Thursday, November 23, 2006

jukebox of democracy

This is the 117th birthday of the jukebox: on Nov. 23, 1889, the first jukebox appeared at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It consisted of an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph inside a freestanding oak cabinet to which were attached four stethoscope-like tubes. Each tube could be activated by depositing a coin so that four people could listen to a single recording at one time.

Eventually jukeboxes changed the music business. Many early radio programs refused to play country, blues, or jazz, so it was jukeboxes that made all that music available in taverns, restaurants, diners, and army bases.

Via The Writer's Almanac.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bo knows

Last Friday, Coach Bo Schembechler died. He was one of the greatest coaches in the storied rivalry between The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. As the announcer said last weekend, at the 103rd meeting between the two football teams, "Michigan has lost a coach and mentor; the Big Ten has lost a legend and icon; Ohio State has lost an alumnus and friend." And then the two teams went out and played one of the best college football games ever, in his honor.

It seems odd, that I would grieve so for a man I never met, and against whom I cheered at least one Saturday a year for a score of years, but I am. I do not believe in a Heaven, but if there is one, and if I ever get there, it will look like a crisp sunny autumn day, with a college football game about to be played and a huge tailgate party going on outside it.

Rest in Peace, Coach.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

human training

We are going to the first session of dog training this morning--without the dog. You see, the *first* session is all about training the humans. Evidently, dogs need consistency.

Consistency is not exactly our strong suit. It would be embarrassing for Lilly to flunk out of dog school--and even worse if WE flunk!

Your prayers are welcomed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

sivis pacem

The blurb for my sermon this week is "CAN we simultaneously work for peace and prepare for war? We'll honor veterans and deconstruct the ways both sides misunderstand their sacrifice." Now I have to live up (write up?) to that promise...
Just to be clear, I believe we can do both simultaneously, but I want to make space for the whole range of beliefs. I'm using Dorothy Parker's "The Veteran" as a reading:

When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong!
My plume on high, my flag unfurled,
I rode away to right the world.
``Come out, your dogs, and fight!'' said I,
And wept there was but once to die.

But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid
I sit and say, ``The world is so;
And he is wise who lets it go.
A battle lost, a battle won--
The difference is small, my son.''

Inertia rides and riddles me;
The which is called philosophy.

I usually enjoy her cynicism, but now the last two lines are pissing me off. I guess if I get into that anger, I'll find the route into the sermon...