Archive for the ‘ralstonism’ Category

1. Saw my first major league baseball game on Friday night.  The Braves crushed the Pirates.  Brian McCann hit two home runs (though I didn’t see the first one because we were ten minutes late) and Andruw Jones hit one.  Kind of a boring game actually, since it was a blowout, but a game is a game.

2. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” at least feels like a movie, unlike the last one which felt like all the important stuff was left on the cutting room floor.  It still didn’t do much for me – most Harry Potter films don’t – but if you’re a fan then you ought not be disappointed.  One criticism, though: I have always found it very troubling when films create characters who are villainous not only because they insufferably refuse to see the truth but also because they are actually, deep down, fascist people.  It seems to me that most of the time we are unwilling to separate, in our entertainment, characters who hold different / strongly opposing beliefs from characters who enjoy causing pain.  I find this a disturbingly ‘black vs white’ thing to include in a story that is aimed at children.  Even though the heart of the message is in the right place – i.e. that censorship only makes rebellion more likely.

3. For those who enjoy television and either don’t want a shelf full of dvds or aren’t able to purchase a series that they love due to unavailability (like “Strange Luck,” “Logan’s Run,” or “Blake’s 7”), I was just introduced to a great website today.  www.tv-links.co.uk.  It’s a site which collects links to full episodes of shows that stream online.  Including all episodes of Red Dwarf and Fawlty Towers.  Granted it’s largely just YouTube quality videos, but it’s nice to have a repository.  Just FYI.

4.  Research is consuming vast amounts of time right now.  Not much is changing in the Better Films Committee research other than minor tweaking to the knowledge.  I’m still waiting for another lightning bolt there.  Have also made some minor strides in the Edgerly research as well.  But nothing of enough importance or entertainment value to bother mentioning.

5.  One of the Edgerly books I purchased online recently – “Child Life” – included, as a bonus, an original Christmas card from 1897, at which time the Ralston Health Club apparently sent the book (to “Miss Emma F. Ginste”) free of charge.  A reproduction of the card is below.  I like ephemera.

Ralston Christmas Card - 1897

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Go over to Google and do a couple searches if you’d like to see something sort of impressive.

This humble little blog of mine is the tenth highest rated hit (out of 634) for the word “ralstonism.”

It is also the seventh highest hit (out of 24,600!) for the phrase “webster edgerly.” 

I’m frankly amazed.


While we’re on the topic.  Amazon has a listing for something that leaves my jaw on the floor:

Progression backward: An oration spoken by a High School Graduate on graduation day in the So. Com. M.E. Church on May 21st – 1870

For those who haven’t quite caught on…this is Albert W. Edgerly’s graduation speech. I had no idea such a thing was prominent enough to be published… I want it with white hot desperation…


One other little thing (or not so little), just because I ran across it right this second and want to save it.  Brainard Gardner Smith, in his 1891 text “Reading and Speaking,” cites an article called “How to Read Well” which he attributes to Edmund Shaftesbury.

The paragraph he quotes is this:

Edgerly paragraph

One of the things that I love most about this man is that I am not in any way opposed to the fact that he was a loon. I’m not obsessed with him to fulfil a desire for someone to make fun of.  In fact…his looniness walks a perpetual line between absurd and brilliant. I think this is quite an excellent idea on learning vocal control, and a nice form of thinking outside the box.

Essentially, he’s taking public speaking performance lessons into everyday life – read the paper and try to make someone think that you’re just talking spontaneously…

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The end of class attendance caught me off guard.  I’ve been so focused on the two papers that I have yet to complete that I was completely unprepared for the fact that yesterday was my last day of classes.  It feels kind of weird – sort of like accidentally being shot into space and realizing that you therefore don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

Sort of a nice feeling, though also sort of like being cast adrift.

Anyway, I’m continuing on – slowly – with my final paper in the Godard/Barthes class.  Still no particular interest in writing it, but at least the concept is there and things are being done.  With an idea so old (I thought of it more than a year ago), it’s been easy writing.  So it shouldn’t have any problem being finished by Friday.

We had our typical ‘end-of-semester’ hang-out/dinner at Dr. Bernstein’s last night.  That was nice, as per usual.  Just had a nice chat, watched “Dark City,” and talked about how nice S-VHS tapes looked and how they hadn’t caught on with the public.  Otherwise, nothing in particular went on.

In our last Historiography class we finally got to my paper (after discussing virtually everyone else’s).  The general consensus was that the paper is unfinished (obviously), the material is of marginal interest to most people (obviously), and that I am an excellent writer (which, in my mighty/extreme/stupendous arrogance, I already knew).  I had hoped that my skill as a writer would work against the fact that the topic itself seems like a big ‘so what’ to most people, but apparently it didn’t.  Oh well…  On the brighter side, Laura had a dream about me in which I told her not to worry because someday her writing would get better; it’s certainly unvarnished praise when people call you a good writer in their own dreams. 

Nothing much else to report at the moment.  Almost done with school work, almost time to start moving things into the new place, almost time to fly to California, almost time to drive back to Scottsbluff.

…oh, and I’m a Reverend now (so says the Universal Life ‘Church’), so ya’ll best be on your best behavior or I’ll insty-divorce you with my magic wand.


PS: I’ve altered the listing of the Ralstonism page to “private” as it now has a good deal of research concepts on it, and it feels a little silly, in such a public place, to run the risk of some unscrupulous scholar stealing all my work.

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