Herb’s blog, Herbdate 22084-654:
Going back to the counting/numbering idea I think it might be interesting to do the military numbering system but it’s not a hard, fast decision yet. The idea of using a Stardate seemed kind of cool and nerdy but when I went and looked up how the system worked it just got to be overwhelming. I even went “Deep Nerd” in researching it but that just made things worse. I’ve been thinking that instead of numbering the post, open it like I did this. It’s just kind of a silly notion at this point, anyway, but the thought of the quirkiness of it appeals to me. After I looked at it for a while I realized that it doesn’t really reflect how many posts have gone before. The Herbdate above is how many days have gone by since I was born.
I’ve developed a mild interest in the patriotic tunes from WWI or the Great War. WWII songs are more well-known but there are some really great tunes from the teens and twenties as well. I found an interesting resource called “Sheet Music Singer” whose youtube channel is here. They take sheet music, make a .midi file of the music, then sing the song the way it was written. Sometimes the songs seem a bit boring because a person may have heard them by a well-known performer who puts some pizzazz into it. Like their version of Yankee Doodle Dandy does not sound anything like James Cagney’s version. Another thing they are always trying to point out is that a lot of the songs from that era, and they go back into the 1800s, were written with racial stereotypes and use words that are unacceptable anymore. They apologize for that while trying to remain historically accurate. Those that are potentially offensive are pretty clearly marked as a general rule.
Now, this is all kind of rhetorical I suppose, since I don’t listen to much music and my normal musical fare is Old Timey Gospel but there are some of those old patriotic songs that are stirring. Some of those old love songs are pretty good, too. Since my newest grandson has been here so much I’ve taken an interest in Alexander’s Ragtime Band. To show the difference between the two methods, Sheet Music Singer and some other performers, I have two versions of a couple of songs here. You can see what an entertainer does to make a piece come alive. Sheet Music Singer’s value is in the preservation of the history of American music but they are not really performers at all.
It stood, the monster did, in times now since past in the Irish Counties of Tipperary and Limerick, on the mountain called Galtymore. It was a large, ugly creature with great fangs and claws and hooves that stood on top of the mountain waiting for unwary villagers to come by for lunch. The villagers lived in constant fear because they could all see it, but it was too far away and too frightening for them to do anything about it. Plus, they were, for the most part, peaceful horse breeders and the thing was a horrible example of an experiment gone wrong with a horse and a bear. It could rear up on its hind legs like a horse but had the head and top features of a bear. Similar to a centaur, I suppose, but with a bear. The simple people of the village just called it a Rarey based on the rareness of it (there was only the one) and how it reared up.
That was pretty much the only movement the freakish beast could make because of its weight and strange proportions. It was not beautiful in any way. Around this time one of the Gough family of County Limerick got word to his friend, Turlough O’Hagan. Now, this Turlough was a rough and ready man and traveled on foot to see this great sight. Over 200 miles, almost 350 km, he trekked to see this wondrous, snarling fearsome beast which men called a Rarey. Rarey, indeed. Turlough was indignant. He would show an example of good old Irish toughness to these horse breeders. Well, breeders of other odd creatures, as well, apparently. When he arrived he started asking questions, mainly, why had nothing been done? After hearing their excuses Turlough was in a fury and took his shillelagh and marched up to the top of the hill.
The sounds of furious growlings and howlings came from the top of the mount. Those who knew (Or even knew of) Turlough could not or would not try to distinguish who was making the most noise. Suddenly there was a loud clacking sound, as of two large rams butting heads. A howling of rage and another thud. They couldn’t believe their eyes as they saw the thing rolling down the hill, faster and faster, picking up speed until it splashed loudly into the river below and drowned. Cheers rang up, as down the path, as though he were just strolling in the garden, came Turlough, laughing and tossing his shillelagh into the air and twirling it as though he were leading a parade. They all cried out for a speech.
“Sure, and I knew I had the beast finished off when he tried to headbutt me. Everyone knows there’s nothing as hard as an Irishman’s head and I be the most stubborn of all. I saw he was dazed from being headbutted by me and swung me stick around to the back of his head with all my strength and knocked it unconscious. The hardest part was going to be to get rid of it as it didn’t ever move from its place. I had to tip it over somehow to get it to rolling. Well, I got me the end of my stick under it, strained and prised at it with all my might until it popped off the mountain and rolled down the hill into the river.”
The leader of the little group shook his hand and thanked him profusely for traveling all that way to help them.
“Aye, lad.” agreed Turlough, “It’s a long way to tip a rarey.”