one day at a time…
Saturday 16 August 2003

Pix Of The Day: Finding Proust At The Chevron
CREDITS: © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com
Chevron Sign © Ian Scott-Parker
We were reading Proust this morning… OK, we were reading about Proust this morning, because we never properly read anything any more, just skim a few summaries on the web. Without the narcotic influence of Madelaine Cake and Lime Tea we were able to precisely recall being small, and imagining that the huge pylons carrying the electrical grid supply were giant mechanoids marching across the landscape. Everyone did that as a child, surely. Please, somebody say, "Yes". Had dear Marcel enjoyed better health he might have lived long enough to emigrate to America and live in Las Vegas while writing 'Making Up For Lost Time', which we feel sure would have been much more fun… for author and readers alike.

Lovers of trivia that we are, we were shocked to discover that the pneumonia that finished Proust off followed bad asthma brought on by the young Samuel Beckett's cigar-smoking. However, we were delighted to learn that Proust donated his parents' furniture to a male brothel, while at the same time being sure there must be a pun involving oboes or tall chests of drawers, lurking in there somewhere.

Caricature Of The Day courtesy of Caricature Zone
Our caricature subject's birthday was celebrated yesterday.
IDENTITY LINK: click the image below. Click this text for a BIO-FINDER LINK.
Caricature Zone
American actor (1972- ) born of an Irish mother and a Scottish father: speakers of British English patois may be amused to learn that his middle name is Geza, and we guess many will grin when discovering that his first acting experience was for a Burger King commercial. His 2003 Paycheck paycheck was $15 million. He is known for being a very good impressionist. He usually picks one of his costars while filming a movie and studies them. While filming one movie he showed his impression on set; it was so accurate his costar told him "You ever do that again, I'll kill you". This entry was prepared using an IMDB (Internet Movie Database) feature.

Quotation Of The Day courtesy of Wordsmith.org

You think your pains and heartbreaks are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who have ever been alive.
- James Baldwin, writer (1924-1987)

On This Day: Random Fact courtesy of Reference.com

1858 - US President James Buchanan and Britain's Queen Victoria exchanged messages, inaugurating the first transatlantic telegraph line.

Sometimes our own perceptions of the time lines of history lurch drunkenly. We well remember learning that General George Custer's widow never saw the Little Bighorn Battlefield, a battle that took place 17 years before that inaugural telegraph message. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the battle, however, Mrs Custer listened to the ceremony on the public wireless service. Enquiring minds are wondering what genuine uses the new telegraph served, and also if there are any transcriptions of messages to be found on the web. Our simple minds find history very difficult, because there is just so much of it, and it is all so interrelated.

Visit the Reference.com page for today, where you will find a fuller listing of facts about this day, with sections for holidays, events and births.

From Our 2002 Archive: Urbanscapes Revisited - Friday 16 August 2002

Newport Bridge © Don BurlurauxDon Burluraux' NorthYorkMoorsCAM has a page where Don explores the urban landscapes along the River Tees at Stockton, in the north east of England. In times gone by I drove a car transporter, regularly passing through Stockton and many of the surrounding towns. This structure, the Newport Bridge, was instantly recognizable to me like some familiar icon on my computer desktop. You may follow Don as he wanders past several other equally famous and special bridges, The Tees Barrage, and the explorer Captain Cook's sailing ship. What a treat! Thanks Don, for the walk down memory lane.

The Noble Sport of Conkers - Friday 16 August 2002

Conkers © Tony RichardsIn the UK the fruits of the Horse Chesnut trees are ripening, and small boys will soon be hurling sticks aloft to knock them down. When the outer shell is broken open the gorgeous brown chestnuts within are revealed, and are known as 'conkers'. These are strung, often on boot laces, and the first competitor holds his nut aloft, dangling by its string. The opponent then swings his nut with a mighty blow, to crash the two nuts together. Last person with some part of the conker remaining on the string is the winner.

Known as 'cheggies' in the part of England where I was born and dragged up, there were all sorts of dark, sinister treatments that might be administered to the cheggies to make them more durable. Vinegar and unmentionable alkaline fluids were commonly discussed. 'Cheesers', nuts with a sharp edge formed when there were two nuts within the same shell, were highly prized for their ability to cleave deep into the opponents nut. Thick leather boot laces were generally agreed to prevent damage from within, but 'dipping' at the time of collision was an outrage.

Successful nuts became 'oncers', 'twosers', and 'threesers'. Persons claiming 'foursers' were usually ridiculed for their outrageous mendacity. The surviving cheggie inherited the score of its vanquished opponent. Ah, times were simpler in those sunlit, far off halcyon days. My American born wife thinks I am making all this up. Girls! What are they like? Thanks to Tony Richards at LakelandCAM.co.uk for the memories.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)