Apr 28, 2015

I'm not persuaded teevee ever had a "Golden Age," but if it did  Jayne was part of it. RIP.

Apr 20, 2015

An oldie reposted

Bumped up out of appreciation for reader "Elizabeth"  who cared enough to burrow in the ancient TMR archives and comment. Also to suggest the "Elizabeth" blog where you will find some comments on the Travis McGee novels. 

And finally to restore the Marlene image which was scandalously erased by the internet. I told you turning the web over to Obama and his 3-2 FCC majority was a cruddy idea.


Yes, Travis McGee was that good

And we have it on excellent authority, courtesy of the Harvard Business School Alumni Review. It offers a letter to John. D. from an admirer:

Dear Mr. MacDonald, Would you please send me Travis McGee?…. I have read all the books you wrote and I am desperate because there are no more….I am distributing your books here in Europe, and everybody is deserting everybody because nobody will sleep with anybody when they have a new book of yours.”
(Marlene Dietrich, 1975)

Younger readers may wonder, "Whoozat?"


Papa Whiskey said...
I miss T. McGee.
Elizabeth said...
Here’s a quote about John D. Macdonald that I often see bouncing around the web (I hesitate to quote from Wikipeida, which we all know is generally stuff we can wipe our asses with, but this seems legit). “Macdonald is by any standards a better writer than Saul Bellow, only Macdonald writes thrillers and Bellow is a human heart chap, so guess who wears the top grade laurels?” That’s from Kingsley Amis.
  • George Will and the Great Raisin Raid

    Over four long years, Marv and Laura grew abut 500 tons of raisins out in California. By government reckoning, that's about $700,000 dollars worth. And that's how much the government wants . The Hornes object on grounds that they bought the land and the vines, planted, cultivated,  fertilized,watered, harvested and dried those little tasteies.

    "Well, sure," says mommiedotguv, "but they didn't sell them right.  They violated a (trumpet fanfare here) Marketing Order!"

    Enter George Will, an old Cold Warrior and  Buckley/Reaganite journalist. I find it odd that a guy can go months and months without seeing him cited or quoted in this libertarian corner of the internet.

    It could be that most everyone considers him just too 20th Century to be worth reading anymore. It's more likely that the moderns and post-moderns find his words too hard. U no the ppl hu think lol & omg & wtf are adequate terms for any necessary exposition and all possible conditions of human emotion.

    I mean, WTF!? George uses the word "recondite*" in this column about government stealing the Horne grapes.  More damning, he often expresses himself in the pre-tweet fashion, writing in complete sentences and paragraphs, each bearing some relationship to its predecessor.

    His news peg for this weekend article was oral argument scheduled for the Supreme Court Wednesday. The Horne lawyers will try to persuade the justices that stealing the raisins is unconstitutional, no matter what Franklin Roosevelt  and his brain trust decided in 1937. Will thinks it is.

    His larger point is more important.  The level of government meddling and theft and general pestering is huge. But since it is so recondite, hardly anyone understands it. So bad that you are being taxed in one way or another to maintain an official spearmint oil reserve. Not to mention "almonds, apricots, avocados, cherries, cranberries, dates, grapes, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, onions, pears, pistachios, plums, spearmint oil, walnuts and other stuff."

    And if you tell me you were well aware that it is in the national interest to maintain an orderly market  in figs I'll call you a liar and add that your philosophy (a ) smells worse than a Syrian camel and   (b) is dangerous. This dangerous:

    Government sprawl and meddlesomeness mock the idea that government is transparent. There are not enough cells in the human brain to enable Americans to know more than a wee fraction of what their government is up to. If they did know, they would know something useful — how much of what government does is a compound of the simply silly and the slightly sinister. The silly: Try to imagine the peril from which we are protected because the government maintains a spearmint oil reserve. The sinister: The government is bullying and stealing property to maintain programs that make Americans pay higher commodity prices than a free market would set.


    I need to thank Mr. Will for adding impetus to my campaign to be your president. It reminds me to articulate a vital  plank in my agricultural reform platform.

    Anyone using the term "marketing order" without obvious snide intent will be taken out and shot.


    *It means abstruse.

    Apr 14, 2015

    A day in the life...

    ...and a pleasant one, kindly weather, outside work, the hint of winter pallor giving way to a less morbid skin tone.

    So why the hell did I decide to spoil things by reading the news and shattering my most cherished articles of faith in my government?


    The Department of Homeland security would never, ever hire airport perverts, just dedicated public servants devoted to catching sky terrorists.

    The policeman is your friend and the war on drugs is noble.

    Teachers and school bosses are even more noble. Unless they can make more money cheating.

    Apr 11, 2015

    Silence, Varlet!

    If you must face a County Board of Supervisors up in this corner of my state, be very careful to keep a civil tongue in your head. Do not question their wisdom, competence, or even simple good will. They are prepared for the prole who fails to tug his forelock.

    Five supervisors.  Five desks, a ready can hidden away beneath each one.  Some sort of knife-to-a-gun-fight joke lurks there, but it isn't worth reaching for.

    I do assume, however, that they have drilled extensively in small-unit tactics.

    My offhand guess that they may remain unused until some subversive has the gall to question of cost of paving miles and miles of old railroad right -of-way so the Spandexers  won't suffer traumatic butt-jiggle  as they peddle through the corn fields.


    (Based on the direct observation of a friend who sometimes does business in the court house and who is absolutely credible.)

    Lust object in multi-hued steel

    An example of what  may result from a couple years of thought and experimentation and adaptation of equipment meant for something else. The more you like old Marlin lever guns and 19th Century metal finishing techniques, the more you'll appreciate the latest product from the shop of Genius Jeff who acquired the raw materials as rusty junk.

    It's all assembled now -- you should see the walnut -- and at the Tulsa loophole. I'm not clear whether he means to sell or merely display. I sort of hope the latter. It's comforting to have such art only a few miles down the road.

    I cannot offer a complete geekout because I know little of case-hardening technique. You need to clean and polish the metal, taking care to preserve the flats and sharp corners and markings, then bake it in calcium carbonate or something like that.  I'm told the pulverized bones of an Incan goddess work best, but in a pinch one can employ those of a sacred white buffalo. I'll ask him when he gets home.

    Apr 2, 2015

    The USS Arizona After Hours

    I have been, as they say, around.  For quite a while now. So stuff like this shouldn't  make my eyes water, but it does.


    h/t John of the GMA

    Nothing runs like a Deere

    I've been suffering from a severe case of Mind Your Own Business lately.  It is personally profitable in one way or another, but it wrecks havoc on my favorite self-image. If I neglect my duties as a scourge of thieving politicians and goofy, power-mad, government minions everywhere, why am I continuing to consume precious oxygen?

    What profits me if my kitchen is cleaner, the bank account slightly less laughable, and the lawn machinery tuned and ready for The Moon When the Crabgrass Thickens? If, I mean, all that selfishness is at the expense of omitting seditious comment on official ignorance piled upon bureaucratic stupidity upon political venality?

    One hopes that St. Peter does not ask such a question, but just in case, I strive here for a tiny down payment on partial redemption.


    Early in February I noticed my passport was expired.  I cross guarded borders only rarely  any more, but who knows, so I sent John  Kerry my $110 and a couple pages of personally identifying information. The form promised processing in four-to-six weeks. About three weeks later the check cleared. Three weeks after that I received a nice email from John saying my application had been received and that processing would take four-to-six weeks. Then, a week later, John joyfully wrote me that my "application" had been "approved," that the Department of State of the United States of America had deployed its vast resources and concluded that I am me, the same me as identified on previous passports.

    And Secretary Kerry reported that it had been mailed already, on April 2 or perhaps earlier. It included a note:

    "You requested delivery by regular mail. Passport Agencies use Priority Mail. This means you should receive your passport on or about 04/07/2015."

    Until reading this I had no strong urge to mock the U.S. Postal Service -- or perhaps John's trust in Snail Mail.

    But waidaminnut. Priority Mail is advertised as, well, priority; faster than Bill Cody's speeding pony, more rapid than a New Jersey senator's grab for a bit cash.

    I think my passport is coming from New Orleans, 1,203.3 miles distant, or, with six days elapsed time as predicted by the Secretary of State, an average of barely more than 200 miles per day.

    Excuse me, Gentlemen, but I think with fresh spark plugs, on-the-fly refueling, and relief drivers,  we might do about that well using my lawn tractor. If not, there is always the pony option.


    Hell, I'm in no rush for the passport. Take your time John, mailman, et al.  The only big deal here is a reminder that government always, in matters from the largest to the smallest, speaks with a forked tongue.