Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Queen Of The Skies

If you love this business, you've been dreading this moment.  Nobody wants a four-engine airliner anymore, but that doesn't erase the tremendous contribution the aircraft made to the development of the industry or its remarkable legacy.

-- Aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia, as Boeing delivers its final 747 jumbo jet, #1547, as quoted by Gene Johnson, USA Today, 31 January 2023

Monday, January 30, 2023

Im See

Im See                        In The Lake

Heute ist das Wetter warm,          Today the weather is warm,
heute kann's nicht schaden,         today it can't hurt,
schnell hinunter an den See,        quickly down to the lake,
heute gehn wir baden!               Today we go swimming!

Eins, zwei, drei -- die Hosen aus,  One, two, three -- pants off,
Stiefel, Wams und Wäsche!           Boots, doublet and underwear!
Und dann -- plumps ins Wasser rein! And then -- plop into the water
Gerade wie die Frösche!             Just like the frogs!

Und der schönste Sonnenschein       And the most beautiful sunshine
brennt uns nach dem Bade            burns us after the bath,
Brust und Buckel knusperbraun,      breast and hump crispy brown,
braun wie Schokolade!               brown like chocolate!

-- Adolf Holst (1867 - 1945), German educator, author, and publisher of children's books, quoted in German How To Speak And Write It by Joseph Rosenberg (1960)

[Early in my 5 years of high school German, the first poem I memorized auf Deutsch was the above, ca. ~1974.  I still remembered good chunks, but not nearly all of it.]

Friday, January 27, 2023

Nothing More Certain

Age may have one side, but assuredly Youth has the other.  There is nothing more certain than that both are right, except perhaps that both are wrong.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "Crabbed Age and Youth" (1878), Virginibus Puerisque, II 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

A Good Action

It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in the retrospect.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "Reflections and Remarks on Human Life", VI: Right and Wrong, published in Works: Letters and Miscellanies of Robert Louis Stevenson -- Sketches, Criticisms, Etc. (1895), p. 628

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside --

Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown --
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "The Swing" from A Child's Garden of Verses (1885)

[I received this collection of poetry as a gift on 16 September 1968.  When I had a school assignment to memorize a poem, this is the poem I chose.  When I pulled the book off the shelf just now, I found a bookmark on this page.]

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Our Last Cruise

Old and young, we are all on our last cruise.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, "Crabbed Age and Youth" (1878), Virginibus Puerisque, II 

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Cruelest Lies

The cruelest lies are often told in silence.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894), Scottish novelist and poet, Truth of Intercourse

Friday, January 20, 2023

Nothing So Strange

There is nothing so powerful as truth -- and often nothing so strange.

-- Daniel Webster (1782 - 1852), United States Senator and Secretary of State, famed for his ability as an orator, Argument on the murder of Captain White (1830)

Thursday, January 19, 2023

RIP David Crosby

[E]very time, man, that I get stoned and put on a guitar and somebody points me at a microphone, I have -- I can't say every time -- 99 times out of a hundred -- I have as good a time as most people do balling.  And wouldn't you want to do that?  And wouldn't anybody want to do all they could?  I want to do it all I can, 'cause it gets me off.  I love it.

-- David Van Cortlandt Crosby (14 August 1941 - 19 January 2023) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as quoted by Ben Fong-Torres in "David Crosby: The Rolling Stone Interview", Rolling Stone, 23 July 1970

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The Best

Information is not knowledge.  Knowledge is not wisdom.  Wisdom is not truth.  Truth is not beauty.  Beauty is not love.  Love is not music.  Music is THE BEST.

-- Frank Vincent Zappa (1940 - 1993), American musician, composer, and satirist, "Joe's Garage Acts II & III" (1979)

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Hope To Understand

Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word "understanding."

-- Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901 - 1976), German physicist, Nobel laureate, and one of the founders of the field of quantum mechanics, Physics and Philosophy (1958)

Monday, January 16, 2023

Up To Us

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone.  We are it.  It is up to us.  It is up to you.

-- Marian Wright Edelman (1939 -), American activist for civil rights and children's rights; founder and president emerita of the Children's Defense Fund; as quoted in The Art of Winning Commitment : 10 Ways Leaders Can Engage Minds, Hearts, And Spirits (2004) by Dick Richards, p. 11

Friday, January 13, 2023

No Matter The Starting Point

Knowledge can be acquired by a suitable and complete study, no matter what the starting point is.  Only one must know how to "learn."

-- George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (13 January ca. 1866 - 29 October 1949), Greco-Armenian mystic and spiritual teacher, All and Everything: Views from the Real World (1973)

Thursday, January 12, 2023

It Is Evident

May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.

-- Millard Fillmore (1800 - 1874), thirteenth president of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold the nation's highest office, Letter to Henry Clay (11 November 1844), as quoted in Presidential Wit from Washington to Johnson (1966) edited by Bill Adler

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

RIP Jeff Beck

I'm an experimenter.  It's rich because every album I've done, except for a couple of techno-y records, are different.  Really you've got to hand it to the Fender Strat, because there are songs in [that guitar].  It's a tool of great inspiration and torture at the same time because it's forever sitting there challenging you to find something else in it, but it is there if you really search.

It does respond to touch and the tonal variation is unlimited really, especially with the whammy bar.  I have it set up so it becomes almost like a pedal steel.

My Strat is another arm, it's part of me.  It doesn't feel like a guitar at all.  It's an implement which is my voice.  A Les Paul feels like a guitar and I play differently on that and I sound too much like someone else.  With the Strat, instantly it becomes mine so that's why I've welded myself to that.  Or it's welded itself to me, one or the other.

-- Geoffrey Arnold (Jeff) Beck (24 June 1944 - 10 January 2023), English rock guitarist, in an interview with Total Guitar magazine (2016)

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Honorable Beginnings

Honorable beginnings should serve to awaken curiosity, not to heighten people's expectations.  We are much better off when reality surpasses our expectations, and something turns out better than we thought it would.

-- Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601 - 1658), Spanish Jesuit author regarded as one of the most accomplished prose stylists of the Baroque era, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647), Maxim 19 (p. 12)

Monday, January 09, 2023

RIP Charles Simić

Widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal.  It's no use pretending otherwise and telling us ... that educated people are the nation's most valuable resources.  Sure, they are, but do we still want them?  It doesn’t look to me as if we do.  The ideal citizen of a politically corrupt state, such as the one we now have, is a gullible dolt unable to tell truth from bullshit.  An educated, well-informed population, the kind that a functioning democracy requires, would be difficult to lie to, and could not be led by the nose by the various vested interests running amok in this country. 

-- Dušan "Charles" Simić (9 May 1938 - 9 January 2023), Serbian-American poet, 1990 Pulitzer Prize winner, and poet laureate of the United States from 2007 to 2008, "Age of Ignorance" New York Review of Books, 20 March 2012

Friday, January 06, 2023

Most Readable

Perl is designed to give you several ways to do anything, so consider picking the most readable one.

-- Larry Arnold Wall (1954 -), American computer programmer, best known as the creator of the Perl programming language, in "Perl style guide" perldoc.perl.org, (2005 - 2013)

Thursday, January 05, 2023

RIP Pope Benedict XVI

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord.

The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with inadequate instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.

Let us move forward in the joy of the Risen Lord, confident of his unfailing help.  The Lord will help us and Mary, his Most Holy Mother, will be on our side.  Thank you.

-- Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; 16 April 1927 - 31 December 2022), prelate of the Catholic Church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013, Full text of his first public speech as pope, upon his presentation as Pope Benedict XVI (19 April 2005)

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

One More Year

No one is so old as to think that he cannot live one more year.

-- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), Roman philosopher, politician, and political theorist, Cato Maior de Senectute - On Old Age (44 BC) section 24

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

A Speaker Has Not Been Elected

No persons having received a majority of the whole number of votes cast by surname, a speaker has not been elected.

-- Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 117th Congress Cheryl L. Johnson, the 36th individual to serve as Clerk, and who previously served during the 116th Congress, on the occasion of the Republican Majority in the House failing for the first time since 1923 to elect a speaker on the first ballot, 3 January 2023

Monday, January 02, 2023

RIP Barbara Walters

I can have respect and admiration for famous people, but I have never had a sense of fear or awe.

-- Barbara Jill Walters (25 September 1929 - 30 December 2022), American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. Walters was a working journalist from 1951 until 2015.  As quoted in "Barbara Walters, trailblazing TV icon, dies at 93" by Luchina Fisher and Bill Hutchinson, ABC News (30 December 2022)