Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Miscellany - Odds, Ends and Personals

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A number of people sent me emails commenting on the photo of a young boy on a bike with his father, in the belief that the young boy was me and that the male person was my father. Not so. I preceded the message with the comment that it was from Byter David B.

This was the pic and comment from David:

Talking of kids on bikes this photo might interest you. It shows a 6-7 year old me in ~1954 with my late dad. Prior to that i used to travel in a sidecar attached to the tandem ridden by my parents. And I think that I can boast that i was travelling by bike before I was born :-)


David, you might be interested in the following comments:

From Sandy:
Very cute picture of you as a young boy Otto.xxx

From Tobye in the US:
Hey Otto, thanks for sharing-the one from Sandra B is priceless! (This refers to the joke Sandy sent). 
And what a handsome man your father was-you look very cute too! 
Enjoy the weekend-we have a long one to look forward to-it’s Memorial day this Monday (kind of our Remembrance Day, as you probably know). 
Regards, Tobye
So David, a couple of people commented on how cute you were. :-)
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An email from my father in law, Noel, a student of history:
Otto, 
Some of your devotees may not know what I regard as the most famous haiku in history, reputedly the work of Hirohito. 
It goes: 
Peaceful is the morning in the shrine garden.
World conditions, it is hoped,
will also be peaceful.
 
Regards, 
Noel
Loathe as I am to take issue with my esteemed and learned father in law, the above poem, which as he says was written by Japanese Emperor Hirohito, is not a haiku but a waka. A haiku has a 5-7-5 syllable structure, whereas waka have varied formats, the most popular of which is the tanka with a 5-7-5-7-7 structure. Traditionally a waka contains a wealth of double meanings, plays on words, metaphors, similes and references to Japanese art and works, the intent being to inspire thought and action.

The Emperor’s waka was written in 1938, a time when the Japanese Army had invaded and continued to occupy China.

Many of the Japanese troops in China took the waka literally and deserted, causing the Emperor’s poem to be withdrawn and suppressed.

Some more of Emperor Hirohito’s bon mots, also brought to my attention in the past by my father in law:

“There seems to have been considerable damage here.”

- On observing Hiroshima after the dropping of the world’s first atomic bomb

“…the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage . . . “

- Part of Hirohito’s 1945 radio surrender broadcast
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Some Irish blessings:

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far.

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

May you enjoy the four greatest blessings:
Honest work to occupy you.
A hearty appetite to sustain you.

A good woman to love you.




And a wink from the God above.

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