Well, So much for all those Halloween Ads…

Apparently someone has declared that the word “spooky” is a racial epithet when used either to refer to a black person, or when used in the presence of black people. So “spooky good deals” and “spook-tacular savings” are out, among other things.

Oh for flip’s sake… It comes from a WWII joke told by the Tuskegee Airmen, and the title of a novel about an African-American secret agent, or “spook.” Because apparently no one ever made jokes based on German terms for their warfare styles and military units. Continue reading


Music Review: Caroleus Rex

Sabaton Caroleus Rex  (MP3 album)

I was curious to see if any music from the time of Charlemagne (Caroleus Magnus) could be found on YouTube. I got distracted and typed in Caroleus Rex. What I discovered was a hard rock album in English, Latin, German, and Swedish about Gustavus Adolphus and Charles X of Sweden.

It’s fascinating, and if you are into heavy metal, darn good. If you are history minded, it really gives you pause. Just how badly did the Thirty Years War and the Great Northern War afflict Europe? Well, someone wrote a suite of heavy metal songs about them 400 years after the Defenestration of Prague. Continue reading

Shoveling Already

It snowed on Thursday. Yes, this is still Texas. But Amarillo is almost four thousand feet above sea level, with nothing between us and Canada except some barbed-wire fences. We get winter weather. Back in the 1973, the area got so much winter that people were coming and going out of second storey windows because of the snow drifts. Earlier in the 20th century, snow-plow and snow-blower trains were normal in winter, and I’ve read accounts of people riding from west of Amarillo to the Rocky Mountains and back on solid snow-pack. I’ve seen snowflakes in the air in August.

However, shoveling in October is considered a little outre.

Continue reading

Inspiration in Iambic Pentameter

Yes, it is that day, when those now lying happily in their beds shall rue that they were not there, with Harry the King…

Dang, I wish I could write a “Ralleeeeyyyyyyyy!!!” speech like this one. Old Will had a gift, and so does Kenneth Branagh.

I try to show this in class, when I can fit it in. It’s fascinating how the students always sit up straighter and the energy level rises.

Well, that’s Interesting…

Amarillo TX is the coldest National Weather Service reporting site in the Lower Fourty-Eight. And we have over five inches of snow at RedQuarters.

The terra-cotta looking lump is a rose that has brand new leaves on it. It got stripped by grasshoppers about two weeks ago, and I want to give it a fighting chance. The low tonight is 22.

Hawthorn in the Snow. Snow was coming sideways at about 25 MPH.

Long Week or Short Week?

Well, if the World Series goes to seven games, it’s gonna be a long one around Redquarters.

MomRed bleeds Astros orange. It’s a familial affliction, er, tendency. Her father played for the original Texas-Louisiana League back in the 1920s-early 30s, before his work in the oil patch sent him all over the US and elsewhere. He followed the Astros almost from their founding, sitting in the back room of the house, eating pistachios (red), and listening to the games on the radio.

Back when the cheap seats in the Astrodome really were cheap, Papa (my grandfather), Sib, Mom, and I would go and cheer for Jose Cruz and watch a game a year live. That was back when the announcers had to explain that the crowd wasn’t booing, but calling out, “Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuz.”

So the Astros making the World Series is a bit of a big deal, especially since the Texans (feetball) aren’t doing so well this year. It could be a long, or short, week.

And Amarillo’s new minor-league team, the Sodpoodles, won their championship.

Saturday Snippet: Dragon of Sunset

I was reminded of this the other night, when we had our first brilliant winter-like sunset since last spring.


Rachel gave General Rahoul Khan as much of a sideways look as she could with him standing on her blind side. “Sir?” He can’t know about my little outing last week, and nothing’s set off the smoke detectors recently that I know of. And I had nothing to do with the minor disturbance in the NCOs mess.

“Why is my daughter insisting on going to Lands’ End to see the dragon?”

“What?” She turned so she could see him clearly.

He had a very familiar look of wary curiosity on his face, arms folded, not patting his foot but giving the impression of it. “Sita wants her mother to take her to Lands’ End to see the dragon. What dragon?”

Rachel tried to recall if she knew any True-dragons, HalfDragons, Houses, or grumpy librarians in Cornwall. “Ah, I have no—Belay that.” Rachel smiled. “She wants to see the dragon of sunset.” Continue reading