September 25, 2010

The Rhyme of the Chivalrous Shark

"Most chivalrous fish of the ocean
To ladies forbearing and mild,
Though his record be dark,
Is the man-eating shark,
Who will eat neither woman nor child.

He dines upon seamen and skippers,
And tourists his hunger assuage,
And a fresh cabin boy
Will inspire him with joy
If he's past the maturity age.

A doctor, a lawyer, a preacher,
He'll gobble one any fine day,
But the ladies, God bless 'em,
He'll only address 'em
Politely and go on his way.

I can readily cite you an instance
Where a lovely young lady of Breem,
Who was tender and sweet,
And delicious to eat,
Fell into the bay with a scream.

She struggled and flounced in the water,
And signaled in vain for her bar,
And she'd surely been drowned
If she hadn't been found
By a chivalrous man-eating shark.

He bowed in a manner most polished,
Thus soothing her impulses wild;
"Don't be frightened," he said,
"I've been properly bred
And will eat neither woman nor child."

Then he proffered his fin and she took it —
Such gallantry none can dispute —
While the passengers cheered
As the vessel they neared
And a broadside was fired in salute.

And they soon stood alongside the vessel,
When a life-saving dingy was lowered
With the pick of the crew,
And her relatives too,
And the mate and the skipper aboard.

So they took her aboard in a jiffy,
And the shark stood attention the while,
Then he raised on his flipper
And ate up the skipper
And went on his way with a smile.

And this shows that the prince of the ocean,
To ladies forbearing and mild,
Though his record be dark,
Is the man-eating shark,
Who will eat neither woman nor child."

~ Wallace Irwin


By way of announcements: first of all, I shall likely be posting of my experience at the Tribe Party soon. For those of you who have no idea what the "Tribe Party" is, you have missed out on an unprecedented epic international gathering of men and Elves (with the occasional yodeling dwarf). >_> It's a long story... I'll explain a bit later. Secondly, you might have noticed that the dates on my posts are a little....... off. That's a long story too. It should be fixed soon.

Thanks for reading!

Over and out,

September 22, 2010


William Shakespeare

Macbeth is tragic and grim but beautifully written. Though laced with occasional phrases of "adult content," methinks that, for the older reader (perhaps 13+), the marvelous writing style and clever descriptions - not to mention the strong plot - make it a worthy read for a lover of literature.

Heh, I actually read Macbeth in bed with a flashlight, so eager was I to find out "what happens next!" Methinks that indicates a level of literary geekiness that many readers do not share. :) In other words, you may not like it as much as I. However, Macbeth is fairly short, and not too difficult for the reader with the right kind of edition (melikes the helpful kind that, while giving a few pointers as to the definition of tricky Old English words and phrases, still leaves room for ambitious and curious readers to spend a few seconds mulling over some confusing lines, and then to be rewarded with a joyous spark of pride as it all becomes clear.)

From this book I gleaned:

  • A new insult - "Young fry of treachery!" - which I now shout to my brother on occasions.
  • A deeper appreciation and knowledge of Shakespeare's culture.
  • The nearly breathless experience an avid reader undergoes upon reading a gloriously written line.
  • The opportunity to feel sophisticated as I make a bulleted list on a blog post.

Villainous characters reciting their gruesome and terrible morals, witches, and "content" would elevate this to older reader's appropriate level, but those who read it carefully and with discernment can even find their faith uplifted, as I did when I read these lines that Macbeth himself recites:

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more."

Happily, 'tis not so for we who are Christians. Indeed we often squander our lives in strutting and fretting about, but through no merit of our own, we are not destined to "be heard no more." With inexplicable kindness, God has granted us the gift of dwelling with him for eternity. Marvelous fact, no?

D-Day Speech

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts,
you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the
elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and
security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs
of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great
defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously
reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on
the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority
in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great
reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of
the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill
in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this
great and noble undertaking.

SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower

Given June 6, 1944

Jelly Bean - 1


This brave jelly bean tastes of hearty coffee with plenty of sugar and a bit of cream.

Image taken from
(Just in case there is any doubt, this is not a paid advertisement. I just have a queer fascination with Jelly bean flavors. >_>)

September 17, 2010

The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux
Kate DiCamillo

This story is heartwarming in a simple, fond way. It concerns Despereaux, a mouse endowed with unusual boldness and an interest in chivalry and heroism. He lives with his timid tribe of fellow mice in the castle of a heartbroken king. The land is generally a quiet and dim place, deprived of the wholesome delight of soup. Despereaux comes to make the acquaintance of the Princess Pea, to whom he courageously pledges his love and protection. This little mouse's courage is put to the test when the Princess is kidnapped, and Despereaux - armed with a a needle-sword, brave love for the Princess, and the comforting smell of soup - embarks on a quest to save her.

Methinks that the movie did not do this story justice. It twisted in magic, exaggerated the villain, and as a whole lessened the tale. It hacked a simple story - one of the pleasures of soup and love and the flaws in good people, misconceptions, and forgiveness - into a story highlighted, as our culture demands, by drama. Something of the tale was lost when the movie makers twisted a climax that revolved around a few people in a dungeon - one reveling in bitter evil, another confused and unloved, a delicate, thoughtful princess, and a tiny mouse full of heroism - to something bigger, brighter, louder, and more intense.

Sometimes a climax is not all about the tension of immediate danger. DiCamillo indeed had that in her book's climax, but it was slower and and more thought-provoking. I, for one, walked away from the book thinking, but the movie I can quickly forget.

But I digress. The little Tale of Desperaux is a worthy read to young children. Though, as aforestressed, it is a bit sad, it points to innocent love and chivalry and brightness and forgiveness. It's a bedtime story, with morals and a worthy hero and the triumph of light over darkness.

"And then, something incredible happened: The mouse fell in love.

Reader, you may ask this question; in fact, you must ask this question: Is it ridiculous for a very small, sickly, big-eared mouse to fall in love with a beautiful human princess named Pea?

The answer is... yes. Of course, it's ridiculous.

Love is ridiculous.

But love is also wonderful. And powerful. And Despereaux's love for the Princess Pea would prove, in time, to be all of these things: powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous."
- The Tale of Despereaux

Cover image found on


Abstractly beautiful!


Both pictures found on

September 16, 2010

The Fellowship of the Vuvuzela

Highly amusing. :)


"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
- Alice Morse Earle

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."
Mark Twain

"Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them."
- Dion Buicicault

"Only one life,
'Twill soon be past,
Only what's done
For Christ will last."
- Anonymous