Well, whaddaya gonna do?

♦   We’re supposed to get a bit of snow around Port Swiller Manor this afternoon and evening – perhaps an inch or two – courtesy of a newly formed nor’easter.  That’s pretty early in teh season for here but not unheard of.  We’ve had snow at Thanksgiving more than once in my time and I dimly remember some flakes one Halloween as well.

♦   The Weather Channel seems to have gone ahead with its almighty hubristic threat to start naming wintah storms (they’re calling this one Athena), a practice fiercely opposed by others within the meteorological communityincluding the NWS.  Q. Where does an 800 lb. Jim Cantore sit?  A. Anywhere he wants!

♦   I see where Darrell Royal has just died at age 88.  Royal was the longtime and legendary coach of the Texas Longhorns, and was indeed the first coach that I recognized as a coach in my tender, albeit misspent, yoot.

♦  I don’t know what things are like nowadays, but back then if you lived in Texas you were loyal to either the Longhorns or the Texas A&M Aggies even if you had no actual gunnegshun with either school.   We were ‘horns fans and used to delight in Aggie jokes.  Here’s one:  Did you hear about the Aggies who were throwing firecrackers at the Longhorns?  Well, the Longhorns lit them and threw them back!  Here’s another:  A couple Aggies are flying their private plane to College Station and get caught in a horrid thunderstorm.  As the plane is battered and tossed, one of them turns to the other and yells, “Let’s do a 360 and get the hell out of here!”

I could go on forever.  (I know a particularly funny one that isn’t suitable for publication on a family blog.)  Do they still tell these?  Or have the P.C. Police outlawed them for being too “hurtful”?

♦  The other legendary coach of that era in Texas was of course the Dallas Cowboys’ Tom Landry.  He had a brother who worked as a substitute teacher in my high school.  “Coach” had a passion for frontier history, especially Indian torture techniques, and you could always derail him from his proposed lesson plan by asking him to talk about his pet trivia instead.  [Ed. – Hmmm, who else do we know who’s like that?  Hush.]

♦  I thought of “Coach” because this article on poor science teaching in the U.K. reminded me of another substitute teacher, the long-suffering Mrs. Platika.   She was a portly, middle-aged woman with thick glasses, a nasal voice and no ability to control a classroom.  One time in chemistry the class clown started messing about with the gas spigot at his work station.  (The linkied article claims some kids don’t even know how to use a Bunsen burner, hence the gunnegshun.)  When Mrs. Platika spotted him, she put her hands on her hips and said, “Young man, you’re en-dane-gering the en-vi– ron-ment!”  Smart-assed teenaged brutes that we were, we thought that hy-larious.  It’s an expression I still use to this day.

♦  A belated thankee to friends of the decanter who sent in suggestions for punkin’ seed roasting recipes!  I cooked up a batch last weekend and they were muy delicioso (olive oil and garlic salt, in case you’re interested).

♦  Whenever I open up a punkin’, especially when preparing it for jack-o-lantern carving, I always start with Calvin’s classic line, “Ok, Jack, time for your lobotomy!”  (Those of you who know what I’m talking about will know what I’m talking about.)

♦  Of course, now that we’re getting a taste of early wintah, I think it high time for the reappearance of bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.  You’ve got to be mighty careful where you put your fingers when a platter of these makes its appearance at Port Swiller Manor, as the denizens go for them like a school of piranhas on a wounded capybara.

♦  Finally, you are all, of course, aware of the recent nooz of Disney buying out the Star Wars franchise and threatening announcing the plan to make three new sequels?  Well, I was all set to enjoy some really first class “Hitler rants” parodies on the subject.  (I mean Hitler, Disney and Lucas?  That’s gold! Gold, Jerry!)  However, the truth is that although about half a dozen such parodies have appeared on yootoob to date, they’re all distinctly meh.  What is creativity coming to?

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