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Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Thursday night, November 14, 2019. Posted Saturday morning, November 16. On my list of movies that are better than the books they’re adapted from: Audie Murphy as Henry Flemming with Bill Mauldin as the Loud Soldier looking over his shoulder in John Huston’s 1951 adaptation of Stephen Crane’s classic novel of the Civil War, “The Red Badge of Courage”. A man said to the universe: “Sir, I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation.” ---Stephen Crane, "A Man Said to the Universe". I have a confession... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Sunday, November 3, 2019. Posted Thursday morning, November 14. Can’t wait to see how they build his Modern-Day Presidential library around this: Trump’s Twitter banner. Image by J. David Ake/AP, via NPR. [Note from your faithful correspondent: I was on the road all day yesterday, so I didn’t watch any of the impeachment hearings. I’m going to spend today trying to catch up. Meantime, this morning, it’s easier to catch up with my notebooking and twittering---I like to use Twitter as an open notebook. Couple weeks ago, Googling my way to something else, I landed... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Hoisted from the archives, Monday, November 24, 2008. Posted Tuesday morning, November 12, 2019. Bare ruined choirs of an oak in the neighborhood where late a sweet bird sang...well, drummed. Somewhere up there was a woodpecker when I took this picture while starting out on a November walk eleven years ago this week. November doesn’t get enough praise. It’s one of my favorite months, for various sentimental reasons, but also for itself. Here in the Hudson Valley it presents its own peculiar beauties. This morning it looks more like December---we have snow. No significant accumulation, but more than a dusting---but... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Sunday evening, November 10. Posted Monday morning, November 11. Slightly revised Monday afternoon. “Woe Unto You, Scribes and Pharisees” by James Tissot. Circa 1890. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum, via Wikipedia. Scribes. Not lawyers. Scribes. It’s “lawyers” in the song from “Godspell”. Scribes in both Matthew and Luke. The composers of the song needed the two syllables. Jesus needed only the one. Don’t these God-botherers ever read their bibles? A 3-year, coordinated effort has been underway to remove [Donald Trump] from office. Jesus warned us — watch out for the lawyers —-Trump toady, apologist, and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, November 11, 2019. Monday. Mom Mannion's back porch at the old Mannion Homestead. 6:46 a.m. 40 degrees. No wind. Not even a hint of a breeze. Out on the porch waking myself up by having coffee in the chilled air. Expected the cold to drive me in before I finished my first cup. Now finishing my second and considering a third. A light jacket and I’m fine. Sun not yet fully up. There’s a squirrel making its way along the top of the wire fence in the far back of the yard, the squirrel making its presence... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed and posted Saturday morning, November 9, 2019. Our godly president working on his swing at his golf course Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen Scotland back in 2011 before he was either godly or president. File photo by David Moir/Reuters via the Washington Post. Marco Rubio, senator from Florida and virtual lay preacher, is still at it, tweeting out bible verses as far as I can tell at random that he either has thought through the implications of, are mea culpas and cries for help and forgiveness as he feels his soul being sucked down... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday night, November 8, 2019. Finished listening to “Hell and Good Company” this afternoon. Even when you know going in how it ends, even when you remind yourself Spain's been a democracy a decade longer than it was a dictatorship,even when you know that forty-four years later---This just in!---Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, it’s still gut-wrenching… Past the Ebro, Franco’s forces pushed into Catalonia, Barcelona fell on 26 January 1939, Valencia on 30 March. On 1 April 1939 the Spanish Civil War ended in Republican defeat. In May the Nationalist armies paraded Franco’s victory on Madrid’s Gran Via... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday evening, November 8, 2019. Another postcard from our Old College Pal and Mr Old College Pal from their travels in Italy. They're back in the United States now, but it's a wonder they could tear themselves away. When last heard from they were at the Uffizi in Florence.. From there, they made their way northwest by train to Verazza, Cinque Terre. October 23, 2019. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Friday, October 25, 2019. Posted Thursday morning, November 7. William Barr at the confirmation hearing for his appointment as attorney general, January 15, 2019. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times. From the Department of I’m Trying to Catch Up As Fast As I Can. It’s like Ezra didn’t read the memo. And there literally was a memo. “Bill Barr is the most mysterious character in the whole Trump drama. He watched Trump’s fury build towards Sessions and decided to become the loyalist AG even Sessions refused to be. Why light your legacy on fire this... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday night, November 5, 2019. Updated below with good news for us socialists, Wednesday morning, November 6. Row C on the ballot here is the Conservative Party’s line. This guy Hayes is running for our County Executive as a Republican and a Conservative. None of the many other signs of his I’ve seen in my travels around the area features that “No Socialism” subhead. Nor do any of the signs for Republican candidates for the other offices up for a vote, which range from State Supreme Court Judge to Town Highway Superintendent. I figure somebody from the local Conservative... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday, November 4, 2019. It’s probably because I have trees on the brain these days that I can’t get this poem out of my head. Now I’m sticking you with it. By the way, I like Longfellow, old-fashioned, outmoded, cliched and corny as he can be. Also by the way, this is a photo of a spreading oak, not a spreading chestnut tree, but I think it captures the mood... Under a spreading chestnut-tree ⁠The village smithy stands; The smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands, And the muscles of his brawny arms Are strong... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Friday, November 2, 2018. Posted Sunday, November 3, 2019. Another note from the Department of In Search of Lost Time: Friday, November 2, 2018: Friday. 1:39 p.m. 64 degrees. Driving south on 32 after dropping Ken off at school, heading for B&N. Both Mrs M and I remark again on all the trees still holding on to their leaves and the preponderance of yellow among those leaves. Maples primarily. Past their peak. When deciduous trees start to go dormant and stop needing to make themselves food, the chlorophyl fades and with it goes the green. Most... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday morning, November 1, 2019. “Kharon”. Alexander Litovchenko. 1866. Based on a scene from Canto III in Dante’s “Inferno” in which Hell’s ferryman Charon arrives to carry more damned souls across the River Styx into Hell. Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. Via Wikipedia. And then, looking beyond them, I could see a crowd along the bank of a great river; at which I said: “Allow me now to know who are these people—master—and what law has made them seem so eager for the crossing, as I can see despite the feeble light.” And he to me: “When we have stopped... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Lifted from the album and mined from the notebooks, Sunday, October 14, 2014. Posted Thursday night, October 31, 2019. Another note from the Department of In Search of Lost Time. Sunday, October 14, 2018. You know what you’re looking at, don’t you? No, not the world’s most boring still life. Take a closer look. No, not at the cheese. No, not at the crackers, either. Or the knife or the plate or the sugar bowl. At the tablecloth. Nice, huh? But although that’s what I want you to look at, it’s not what I want you to see. What you’re... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday night, October 31, 2019. Another masterpiece of pumpkin carving by our resident Jack O’Lantern artist Ken Mannion. Ken designed the face too. Mrs M requested a scary pumpkin, but this pumpkin’s face just seemed too cheerful, so Ken opted for happy but slightly sinister. Happy Halloween! Love, Ken Oliver Mrs M And yours truly! PS. It's 5:45 and we just had our first trick or treaters. Usually the littlest kids start knocking on the door around 5. I think the rain's keeping them in but the longer they hold off, the less candy's there's going to be in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, October 31, 2019. The new baseball World Champions the Washington Nationals celebrate their Game 7 win against the Houston Astros, Wednesday night, October 30, 2019. Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton via the Anchorage Daily News. Well, there goes my hope for an eighth game… Honestly, it was one of those World Series you want to go on forever, one they’ll still be playing when you get to baseball heaven. I’m working on a post. Have it mostly written in fact. But in longhand and it’s long. It’s going to take me a while to type it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday morning, October 30, 2019. Le gallerie degli uffizi. Florence, Italy. Friday, October 18, 2019. A good old college pal and her husband just returned from a trip to Italy---all my old friends are going walkabout these days---and she sent this postcard from the Uffizi Galleries in Florence. I don’t know what the Uffizi calls this room---I can’t identify it on the visitors map on the website---but based on the anguished expressions and cowering postures of the statues, Mr Good Old College Pal dubbed it the Armageddon Room. Not to be pedantic---as if I ever resist---since the Uffizi seems... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Tuesday October 15, 2019. Posted Tuesday, October 29. Mets Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver winds up circa 1969. File photo via USA Today. Heard this one on tonight's broadcast of the Astros-Yankees game. Forget who told it, Buck, Smoltz, Rosenthal, or Verducci. My words here though, whoever. Astros pitching coach Brent Strom’s seventy-one years old. Strom wasn't the oldest pitching coach working in the major leagues this season. The Mets’ Phil Regan is eighty-two. Still, Strom’s no kid. He made his major league debut in 1972. Two years before Astros manager A.J. Hinch was born.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, October 27, 2019. “Dante and Virgil in the Ninth Circle of Hell” by Gustave Doré. 1861. Musée de Brou, via Wikipedia Spain. I’m working on a post about Marco Rubio and Dante’s “Inferno”. Don’t worry. It works. In the meantime I thought you’d like this. Embedded throughout The Divine Comedy are passages of short naturalistic descriptions of life back on earth. They’re there for comparison’s sake and especially in “Inferno” to remind readers what the damned have lost forever. I think they’re also there to provide emotional relief to readers and Dante. In the passage below from... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Thursday, October 25, 2018. Pretty leaf, isn’t it? Mrs M picked it up under a tree on the lawn in front of the post office this morning. She’d just mailed some Halloween cards and was on her way back to the car when she spotted it. The leaf isn’t the actual subject of the photo, though. What this is a picture of is a big step in Mrs M’s recovery. This was the first errand Mrs M has run on her own since she came home from the hospital. It’s taken three months for her balance and sense of direction... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Lifted from the album and mined from the notebooks, October 25, 2018. Posted Saturday morning, October 26, 2019. From the Department of In Search of Lost Time. October 25, 2018: [Mrs M has come a long way since this picture was taken. She began her therapies the next week, and a year of physical, occupational, and cognitive therapy has done her so much good. She still gets turned around in places she's not completely familiar with. She still has "brain hiccups" and times when her "brain is loose" when her memory plays tricks on her. But her old confidence has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted here, Friday evening, October 25, 2019. Taken there Tuesday, October 22. Our good old pal Nance and her husband, our good old pal Alan have been traveling in Morocco. That’s something they do, travel. They’re travelers, not tourists. Big difference, says travel writer Paul Theroux. The other night the course of their travels took them to this square in Marrakech at sunset, and Nance sent this postcard from there. For an account of their travels with more photos, visit Nance’s website, nancynall.com. Photo copyrighted by Nancy Nall Derringer, 2019. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Hoisted from the archives, Thursday, February 15, 2007. Posted Wednesday night, October 23, 2019. Doubles. Matt Damon as a crooked cop pretending to be a good cop about to meet his moral reverse image, a good cop pretending to be a bad cop, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed”. One thing leading to another, as it does on the internet, I haven’t gotten to writing about Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s feud with superheroes. But in the course of doing my homework I turned up my review of “The Departed”, a movie I remember in much... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday morning, October 23, 2019. Sunday. Tantillos Farm Market. 12:26 p.m. 54 degrees. Wind NNW 1 mph. Cloudy, gray, fog over the orchards in the distance. Mist turning to rain turning to mist turning back to rain. Day started off a beautiful fall day, perfect morning for picking apples and pumpkins. But we were slow to get going and by the time we got to Tantillos it wasn’t the best weather for tramping out into the fields. But it was good weather for staying warm and dry inside the stand and breathing in the aroma of pies and apple... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 at Lance Mannion
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Hoisted from the archives, April 17, 2007. Posted Monday night, October 21, 2019. Organization Man dwarfed by the Organization: Matt Damon as the good company man Edward Wilson whose company happens to be the CIA in Robert De Niro's 2006 movie about the early history of the agency, “The Good Shepherd.” I wonder why I don’t I remember any of this... I was doing some homework last night to see if I had anything worth saying about Martin Scorse and Francis Ford Coppola’s grouchings about superhero movies and I stumbled upon this old post of mine about the 2007 movie... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2019 at Lance Mannion