Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2009

We watched the movie Doubt last night. It starred Meyrl Street as Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the “. . . the iron-gloved Principal who believes in the power of fear and discipline. I remember well the type.

I started the first grade at St. Joseph’s in 1957, back when Mass was in Latin and corporal punishment was the norm in Catholic schools. The nuns terrified us all in the first grade. Mother Superior was like the commandant of a prisoner of war camp. Discipline was handled in the classroom with a whack across the knuckles with a wooded ruler. If that didn’t work, you would be sent to Mother Superior’s office. She had a leather strop to beat the children with. No one I knew ever needed a second trip.

Rain of shine, we would play outside during recess. You were not supposed to get your clothes wet in the snow, but of course it happened. One boy in my class broke the rules, and he was forced to stand on the heater in our classroom with a towel wrapped around him like a skirt while his pants dried next to him. Humiliating, yes, and painful to spend hours in stocking feet standing on the metal grate while we continued our “education.”

Talking in class was probably the worst breach of discipline. There were two first grade classes at St. Joseph’s, and one day things must have gotten out of hand in the other. The nun teaching that class paraded three kids from room to room, explaining they had been talking in class and asked if we felt they should they should cut off their tongues for punishment. I remember sitting there as the three were told to stick out their tongues, scissors at the ready, while we decided their fate. Our class decided they should cut their tongues off, probably because we thought that was what the nuns wanted and we were too frightened not to.

All three were told to cut off their tongues, and all three, in tears, hesitated. The nun told them again to do it. Two of them just stood there crying. But the third, a boy, with his eyes closed and shaking with fear, cut off the tip of his tongue.  The nuns huddled up briefly, speaking in French. Jeanine Bouche sat next to me in class. Jeanine spoke French and normally she would tell us later what the nuns were talking about. She didn’t say a word. No doubt fearing for her own tongue.

Advertisement

Read Full Post »

Dummy Sale


Dummy Sale

Originally uploaded by kilgorebrian13

We get ours wholesale at work, but the style conscious can fall in to the Gap for a larger selection.

Read Full Post »

Gerda


Originally uploaded by kilgorebrian13

I’ve been experimenting with the free trial-version of Adobe Photo Shop Elements 7, using actions and guided editing. I kind of like how easy it is to use, and will probably end up buying the update.

Read Full Post »

Hoop




Hoop

Originally uploaded by kilgorebrian13

Sometimes I don’t know what I am doing when I get a photo into PSE, but I end up liking the results as I do here. This was a way over exposed shot on a foggy morning to begin with.

Read Full Post »

Everybody Must Get Taxed

Sin tax is a euphemism for a sumptuary tax: a tax specifically levied on certain generally socially-proscribed goods – usually alcohol and tobacco. But alcohol and tobacco are not the only “sinful” items to be taxed. 

Leo X, the last non-priest to be elected Pope, sold indulgences and taxed prostitutes to support his lavish lifestyle, reportedly telling his brother “Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it.”  Peter I of Russia taxed beards, and King George III taxed tea. We all know how that went over.

These days, governments at every level are trying to make up budget shortfalls by increasing taxes. Tobacco and alcohol taxes are being raised, and few can argue against a tax on something that is harmful. How about taxing fast food and soft drinks? Like alcohol and tobacco, both contribute to health problems. But since these sumptuary taxes are meant to raise money without costing politicians votes, there is little chance such a tax will be implemented. There are, however, other things that can be taxed, and I have a suggestion.

I propose a new tax I call the “Player Player” tax, or the “Lothario Levy.” This is a tax on extramarital sex. A set amount is paid for each – instance – of extra-marital sex. If both participants are single, only one must pay. But if either is married, both pay an equal amount. Here we promote both premarital abstinence and family values at the same time. Who is going to argue against that? 

Imagine the conversation around the water cooler Monday morning. Bob brags to the guys “I took that new secretary from the steno pool to Vegas for the weekend. You should see the bill we ran up!” Well, with the “Player Player” tax in place, he can now put his money where his mouth is and show proof of his virility. I just wonder if there would be more lies told or fewer with this tax in effect.

Read Full Post »

GTS Vending


GTS Vending

Originally uploaded by kilgorebrian13

Vending machine in the lobby of a medical building in Kingsport, Tn, where we spent most of the morning yesterday. Next time we go back there, I’ll try this shot again with a tripod and see if I can’t improve things. I love the wall colors though.

Read Full Post »

dsc_0019_edited-1Since we live indoors, interior lighting is important to the overall atmosphere of a room. This wasn’t always the case, though. In the 1940s and 1950s, flush mounted ceiling lights were the norm. In our kitchen, we have a period example.

This light is ugly. I imagine it was ugly when it was new, and age hasn’t improved it any. The fixture uses two incandescent bulbs that put out more heat than light, wasting as much energy as possible in the process. The light is flush mounted in the middle of the kitchen ceiling. This guarantees that unless you are standing directly under it, any thing you do will be in your own shadow. The stove and sink are permanently attached to the walls, and there isn’t enough room for the table anywhere else but against a wall. Shadow City. 

We fight the darkness by using candlelight at the table and fluorescent lighting mounted under the cabinet above the stove. Eating what we cook is possible, but washing dishes after sunset is more by braille that anything visual because there isn’t anywhere over the sink to mount another light. 

These days though, you can replace you vintage ceiling light with modern reproductions. I found this one to be a close match to what we have now.  A real bargain at only $394.00, with shade. Of course, the only place to mount this light on the ceiling, in the middle of the kitchen. Progress!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts