Boondoggle

One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

All My Sons

The name for a “Moving and Storage” company on a truck that just drove by my window.

One can only assume the father of this particular enterprise did not read the play.

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April 23, 2009 Posted by | Literature | | Leave a comment

Ex-presidents write books?!?

Didn’t see this one coming:

Former U.S. President George W. Bush will write a book about some of the decisions he made during his eight years in office, which will be published by the Crown Publishing Group in 2010.

Let’s just hope that W.’s memoir proves to be more interesting than his wife Laura’s was predicted to be.

March 19, 2009 Posted by | Literature, U.S. politics | , | Leave a comment

Bernard DeVoto is coming out of the woodwork!

yearofdecision1846Who’s Bernard DeVoto? you ask [before clicking on the kindly provided Wikipedia link, that is]. I thought the same thing when I donated a dollar or two at a grocery store in Nashua, New Hampshire about a year ago for a book with his name on it, with the august title, The Year of Decision: 1846, written in 1942. And since then the book has sat, nerdily promising in a Gore Vidal sort of way, but as yet unread, on my bookshelf.

I had assumed that DeVoto was an obscure writer who had been forgotten in the 60-plus years since this book was written. But no! And then, but no again! Not only did DeVoto act as the “outside critic” for the potential publisher of the then obscure Norman Mailer’s first novel, The Naked and the Dead (he wrote a “condescending six-page critique”), but he also had some very strong opinions about martinis (one of “only two cocktails” in his mind). And finally, someone who has actually read The Year of Decision: 1846. And apparently it’s good!

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Literature | , , , | 2 Comments

The horrors of a lark-free world

Good luck identifying this in your OJD, kid.

Good luck identifying this in your OJD, kid.

Some adults have sneaked a peak at the new “Oxford Junior Dictionary” and are none too pleased with what they see (or don’t see):

Imagine a childhood without gerbils, goldfish, guinea pigs, hamsters, herons, larks, or leopards; where even the idea of these things had been replaced by practical modern concepts like celebrity, vandalism, negotiate, interdependent, and creep. This is the world of the Oxford Junior Dictionary, whose current edition has dropped all the old words in the first list, and added all the new ones.

A childhood without larks?!?  I dare not even ponder.  And as if that weren’t bad enough, diligent dictionary-reading kids will now know nothing about thrushes, leeks, and vicars — a life impoverished! — and will instead be immersed in such useless words like “EU,” “biodegradable,” and “common sense.”  I shudder for the future of humanity.

(image from flickr user wolfpix under a Creative Commons license)

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Conservatives, Humor, Literature | | 1 Comment

Poem of the day

Richard Wilbur’s “Terza Rima“:

In this great form, as Dante proved in Hell,
There is no dreadful thing that can’t be said
In passing. Here, for instance, one could tell 

How our jeep skidded sideways toward the dead
Enemy soldier with the staring eyes,
Bumping a little as it struck his head,

And then flew on, as if toward Paradise.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Literature | | Leave a comment

Nerdy Harry Potter reference of the day

voldemortAncient and powerful creatures mysteriously dying could only mean one thing…

Scientists in South Africa are trying to find out why so many crocodiles are dying in the rivers around Kruger Park, to the north of Johannesburg, where more than 50 of the reptiles have been found washed up on river banks in Limpopo Province.

…Voldemort is once again in a bizarre half-alive sort of state and has been reduced to living in the back of someone’s turban and drinking unicorn crocodile blood to stay alive.

(image from flickr user ramaadee under a Creative Commons license)

December 7, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Literature | | 1 Comment