Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter Solstice

St Thomas gray, St. Thomas gray,
The longest night and the shortest day.
"Doubting" Thomas is the patron of builders, architects, and carpenters. He drew the short straw when the disciples were divvying up the ministries, and got stuck going to India to spread the word. Surprisingly, he wasn't killed by the king who gave him money to build a palace. (Thomas gave the money to the poor.) The king learned in a dream that Thomas had built a fabulous palace in heaven by his good deeds, which were the king's good deeds, by the Associative Property of Good Deeds. Thomas got speared by a prince whose wife dug the carpenter/saint. Those who follow the saint can celebrate his day by getting money from wealthy clients. Wth personality disorders. Who haven't paid yet for something you did three years ago. Like that frigging window that I replaced three times. Because it was "too big." Then "too high." Then "too small." How about I just cut the whole wall out and you can get drapes? That'll be 50 grand.
Of course, one can always celebrate the week before the Solstice and the week after the Solstice as "Halcyon Days." To mariners of old, these were the days of days of happiness and tranquility. After the Summer storms (which we had) and before the Winter storms, which we hope to not have.
Your choice. Doubting Doling Thomas Day, or Halcyon Days.
Of course, you can always just celebrate the Yule by drinking around the village wassailing, eating apples & oranges, burning the Ash and cheering the return of the Oak King.
And that's why we say "Happy Holidays."
Celebrate yours responsibly.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Chapter Seven: Bankrupt, I am declared Mate of the Third Watch.

Being an on-going reprint of Lionel Peckeridge's classic novel. Click on the pics for better eyesight. Or open them using one of them gimmicks.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Why "H.M.S. Impossible"

A quick click over at Google is sparse, but oddly satisfying:
Stephen Leacock’s Winnowed Wisdom relates the histoire of naturalist Charles Darwin, and his dealings with the scientists aboard H.M.S. Beagle, H.M.S. Unspeakable, and H.M.S. Impossible (off the Oesophagus Islands) as well. I’m pretty sure his tongue was firmly imbedded a-cheek. See here:
Mr. Peter Brooke (cities of London and Westminster) mentions, in the House of Commons Hansard Debates for 27 November 1998, his aunt’s maid’s brother’s national service in H.M.S. Abominable.
Mr. Brooke’s aunt named the other members of the class, of which H.M.S. Impossible is notable.

I actually worked with a Captain who, a true gentleman, has a terrific sense of humor, scholarship, and seamanship. He and I uncovered the elegant (if sometimes obtuse and loaded with tired nautical cliches) Patrick O’Brien-like Revolutionary War era novel by Lionel Peckeridge, H.M.S. Impossible. ("...two...three...") Okay, we were doing some mind-numbing deckwork and singing along to (I think it was)Adam Clayton’s remix of the theme to Mission Impossible and threw in a shout of "H.M.S.!" where "Mission" goes in the "vocals". We made up the other stuff, promising to actually write Peckeridge’s novel (sort of an Aubrey-Maturin Bored of the Rings) and become unearthily wealthy.

Ah, the dreams of youth.