Friday, April 4, 2014
Evanston: Ronnie Simpson update; Ambrose Bierce; 'W'; 'Y'.
I emailed Ronnie yesterday and received a response this morning. I also received from John a link that provides more details of the dismasting for which I thank him.
I do not recall if Ronnie has a radio on MONGO, but I do know that he has an iPhone and was close enough to shore to telephone for assistance.
In his email Ronnie said that he has found and bought a used mast that he can modify and is looking for a mainsail so he can keep going. I wish him well.
For those of you wondering, I am in agreement with Ambrose Bierce’s prescient definition of telephones included in Wednesday’s post and have yet to replace mine. I do have aboard GANNET a handheld VHF with a range of eight or ten miles used to communicate with officials on entering foreign ports.
I finished THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY yesterday. Some definitions from ‘W’ and ‘Y’ are found below. The dictionary does not include any words beginning with ‘X’ and I didn’t find any of those beginning with ‘Z’ of sufficient charm.
The entire dictionary is worth reading. There are many words I did not include here because the definitions are too long. I recommend reading it as I did one letter a day. Project Gutenberg has THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY available as a free download in several formats.
Ambrose Bierce deserves a greater reputation than he has, both as a wit, where he ranks near Mark Twain, and as a short story teller. His CIVIL WAR STORIES are among the very best.
Bierce disappeared in Mexico during the Revolution, and is the subject of a good novel, OLD GRINGO, by Carlos Fuentes, which was made into a pretty good film starring Gregory Peck, Jane Fonda, and a young Jimmy Smits.
I read the novel a long time ago. We rewatched the film recently and found it entertaining, though in places a bit incoherent.
From THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY:
Wall Street: a symbol of sin for every devil to rebuke.
war: a by-product of the arts of peace.
webb: an old sailor who was the World Wide Web when Bill Gates was still poor. (Some authorities doubt that this definition was written by Ambrose Bierce.)
wit: the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.
witch: (1) any ugly and repulsive old woman, in a wicked league with the devil. (2) a beautiful and attractive young woman, in wickedness a league beyond the devil.
worms’-meat: the finished product of which we are the raw material.
year: a period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.
yesterday: the infancy of youth, the youth of manhood, the entire past of age.