Genius from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
Utah has a Cache County, which includes most of the Cache Valley. In 7th grade Utah history, if not before, Utah kids learn that the name came from the old Mountain Men, French-descended fur trappers who plied the area well before the Mormon pioneers and even John C. Fremont.
A trapper could collect a half-ton of beaver pelts in a season, to sell to a large corporation to export to Europe to be made into felt. He wouldn’t want to carry that weight around with him. So trappers would make a place to hide their furs until trading time — a “cache” in fractured French, from the word “cacher,” which means “to hide,” in this case. (See also Colorado’s Cache la Poudre River.)
Utah’s Cache Valley at least one year hosted the grand rendezvous of fur trappers and their hosting corporate suppliers and buyers, and for much of a decade or longer was a place where fur trappers hid their furs awaiting the rendezvous — great American explorers and pioneers like Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger, James Beckwourth, Peter Skene Ogden and Thomas Fitzpatrick.
Maybe the people who made this sign didn’t know that history. I found it in Alvarado, Texas, after all.
There is a world of difference between “cashing a check” and “caching a check,” though. Surely there is an Abbott and Costello-style comedy routine in this sign:
Six words on that sign. Three of them are misspelled, 50%.
I imagine someone entering the store to cash a check, handing it to the clerk who promptly drops it into a slot in a mysterious box and says, “All cached.” “Where’s my check?” the customer demands. Abbott and Costello enter from the back room.
Then I got stuck with an ugly earworm for the next few miles, with Tommy James infecting my brain. But for the want of an “e” it could have been the Beatles or Pink Floyd.
I hope the merchant got a heckuva discount from the sign maker. At least 50% off.
You can’t, Charlie Pierce says.
In fact, he makes a great case that some of the stuff Members of Congress say is crazier than what appears to be rantings of a disturbed staff person.
At his blog at Esquire.
You see, my dear young people, impromptu outbursts of the crazy cannot be allowed. If you insist on loudly making the crazy talk, you have to be elected by the citizens of Texas, and you have to be invited to speak at events like the Values Voters Summit, where well-dressed and well-organized insanity is encouraged. For example:
“The media wants America to give up and allow this country to keep sliding off the edge of the cliff.” “This is an administration that seems bound and determine to violate every single one of our bill of rights. I don’t know that they have yet violated the Third Amendment, but I expect them to start quartering soldiers in peoples’ homes soon.”
“How scared is the President? What a statement of fear, what a statement of fear. Oh, they don’t want the truth to be heard. They definitely don’t want the truth to be heard.”
Read more: House Stenographer Snapped – Reign Of The Morons: The Elements Of Crazy – Esquire
Follow us: @Esquiremag on Twitter | Esquire on Facebook
Visit us at Esquire.com
Go visit. The rest of it is well worth the minute it will take you to read it.
But these days, who can tell?
Our drive through central Texas and the Hill Country a few days ago provided some good fun and much needed break, though our destination was a memorial service for a friend who died very prematurely.
Kathryn noticed these odd signs first. I’m not sure of the purpose. These are in the information sign mode, the yellow diamonds used to warn drivers of hazards ahead.
The hazard? “Church.”
One might imagine these signs are posted to warn drivers on Sunday. About noon, when these churches’ services let out, the roads around them may be filled with people who are only too happy to go meet Jesus right now — so watch out! and drive accordingly.
Texas offers all sorts of strange things to those willing to drive the state’s highways, and see ‘em.
- Signs of life: Tufte’s signs that ought to be (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
- Signs of life: The bowtie on the Paul Simon HIghway (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
- Signs: Cthulu’s return? Don’t kick jellyfish? (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
- Signs: Pancho Villa Highway? Zapata Road? (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
- A sign to take seriously (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
- Road Sign Colors and Shapes (allstate.com)
- Manual of Traffic Signs (Richard C. Moeur)
October 9 – St. Denis’s Day, patron saint for those who have lost their head (Tea Party? House GOP?)October 9, 2013
Who? He’s the patron saint of Paris (and France, by some accounts), and possessed people. Take a look at this statue, from the “left door” of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris: portail de gauche). He was martyred by beheading, in about 250 C.E.
Our trusty friend Wikipedia explains:
According to the Golden Legend, after his head was chopped off, Denis picked it up and walked two miles, preaching a sermon the entire way. The site where he stopped preaching and actually died was made into a small shrine that developed into the Saint Denis Basilica, which became the burial place for the kings of France. Another account has his corpse being thrown in the Seine, but recovered and buried later that night by his converts.
Clearly, he is the guy to pray to about Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, intelligent design, and the Texas State Board of Education, no? In 2013, you can add Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louis Gohmert, the entire Tea Party, and the entire GOP crew of the House of Representatives. You catch my drift.
Perhaps you can use this factoid to some advantage, enlightenment, and perhaps humor. In Catholic lore, St. Denis is one of the “14 Holy Helpers,” and his aid is sought to help people with headaches, or who have been possessed.
Crazy GOP members who I suspect of having been possessed give me and America a headache. St. Denis seems to be our man.
Who else do you know of in this modern, vexatious time, who keeps talking after losing his/her head?
As Rod Stewart sang, just “let your imagination run wild.” Maybe St. Denis is listening.
- Today’s Saint(s): S. Denis, Bishop & Martyr (frjeromeosjv.wordpress.com)
- The Basilica of Saint Denis (madameguillotine.org.uk)
- Basilica St. Denis (emarshall58.wordpress.com)
- Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Dennis, Bp with Rusticus & Eleutherius, Martyrs (frjeromeosjv.wordpress.com)
Yes, this is mostly an encore post. I had hoped to have to retire this post someday. I still hope. Perhaps this will be the last year we’ll have so many wackaloons running loose. Pray to St. Denis.
Sometimes signs just don’t command the attention they should.
Seven paragraphs, if one counts the cheery close.
A woman named Randy Prine (@RandyPrine) Tweeted this photo, and said:
THIS is why we Voted for a analytical and not ‘shoot from the hip’ McCain or ‘How can I make money’ Romney.
Most of the ObamaH8ers I run into can be stopped on almost all Middle East issues simply by asking them whether the group they rant at, at that moment, is Sunni or Shiite. For some odd reason, they never know.
Haiku, at that.
Mark Sackler at Millennium Conjectures is making haiku verses from the search terms used on his blog. Haiku has some firm rules anyway, and this makes the challenge all the greater.
And it produces some interesting stuff, though this one may be just odd:
I am alone in
Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub blog
with Pepe Le Pou*
(The asterisk notes that this is how the searcher spelled it.)
An unlinked reference — some sort of indication of making it into the bloggynet conscience!
Read more at Mark’s place. (And check out the Savage Chickens cartoon.)
More, maybe only tangentially-related:
- New York Uses Poetry to Make Roads Safer for Pedestrians (smartsign.com)
- BlackBerry PlayBook Haiku: Top Ten Haikus! (blogs.blackberry.com)
- “Millard Fillmore in haiku” (Do people ever notice the difference between the words “Millard” and “mallard?”)
- Presidential haiku (“mutton chops?”)
Looking for the main cat, Luna Lovegood.* Couldn’t find her. Cats are like that. They hide in wonderfully difficult-to-find places, and they resist entreaties to come out, even for dinner. Luna wasn’t coming when called . . .
In the bedroom, looking around, calling, to no avail . . . 25th call (or thereabouts), a black plastic bag on the bed sorta came alive. Luna opened her eyes, and outed herself.
Do black cats know that they are black cats? I think they take advantage of their mono-color camouflage, and that they do it knowingly.
I also think they do it because they think its funny we can’t see them.
- Daily Photo: Black Cat Keyboard Rest (thecreativecat.net)
- Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day! (blogpaws.com) (Black Cat Appreciation Day? Who knew? It was August 17, 2013)
- Black Cat Appreciation Day: Do You Know Your Melanistic Cats? (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
- Celebrating National Black Cat Appreciation Day (tartaninkblog.wordpress.com)
- How did you celebrate [Black Cat Appreciation Day]? at Animals Deserve to Live
- Black Cat Brotherhood, at Ruth’s Artwork
- 10 Reasons to Adopt a Black Cat! with video, at Loonies for Paws
- More black cat appreciation at Ryan Conners Art & Photography, Rumpydog, My Three Moggies (with another, different 10 reasons list), Ruth’s Artwork (again)
* We adopted her from the pound, through Pet Medical Center of Duncanville. As a black cat, she wasn’t much adoptable, and had spent six months waiting for a home. She was named by the pound, or the vet. Since she answered to the name, she kept it.
36 years ago? Grouch Marx died on August 19, 1977?
That means that not only have your high school history students probably never seen much, or anything, of Groucho Marx and his comic genius; it means their parents don’t know him, either.
What a great tragedy.
Groucho Marx brought genius to American comedy films, to radio, and then to television. His genius was of a sort that does not age, but remains fresh to audiences of today — get a group of teenagers to view Duck Soup or A Day at the Races and you’ll find them laughing heartily at even some of Marx’s more cerebral jokes. It is symbolic that the films that brought writer Norman Cousins to laughter, and a lack of pain, were Marx Brothers movies (in the day when one had to rent a projector to show the film, long before VCR). Cousins went on to a grand second career talking about hope in healing, starting with the book, Head First: The Biology of Hope and the Healing Power of the Human Spirit. I recommend these films to anyone seriously injured or ill, or recovering. We got VHS, and then DVD copies of several of the films when our kids were ill, with great effect.
Groucho Marx should be in the pantheon of great Americans, of the 20th century, if not all time, studied by children in high school, for history and for literature purposes.
Groucho’s been gone for 36 years, and we are much poorer for his passing.
- Groucho’s biography at Marx Brothers.com
- “There ain’t no sanity clause,” Gary Giddens’s review of The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx, by Stefan Kanfer (465 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf), New York Times, June 18, 2000; the review includes chapter excerpts, and a photographic slide show of Groucho
- Top Marx (martyjava.wordpress.com)
- “The Laws of My Administration,” excerpt from Duck Soup
- “Pioneers of Wit”
August 15, the Ides of August, hosted several significant events through the years. In 1935, it was a tragic day in Alaska, as an airplane crash took lives of Will Rogers and Wiley Post. To refresh your memory, an encore post, with a few edits and additions.
After Mark Twain died, America found another great humorist, raconteur, story-teller, who tickled the nation’s funny-bone and pricked the collective social conscience at the same time. Will Rogers is most famous today for his sentiment that he never met a man he didn’t like. In 1935, he was at the height of his popularity, still performing as a lariat-twirling, Vaudeville comedian who communed with presidents, and kept his common sense. He wrote a daily newspaper column that was carried in 500 newspapers across America. Rogers was so popular that Texas and Oklahoma have dueled over who gets the bragging rights in claiming him as a native son.
Wiley Post was known as one of the best pilots in America. He gained fame by being the first pilot to fly solo around the world. Post was famous for his work developing new ways to fly at high altitudes. Post was born in Texas and moved to Oklahoma. He lost an eye in an oil-field accident in 1924, then used the settlement money to buy his first airplane. He befriended Will Rogers when flying Rogers to an appearance at a Rodeo, and the two kept up their friendship literally to death.
Post asked Rogers to come along on a tour of the great unknown land of Alaska, where Post was trying to map routes for mail planes to Russia. Ever adventurous, Rogers agreed — he could file his newspaper columns from Alaska by radio and telephone. On August 15, 1935, their airplane crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska, killing them both.
On August 15, 2008, a ceremony in Claremore, Oklahoma, honored the two men on the 73rd anniversary of their deaths. About 50 pilots from Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas will fly in to the Claremore Airport for the Will Rogers-Wiley Post Fly-In Weekend. Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins will offer a tribute.
Rogers was 56, leaving behind his wife, Betty, and four children. Post, 36, left a widow.
Rogers’ life is really quite legendary. Historian Joseph H. Carter summed it up:
Will Rogers was first an Indian, a cowboy then a national figure. He now is a legend.
Born in 1879 on a large ranch in the Cherokee Nation near what later would become Oologah, Oklahoma, Will Rogers was taught by a freed slave how to use a lasso as a tool to work Texas Longhorn cattle on the family ranch.
As he grew older, Will Rogers’ roping skills developed so special that he was listed in the Guinness Book of Records for throwing three lassos at once: One rope caught the running horse’s neck, the other would hoop around the rider and the third swooped up under the horse to loop all four legs.
Will Rogers’ unsurpassed lariat feats were recorded in the classic movie, “The Ropin’ Fool.”
His hard-earned skills won him jobs trick roping in wild west shows and on the vaudeville stages where, soon, he started telling small jokes.
Quickly, his wise cracks and folksy observations became more prized by audiences than his expert roping. He became recognized as being a very informed and smart philosopher–telling the truth in very simple words so that everyone could understand.
After the 10th grade, Will Rogers dropped out of school to become a cowboy in a cattle drive. He always regretted that he didn’t finish school, but he made sure that he never stopped learning–reading, thinking and talking to smart people. His hard work paid off.
Will Rogers was the star of Broadway and 71 movies of the 1920s and 1930s; a popular broadcaster; besides writing more than 4,000 syndicated newspaper columns and befriending Presidents, Senators and Kings.
During his lifetime, he traveled around the globe three times– meeting people, covering wars, talking about peace and learning everything possible.
He wrote six books. In fact he published more than two million words. He was the first big time radio commentator, was a guest at the White House and his opinions were sought by the leaders of the world.
Inside himself, Will Rogers remained a simple Oklahoma cowboy. “I never met a man I didn’t like,” was his credo of genuine love and respect for humanity and all people everywhere. He gave his own money to disaster victims and raised thousands for the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
Post’s legacy is significant, too. His employer, Oklahoma oil man F. C. Hall, encouraged Post to push for aviation records using Hall’s Lockheed Vega, and Post was happy to comply. Before his history-making trip around the world, he had won races and navigation contests. NASA traces the development of the space-walking suits worn by astronauts to Post’s early attempts for flight records:
For Wiley Post to achieve the altitude records he sought, he needed protection. (Pressurized aircraft cabins had not yet been developed.) Post’s solution was a suit that could be pressurized by his airplane engine’s supercharger.
First attempts at building a pressure suit failed since the suit became rigid and immobile when pressurized. Post discovered he couldn’t move inside the inflated suit, much less work airplane controls. A later version succeeded with the suit constructed already in a sitting position. This allowed Post to place his hands on the airplane controls and his feet on the rudder bars. Moving his arms and legs was difficult, but not impossible. To provide visibility, a viewing port was part of the rigid helmet placed over Post’s head. The port was small, but a larger one was unnecessary because Post had only one good eye!
Tip of the old scrub brush to Alaska bush advocate Pamela Bumsted.
- Will Rogers Memorial Museums, Oklahoma
- Will Rogers State Park, California
- Wiley Post biography at the Centennial of Flight Commission site (meeting technology and geography standards)
- Will Rogers in Schools program (Oklahoma)
- Will Rogers’ collected newspaper columns, “Daily Telegrams”
- Roadside America listing of the crash memorial in Point Barrow
- Wiley Post and the Winnie Mae (AcePilots)
- Will Rogers Coliseum, Ft. Worth, Texas
- Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City (OKC)
- Wiley Post Airport, Bethany, Oklahoma
- Wretched Richard’s Almanac: Will Power (richarddaybell.wordpress.com)
Don Knuth at Stanford University collects signs.
Actually he collects photos of signs, especially the diamond-shaped informational-warning signs.
What in the world is this one?
Your nominations for captions welcomed in comments.
More, sorta — or maybe, “tangentially related” is a better description:
- Don Knuth and the Art of Computer Programming: The Interview (adafruit.com)
- Can (and should) scientists become great presenters? (presentationzen.com)
From Edward Tufte:
Philosophy on road signs. Will it catch on? Has it caught on already?
Can the scientist appreciate the beauty of creation as much as the non-scientist religious person?
Can you get the joke in this photo, without a smattering of knowledge of geography, and languages? Or am I looking at it wrong?
It’s a joke on a planetary scale, if not a cosmic one.
(Hints: This is a photo looking from the north, I think; “Colorado” means “red” in Spanish.)
Update: Okay, Mr. Higginbotham convinced me. We’re looking from the west, and that’s the Colorado coming from the top of the picture, and the Green coming from the bottom left; then the conjoined streams flow away, to the bottom right. So, in the photo, the Colorado River is, appropriately, red, while the Green River is, fittingly, green
Not a majestic joke by Mother Nature, but a poetic way to remind us of the names of these rivers.
Poetry that might make us smile, too.
(It’s rare that these rivers run such dramatically different colors, especially with the Colorado that red, that far north.)
- Wikimapia view of the Confluence
- Willoughby: America’s most endangered river is showing signs of overuse (denverpost.com)
- Colorado’s Yampa River Gets a Lift for Second Consecutive Summer (newswatch.nationalgeographic.com)
- Willoughby: Expedition on Green River in Dinosaur Natl. Monument builds teamwork (denverpost.com)
- Declining flows in Colorado River Basin could stir economic woes (denverpost.com)
- Reagan Waskom and Taylor Hawes to testify today at senate hearing about #ColoradoRiver demand (coyotegulch.wordpress.com)
- Canoe 2001, Green River (lots of maps with detail)
Published in the Columbus Dispatch, July 7, 2013; highlighting the best part:
Entsminger — Scott E. Entsminger, 55, of Mansfield, died Thursday, July 4, 2013 at his residence. Born January 8, 1958 in Columbus, Ohio, he was the son of William and Martha (Kirkendall) Entsminger. He retired from General Motors after 32 years of service. He was an accomplished musician, loved playing the guitar and was a member of the Old Fogies Band. A lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and season ticket holder, he also wrote a song each year and sent it to the Cleveland Browns as well as offering other advice on how to run the team. He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time. Scott was a fun loving, kind and caring man who enjoyed gardening and fishing but his greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Pat Entsminger; a son, Aaron Entsminger of Columbus; a brother, Bill (Kathy) Entsminger of Grove City, Ohio; a sister, Lois Courtright of Galloway, Ohio; a sister-in-law, Carol Ferrall of Georgia; four nieces, Kristi Nunamaker, Allison Courtright, Emily Ferrall and Ashley Ferrall; a nephew, Benny Entsminger; his three dogs, Blackey, Shadow and Jezebel; his step mother, Lil Entsminger; a special aunt, Ginny Entsminger; and several cousins and other dear relatives. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother-in-law Harry Courtright. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at the Life Celebration Reception Center, 129 South Main Street, Mansfield, Ohio 44902. Friends may call one hour prior to the service, from 1-2 p.m., on Tuesday. The family also encourages everyone to wear their Cleveland Browns clothing to the service in honor of Scott. The family suggests that something be planted in his memory. Online guest registry at www.wappner.com
- Browns requested as pall bearers (toledoblade.com)
- Browns fan takes last shot at team in obit (espn.go.com)
- Deceased fan asked for Browns pallbearers so they can “let him down one more time” (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Man wants Browns pallbearers to ‘let him down’ (upi.com)
- Browns customize jersey for deceased fan (espn.go.com)
- Man’s obit requests Cleveland Browns to serve as pallbearers so team ‘can let him down one last time’… (cbssports.com)
- Cheers and Jeers, Cleveland Plain-Dealer
- Other great obituaries, at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: Harry Stamps (and its writing); Amos Schuchman; Val Patterson