March 02, 2006

Well, by Jiminy, if New Orleans can have Mardi Gras…

…then the intervention in regular Possumblogging caused by me having to tend to my paid work shouldn’t stop us from producing yet another installment of America’s Favorite Weekday Internet Time-Waster, The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

As you all know, lately it has become my custom to rely upon the kindness of strangers to supply questions for the T-3, and this week’s no exception. Thankfully, given that the amount of time I have this week to devote to such diversions is small, the questions are of the short, sweet, and simple variety. (And no, I do not believe this has anything to do with their author.)

SO THEN, let’s get on with the parade! The questions are these:

1. Whatcha reading?
2. …Listening to?
3. …Watching?

AND, in one of the biggest surprises of all, A BONUS QUESTION— Whatcha cooking?

Since our questionist didn’t specify, I figure you can be as literal or figurative as you want to be when it comes to defining things like time and material. Right now you’re reading this, right? Well, if you want to put that down, go ahead. Cooking up a big batch of manatee lasagna in a couple of weeks? Same deal.

Just leave your answers in the comments below or a link to your site and we’ll all come over and see what’s there.

NOW THEN, for my answers--

1. Reading? What’s that!?

Hee-hee. I’m so funny.

ANYwho, I’ve got a couple in the hopper at the house that I manage to read a bit of each night. I just finished one book I got for Christmas, Military History's Top 10 Lists--Great Commanders, Improbable Victories, Unlikely Heroes, and Other Martial Oddities by M. Evan Brooks. It was a jaunty, breezy ride through history, and although the real heavy lifting of the book is in coming up with the categories and possible “nominees” (for lack of a better word), the write-ups rely a bit heavily on excerpts of other author’s works. The author obviously has to know his stuff to be able to sift through all the lists and make comparisons, but I think I would have liked to have heard more of his voice in it.

One that I started at the same time as that one is one that I am in the middle of right now--World War II--4,139 Strange and Fascinating Facts by Don McCombs and Fred L. Worth. It’s basically an encyclopedia, which means great width, but not a lot of depth. It also seems very dated, even though it was published only about 11 years ago. There are some real corkers in there that would bear a bit more research before passing them along. What’s most interesting is the number of famous Hollywood actors who served during World War II, and not just in the “boosting morale” role. I can’t remember them all right off hand, but it would be nice if we had more folks in Hollywood like Jimmy Stewart or Charles Durning.

The other one I’ve got beside the bed is one I’ve barely gotten past the first couple of chapters on, but it is very informative. It’s Last Battle: The Mayaguez, the Lost Fire Team, and the End of the Vietnam War by Ralph Wetterham.

2. Listening to? Well, I signed up for that Yahoo! Launchcast gadget, where you can pick several artists and have your own little desktop radio station. I suppose there are other things out there that are easier to use or with fewer interruptions, but it’s pretty good for background noise. You get to pick several artists, and then they add in more that are supposedly related to your picks. Right now, it’s playing Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.” I assume this is because in amongst all the baroque late-‘70s pothead/redneck/boogie rock bands I chose, I also picked The Dillards and Bill Monroe as two of my choices. (HEY! “Mule Skinner Blues” just came on! Wheee!) I suppose if I knew more about downloading music I would do that, but this is a lot easier, and it’s blessedly free of Eminem.

3. Watching? Well, there’s basically only four things on teevee right now--24, American Idol, The Office, and My Name Is Earl. I also enjoy watching reruns of the same 11 episodes of Fawlty Towers on Saturdays. I have a bunch of movies that I got for Christmas that I still have not watched.

4. Cooking? Nothing of note--last weekend’s rainy-day meat incineration duties have been about the extent of it lately.

Speaking of incineration, my lovely bride brought home a bunch of meaty shish kebob things Tuesday night, and yes, you guessed it, decided to use the oven broiler to cook them. And yes, as she always does, filled the house with acrid smoke. And the lovely screech of smoke alarms. ::sigh:: Why? I suggested after the fifth or sixth time I had to get up and open up the garage door that maybe we should consider baking stuff like this instead of broiling it. “Well, I HAVE the oven on BAKE!” I looked over there, and sure enough, the little dial was set to “Bake.” And the temperature all the way up to 500º. “Hmm. Well, maybe it’s the temperature, then--possibly we could turn it down to 350 or so--you know, like regular baking temperature.”

Yes, I know, I’m a moron to suggest it.

Anyway, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at March 2, 2006 08:00 AM


1. I'm reading a Ray Bradbury book on essays about how he writes, what inspires him, etc. I'm also struggling with a book of sermons/essays by Jonathon Edwards, and I'm going slow through his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God". Hellfire and brimstone deluxe!

2. I have not purchased a CD in quite awhile, so I'll grab whatever hits my fancy. I will take this opportunity to plug Darrell Evans "Consuming Fire". Outstanding!

3. American Idol, but of course.

4. I just made ziti and meatballs last night (meatballs from scratch), and I've been getting back into making homemade pizza as well.

Posted by: Marc V at March 2, 2006 08:20 AM

I'm in. And Marc, I'm a big fan of Ray Bradbury's, and actually met him at a book signing.

I asked him who would play Montag if they ever redid Fahrenheit 451, and he said Harrison Ford, which I thought was cool.

Posted by: skinnydan at March 2, 2006 08:32 AM

Well, technically, Dr. Smith beat you to the punch by an hour--he had an advantage in that he already had the questions.

And as for brimstone, you're right, Edwards could certainly bring it.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 2, 2006 08:32 AM

Funny, I answered some of these without seeing the questions.

Posted by: Janis at March 2, 2006 08:37 AM

The Bradbury book is Bradbury Speaks : Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars. It's a fairly easy read, like his short stories. He goes into some background stuff about "Farenheit 451", "Martian Chronicles" and how he wrote the screenplay for "Moby Dick" (the movie, not the Led Zeppelin song), amongst other things. I would have looked up the book title for my comment, but I was in SUCH a rush to be first.

Posted by: Marc V at March 2, 2006 08:41 AM

1. Just finished a bio of Andy Jackson. Have a copy of 'The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea', which is a dictionary. Now reading 'Ulysses Unbound' which discusses which of the various places off western Greece might be the Ithaca of the Odyssey. Also reading 'Talk to the Hand' by Lynne Truss, an advice book on retiring early (not very good advice, though), a book on language by a lefty Australian writer that's about equal parts a good language book as William Safire would write, and a big pile of lefy whining. On the stack that I haven't gotten to is 'The Pirates Lafitte."

2. I got 3 CDs from my lovely bride for my birthday last month, a Who collection that I learned of by reading Ann Althouse, a blues collection from a series called "I Heard it on NPR" and a Madeleine Peyroux CD.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at March 2, 2006 09:08 AM


3. Nothing, but the NCAA basketball tournament is coming up.

4. Yesterday: poached tilapia fillets
Shrove Tuesday: pancakes

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at March 2, 2006 09:09 AM

1) Well, it's Lent, so I'm reading a series of readings from the Church Fathers--at this link:

This is a pretty good series of readings and if one completes the cycle a total of 10 Fathers will have been read. I'm also TRYING to read The Reformation by Diarmid MacCulloch but have not made much headway.

2) Listening to a CD in the Operafare series from the Canadian Opera Company of Toronto.

3) Watching: The Late Show with David Letterman--what else?

Posted by: Stan at March 2, 2006 09:49 AM

My turn!

Posted by: Sarah G. at March 2, 2006 01:28 PM

Better late than never...

Posted by: Diane at March 2, 2006 05:12 PM

Ye Olde Corespondent, doth beyth Upith. :-)

Posted by: Anthony von Krag at March 2, 2006 10:29 PM

Good job this week everyone! All of you take a couple of bucks out of petty cash.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 3, 2006 08:51 AM