Wednesday, November 21, 2012

7000 hits!


I am proud to announce that as of today (officially) this blog has exceeded the 7000 hit mark.  Yeah, I know, the number at the bottom of the page shows about 90 more than that, but the OFFICIAL TOTAL -- according to the site meter website -- as of this morning is 7009!

Thanks!  That means a lot!

If you have any questions or would like to see something specific, post a comment or send me an e-mail.  Perhaps I can address your request.

'Til next time...Keep Makin' Chips...and keep those cards and letters comin' in! :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Rebuttal to my Previous Effort

I received the following correction for the origin of the name "Toulouse-Lautrec"  from a fellow Punologist.

Seems that a group of amateur rocketeers in France, had been having problems getting their rockets to reach the planned altitude - They kept fiddling with the rockets' design, fuel mixture, adjusting the launch platform, you name it - but no, the hapless vehicles never attained anywhere near their anticipated height.

So, in desperation, they called upon the services of a well-known mechanical engineer to investigate the problem, Monsieur duPeunifi√©.   After he arrived, he looked over several of the rockets, examined the fuels, then walked over to the launch platform.   He pushed, pulled, prodded and poked various parts of the frame - and at one point, his eyebrows raised... He asked for a wrench, and tightened a few bolts near the bottom of the platform.

Finished, he invited the group to launch their next rocket - et voilà, it flew magnificently into the heavens, amid shouts of joy and adulation for le bon monsieur!

When asked what the problem was, Monsieur duPeunifi√©, replied in his typically way...  "Too loose - low track!" 

I don't know how long he worked on this one but I have to admit that I think he won this round. 

What do you think?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Sad Life of Toulouse Lautrec

The well-known Toulouse-Lautrec, one of the greatest painters of the Post-Impressionist period, was born in 1864.  A variety of physical ailments plagued his life.   His legs ceased to grow during his childhood so as an adult, he had a fully developed an adult-sized torso but only “child-sized” legs.  He stood barely 5 feet tall.

Physically unable to participate in many activities typically enjoyed by most people, Toulouse immersed himself in his art.  At the age of eight, his family recognized his talents lay in drawing and painting, and a friend of his father arranged for art lesson lessons.  He later studied under and hobnobbed with the many well known French artists of the 19th Century.  He became quite accomplished and when the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret opened in 1889, Toulouse-Lautrec was commissioned to produce a series of posters that are now some of his most well-known work.

Fame and fortune aside, Lautrec suffered relentless mocking and rejection for his short stature and physical appearance. Finally, after years of abuse, he had had it with Paris,  France and its local art community.   He was an ardent anglophile, so he decided to travel to London where changed his name to the more English sounding “Lewis Underwood”.  While his fluency in English was not a good as he might have wished, he felt that a fresh start, with a new name, in a new country his talents would improve his lot in life.  Regrettably, he was wrong.  While people appreciated his work they still never accepted him as a person.

Completely crushed, Lautrec began to drown his sorrows in alcohol.  From wine to mixed drinks to a cocktail that he developed called "The Earthquake": a potent mixture containing half absinthe and half cognac.  He would visit many of the fine establishments in Downtown London and consume one potent drink after another.  The more intoxicated he was the more melancholy he became.  As the evenings progressed and the crowds thinned down he would demand that the piano player accompany him as he sang his sad lament of how his life had become a continuous downward spiral.

     “It would always start, “Born Toulouse, but now I’m Lewis “U”…