Friday, February 15, 2013

Various & Sundry: Lent, Valentines, and Porky Goodness

As you might guess, Lent Madness has come to the fore in the past couple of days. Madness is right! If you haven't checked it out yet, do! And vote -- for whomever you choose. And here's an old post I wrote on 4 things I learned about elections from Lent Madness.

It's been in the 70's around here the past couple of days, but I hear in some parts of the country it's this season called winter. Here's a video my sister made of digging out her car in Portland, Maine.

Now, see, that doesn't look that hard!

It was, of course, also Valentine's Day. And though I did like these Puritan Valentines, as a former Presbyterian, it was the #thingsCalvinistssayonValentinesDay tweets that really set my heart a-flutter.

Trust me on this one.

Then again, nothing says Valentine's Day like porky goodness. Wouldn't you like to get something like this instead of a dozen roses?
Gourmet Bacon Assortment This trio of gourmet-quality bacon will light up the eyes and tastebuds of bacon fanatics you know and love. Features the following Nueske's smoked bacon varieties in convenient vacuum-sealed packages: (1) Our famous Applewood-smoked Bacon, 16 oz., (2) Applewood-smoked Peppered Bacon, hand coated with fresh-cracked Tellicherry peppercorns, 16 oz., and (3) New Wild Cherrywood-smoked Bacon, made from an all-natural recipe with no artificial ingredients, 12 oz. A great way to sample the best and choose your favorite!
Mmmm...bacon... Yes, I am now following a purveyor of smoked meats on Twitter.

I haven't been filling you in on the obituaries recently, but there were two excellent ones this week of extraordinary women.

The first, Sarah Baring, was a London socialite who spent much of the war translating German documents at Bletchley Park. She knew German because she'd been at finishing school in Munich where she and a friend "would sit at a neighbouring table and pull faces at [Hitler and his entourage]. They knew us by sight and knew we were English, so they just pretended we weren’t there. We weren’t arrested, because at that stage the Germans were still being frightfully nice to us."

At Bletchley, "Sarah Norton worked on the Naval Section index, helping to provide details of the U-boats to Hut 8, run at that time by Alan Turing, of whom she once said: '[He] was immensely shy, especially of girls... I once offered him a cup of tea, [and] he shrank back as if I’d got measles or something. He was wonderful. We were all very proud of him.'”
The work was gruelling, and Sarah Norton and her colleagues took their pleasures where they could: “One afternoon, we decided to give Jean Campbell-Harris, who later became Baroness Trumpington, a ride in a large laundry basket on wheels that was normally used to move secret files. We launched it down the long corridor where it gathered momentum by the second. To our horror, Jean suddenly disappeared, basket and all, through some double swing doors, crashing to a halt in the men’s lavatories. A serious reprimand was administered and our watches were changed so we were distributed among a more sober group.”
There's more, but you'll have to read it yourself.

Also this week, I learned of the death of Keiko Fukada, whom I had read about a year and a half ago when, at age 98, she became the first woman ever to receive a 10th degree black belt in Judo. "Standing 4ft 10in tall and weighing less than 100lb, Keiko Fukuda took up judo in her native Japan when she was in her early twenties having been schooled in the traditional arts of calligraphy, flower arrangement and the intricacies of the tea ceremony." She has been teaching judo, mostly to women, here in the San Francisco Bay Area since before I was born.

A documentary about her is called Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful. Sounds like a good way to be.

No comments: