but found that it was all to no avail since the confessor, Father Peter Claver (1580-1654), insisted on hearing the slave's confession first.
William J. Slattery, Heroism and Genius
I really love this book although it is taking me a while to work my way through it.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Weekend Humor: Affirmation

I was pleased to see that is still in there coming up with posters to define our lives. This one, from their 2018 collection, is practically perfect in every way.