Wednesday, April 25, 2007


And other fancy stuff...

I remember when I was a kid that one of my siblings - I'm pretty sure it was my brother - had a windup clock that played the tune that these lyrics go to.

It is a tune that stayed with me over the years. My Mom told me the song had words, and she'd sing the first verse from time to time. As I've looked at older song lyrics over the past few years, I'm struck by the idea that the more "adult" our lyrics have become, the more juvenile the songs really are.*

I'm not sure where I got the wind-up clock I have now; I'm told it was THE clock, but I can't be sure. The clock I have was first produced in 1968, and my brother would have been 5, which strikes me as being too late. I don't think I would have played the clock over and over again as a ten year old. I remember forcing the action to make the tune speed up though...

The clock plays slowly and has obviously seen better days, but my four year old granddaughter winds it up and goes to sleep to the old tune some forty years later.

by Henry Clay Work

My grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor
It was taller by half than the old man himself
Though it weighed not a penny weight more
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born
And was always his treasure and pride
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died.

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro
Many hours had he spent while a boy
And in childhood and manhood the clock seem to know
And it shared both his grief and his joy
For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door
With a blooming and beautiful bride
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering (tick, tock, tick, tock)
Its life seconds numbering (tick, tock, tick tock)
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died.

My grandfather said that of those he could hire
Not a servant so faithful he found
For it wasted no time and had but one desire
At the close of each week to be wound.
And it kept in its face not a frown upon its face
And its hand never hung by its side
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering (tick tock, tick tock)
Its life seconds numbering (tick tock, tick tock
But it stopped, short, never to go again
When the old man died.

You can listen to the tune here.

Work was also the composer of "Marching Through Georgia."

*Of course I know that there were risque versions of popular songs. Kind of hard to do that with a modern lyric...


Monday, April 16, 2007


Thought for the day:


Found in inbox - not attributed:

Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist."


Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Since last time I posted -


Not that the demand for info on my doings is overwhelming, but...

I am unemployed. By choice, but jobless nonetheless. I had grown stale in my job and decided to take a month off to do some long-neglected work around the home 20.

My first project is to run electricity out to the garage, wire the garage, insulate and drywall and generally make the place liveable. Step one of the project is to dig a 40 foot trench - 32" deep - from the house to the garage, which I determined to do with manual excavating equipment.

Hello trencher and shovel. Hello pain.

I looked at this as an opportunity to begin getting my body into some semblence of shape. I'm here to tell ya: I'm definitely built for comfort, not speed. If my life depended on my ability to quickly entrench or dig a foxhole, I'd be dead. I have all the respect in the world for the soldier who could march 20 miles and throw up a defensive works before sack time.

And yet, I persevere. The trench is dug. Parts of me ache I had forgotten existed, but there will be lights, telephone, cable and heat and A/C in my favorite outbuilding, which will thereafter be declared off limits to the womenfolk and become official home of the hoosiertoo chapter of the He-Man Woman Haters Club.

Not that I have anything against women; my favorite fantasies involve two or more.

A man's garage is his refuge and if it has a properly stocked refrigerator and a respectable entertainment center and DSL a garage can be a comfortable hideaway.

There's something almost magical about the distance from the kitchen door to the garage. It seems to take a nearly Herculean effort for the missus to get to the garage from the house and if the the weather is the least inclement, it is well-nigh impossible to make the journey. I heartily recommend a detached garage to any man - even if you have an attached garage already.

An attached garage is really just an extension of her domain.


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