American Elephants


It was 34 years ago today!

[Ed. note: the following was originally posted in 2008 on this infamous day]

Chances are, if you’re not from Washington or Oregon, the date May 18th has little meaning to you. Heck, even around here many don’t think of it unless someone reminds them. But I remember — every year. It’s one of the only world events I remember from back then — I was very young after all; but the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 was just the kind of event that little boys remember forever.

We were very fortunate; the mountain exploded northwards, but the winds carried the ash-cloud away to the southeast. I remember being somewhat disappointed that the ash wasn’t turning day into night for us like it was for all the people on the television. In fact, we didn’t seem to get any ash-fall at all, much to my chagrin; while people on the other side of the mountain were measuring it in inches, like snow.

So much excitement! …and so little pay off.

About the most exciting thing I personally experienced was standing on my father’s roof to see the enormous plume looking fairly small and unimpressive so many miles away. I’m not sure if we heard the explosion or not. They say people heard it as far as 700 miles away, and we were certainly much closer than that. I think we did — but that could just be my memory playing tricks on me.

So close, and yet so far. But I still remember it every year.

Where were you?

Update: Michael Rubin at the Corner links to an excellent photo montage on the eruption and the aftermath.



Elephants are very musical
May 4, 2014, 9:30 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: ,

…and we’re pretty good dancers too!



Happy Easter!
April 20, 2014, 4:55 pm
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: , , ,

Easter

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

video via @pgkstj



O Holy Night!
December 24, 2013, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: , , ,

I hope to stop in more throughout the day, but in case you don’t, I know my fellow elephants join me in wishing you and yours the very Merriest of Christmases! And Joy to the World!



Merry Christmas Three-fer

I suppose I should have known from the start that since much of my favorite Christmas carols were hard to find audio recordings of, that finding them on YouTube would be even more unlikely. That obvious conclusion, nonetheless, escaped me.

BUT! While I haven’t necessarily been able to find the songs I most wanted to share, I have found some fun stuff that I hadn’t seen or heard before myself. The first of which is a performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which is usually one the most tedious and/or obnoxious carols around, but NOT when done by the King’s Singers with Julie Andrews. Dame Andrews doesn’t actually sing in this one, while it’s her special, she’s just there for comedic effect. Although everyone should own at least one of her various Christmas albums.

The second is the sultry stylings of legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson in That’s What I Want for Christmas. Often imitated, never equaled.

And last but not least, Chanticleer, perhaps the best men’s chorus in the world, performing in the Medievil Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in front of the Neapolitan Baroque Créche and Christmas Tree. The tree is beautiful beyond compare, the acoustics in the room are breathtaking. Many PBS stations will replay the performance each year — watch the whole performance if you can.



My Favorite Things
December 24, 2013, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Music, Pop Culture, Religion | Tags: , ,

Nobody beats the original by Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music, but one of my favorite things is Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’ Christmas Album. We grew up with it, and last year I found this rare footage on YouTube. The whole album is a classic; one that everyone should have.



Sussex Carol
December 24, 2013, 3:30 pm
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: , ,

I love traditional English carols, particularly the less familiar ones. They always remind me of my English grandma. Sussex Carol was, “first published in the 17th century by Luke Wadding, a 17th-century Irish bishop, in a work called Small Garland of Pious and Godly Songs. It is not clear whether Wadding wrote the song or was recording an earlier composition.” It is performed here by the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, one of the best in the world.



Old Toy Trains
December 24, 2013, 3:13 pm
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: , , ,

My tastes in Christmas music are all over the map. First choral, then jazz, now country — and who knows what next. I like an eclectic mix. Now, I’m generally not very big on much country music — nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t usually my thing — but that means when I DO like a country song, you know it’s gotta be a good one. And so this is.

Old Toy Trains was, I believe, first introduced by Roger Miller back sometime in the late 1960′s and has since become a standard covered by many — but my favorite by far is this deep, cozy version by Toby Keith from the compilation CD, A Country Christmas. All the nostalgia of childhood Christmas wrapped up in one comfortable old song.

I liked it so much the first year I heard it, that I dragged out the old HO and set it up around the Christmas tree. *I* thought it was charming and watched it circle underneath the twinkling lights for hours; no one else seemed to even notice.

Then again, mine was no where near as cool as this guy’s. Now, THAT’s cool!



Christmas Gifts for Conservatives! 30% OFF ‘TIL MIDNIGHT

The perfect gifts & stocking-stuffers for the Conservatives on your Christmas list!

Not just t-shirts, but Hoodies, Campaign Buttons, Stickers, Mugs, Pajama sets and much, much more! ALL ITEMS are 30% today (use promo-code “HoHo”), with plenty of time to get there by Christmas! Here are just a FEW of our many available designs:

UPDATE: All items 50% OFF until 9PM. Use code “CANE”:

.
The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan primary campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

The Original, Iconic 1980 Ronald Reagan & Bush campaign logo. Available ONLY from American Elephants!

Andrew Breitbart's Clarion Call to Conservatives, Tired of Being Demonized and Lied About By the Democrat-Media Complex

I (heart) Big Oil



The Reason for the Shutdown in 1 Pic…

Please spread this around. Tweet it, Post it to Facebook, your blog, pinterest. Wherever you like. Obama will negotiate with terrorist Iran, but won’t negotiate with the duly elected representatives of the people. He says “I won”. But I would remind him that Republicans ALSO won. In fact, after Democrats passed Obamacare, Americans threw them out of office, and elected Republicans in the biggest electoral landslide in 75 years!  [Click to enlarge.]
Obama Wont Negotiate



About Those Upcoming Budget Talks…

Glenn Hubbard of Columbia University has some sage words to bear in mind as budget talks approach. From his preface to Stephen Moore’s, Who’s the Fairest of Them All:

Not since the 1930′s has the issue of class warfare been more front and center in policy debate in Washington. President Obama is seeking higher tax rates on capital gains, dividends, estates, small business owners and “the rich.” He is not promising these ideas to enhance economic growth—but to advance the concept of fairness. If economic growth isn’t the goal, we shouldn’t be surprised if this agenda doesn’t guarantee it. But it is worse than that—unless it is reversed, this agenda will set in motion the largest tax hike in decades beginning January 1, 2013, and I know of no economic theory that would predict this policy will make America more prosperous.



The Nature of Government — Unfortunately
September 17, 2013, 10:37 pm
Filed under: History, The United States | Tags: , , , ,

An excellent quote on the nature of government from John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth:

People in government will always try to help those who are powerful at the expense of those who might become so. What–is  can always yield influence that what–might–be cannot match, regardless of any campaign finance laws that may be in place. The power of what–is made the abolition of slavery—by the 1780′s widely seen as immoral and inefficient—politically impossible. Indeed, what–is was able to force a provision in the new Constitution that counted the disenfranchised and powerless slaves at three–fifths their actual numbers for determining the distribution of seats in Congress, greatly increasing the political power of the states with large slave populations.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,505 other followers

%d bloggers like this: