Random Thoughts

It has been a while but here are some random thoughts:

  • Were I in the Navy I would wear my hat athwartships.
  • Oil and gas are cheaper than a car payment.
  • Ad astra per aspera.
  • French cooking is great.  Then go back to Italian.
  • I hate lightning.
  • If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to.
  • Hear that NCR?  Phyllis?
  • I am forgetting my Russian.
  • The Chinese cannot buy The Dodgers. Think about it.
  • Cheese.
  • I like drawing to inside straights. No, really.
  • I want to live in New York.
  • Archaisms are your friends.
  • I have a rare blood type.
  • The Cold Steel Recon is good.  I want the Trail Master.
  • Caro Kann.
  • I buy ramen and soup by the case.
  • I can still use a bottleneck on my 12 string.  Amazed.
  • Commuting once almost killed me. No, twice. No, thrice.
  • It’s fun to click between 3 movies you know.
  • Sts. Nunilo and Alodia.
  • I am more interesting than the Dos Equis guy.  Isn’t everyone?
  • The Star Wars scripts are the worst scripts ever written.
  • Amor meus pondus meum.
  • I can’t answer all my email, and that makes me sad.  Well.. not really.
  • “My little green friend.”  Best line.
  • My little knives are keys to my day.
  • Shot gun

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Dorcas says:

    Ya, I wish you could answer my email too! Wow, you’re up early… [I can set up entries to post automatically on a schedule I pre-define.]

  2. mike cliffson says:

    Not “Best bacon supper”?

  3. disco says:

    More interesting than the dos equis guy?! I dunno about that one because I hear, “when in Rome they do as he does”. [Everyone is more interesting than he is.]

  4. Cath says:

    Ad astra per aspera
    My state’s motto!

  5. albinus1 says:

    I always thought Ad astra per aspera should be the motto of NASA.

    Of course, now I suppose their motto would be, Ad astra per Russos. Or, as recent events have shown, maybe not.

  6. Thomas G. says:

    Athwartships, eh? Avast matey, naval authorities would oblige you to wear your cap in the fore-and-aft line rather than athwartships. [HA! I laugh.]

  7. Tina in Ashburn says:

    “I buy ramen and soup by the case.”

    Yesterday I saw a cookbook “101 things to do with Ramen Noodles” and wondered if you have it. LOL.

  8. I know at least one of the movies Fr. Z was switching between last night — and I finally switched it off shortly after the Little Green Friend. What appalling writing! [Candidate for worst screen play ever.]

  9. Rich says:

    Interesting. “My little green friend” and “Shot gun” are very common random thoughts of my own.

  10. Liz says:

    *Wrong password in your log-in box thingy shakes back and forth. I like it.
    *I am amused by so much of the above.
    *Getting the kids ready for mass is one of the devil’s favorite times to attack.
    *Sts. Nunilo and Alodia. I’m glad you remind us of them, but it always scares me a little too.
    *So sad when I am on my last sip of Mystic Monk Coffee.
    *Don’t get Ramen Noodles. Kids adore them. At least happiness comes inexpensively sometimes.

  11. Liz says:

    I don’t mean “don’t get Ramen Noodles” as in don’t purchase. I mean that I don’t “get” them! [Easy. Live on a shoestring!]

  12. Eric says:

    I like drawing to inside straights. No, really.

    I want to live in New York.

    Just wanted to point out a typographical error. You put the “No really” at the end of the wrong line.

  13. Mike says:

    So right on “Star Wars”. Harrison Ford actually told George Lucas: “George, you can type this @#$%, but you can’t say it.”

  14. wanda says:

    You are WAAYYYY more interesting than the Dos Equis guy!

  15. APX says:

    The Star Wars scripts are the worst scripts ever written.

    I only watch Star Wars for the soundtrack. John Williams is a musical genius, but he writes lame oboe parts. The oboe part during the Main Title is quite literally the “Meow Meow Meow Meow” Meow Mix commercial song.

  16. Frances M says:

    Speaking of ramen, a quick and tasty lunch can be put together with ramen (without the flavor packet), butter, freshly-grated parmesan, all tossed together with some capers thrown in.

  17. APX says:

    @Frances M

    I make a delicious variant of that on days I want something a little more gourmet -> Ramen, butter, and Cheez Whiz. Cheez Whiz is expensive, so this is a rare treat.

  18. Melody Faith says:

    If you were in the U.S. Navy your uniform “hat” would be called a cover. [I guess I should have said “cocked-hat” or, as Preserved Killick would call it, my “number one scraper”]

    You are MUCH more interesting than the Dos Equis guy. BTW, doesn’t his tagline (Stay Thirsty , my friends) seem like more of a curse than an admonition?

    [A frozen orange juice can is more interesting than the guy in the Dos Equis commercial.

    But back to the hat. I am reminded of an episode in The Fortune of War when Capt. Aubrey is trying to get dressed but Dr. Maturin’s wombat won’t let him have his hat. Perpend:

    Killick complains….

    “‘Which it’s your scraper, sir, your number one scraper. The wombat’s got at it.’
    ‘Then take it away from him, for god’s sake.’
    ‘I duresn’t, sir,’ said Killick. ‘For fear of tearing the lace.’
    ‘Now, sir,’ cried the captain, striding into the great cabin, a tall, imposing figure.
    ‘Now, sir,’ — addressing the wombat, one of the numerous body of marsupials brought into the ship by her surgeon, a natural philosopher — ‘give it up directly, d’ye hear me, there?’
    The wombat stared him straight in the eye, drew a length of gold lace from its mouth, and then deliberately sucked it in again.
    ‘Pass the word for Dr Maturin,’ said the captain, looking angrily at the wombat: and a moment later, ‘Come now, Stephen, this is coming it pretty high: your brute is eating my hat.’
    ‘So he is, too,’ said Dr Maturin. ‘But do not be so perturbed, Jack; it will do him no harm, at all. His digestive processes –‘
    At this point the wombat dropped the hat, shuffled rapidly across the deck and swarmed up into Dr Maturin’s arms, peering at close range into his face with a look of deep affection.
    ‘Well, I can keep it under my arm, together with my reports,’ said the captain, picking up a bundle of papers and carefully fitting them round his gold-laced hat to conceal the tear.”]

  19. Andy Lucy says:

    Quoting the Operative? Really? I thought you might go for, “Half of writing history is hiding the truth. ” Or maybe, “From here to the eyes and the ears of the ‘Verse, that’s my motto, or it might be if I start having a motto. ” lol

  20. bmccoy says:

    “Amor meus pondus meum.” Seeing your love for food (ex. the octave of bacon) you must always be looking for ways to increase that love. ;)

  21. Kevin B. says:

    The best Star Wars movies are the ones Lucas didn’t direct, i.e. “Empire,” and “Return.” [The one I saw last night, No. 3, was No. 2. What a horrid screenplay.]

  22. Dan says:

    The comment about the Dos Equis guy made my laugh…maybe you should have your own commerical along the same lines, but for Mystic Monk? Put together various clips of you doing cool things like evading NCR goons, celebrating Solemn High Mass, infultrating that dissenting conference in Detroit (the name escapes me…), etc. And then end it with,

    “I don’t always drink coffee, but when I do, I drink Mystic Monk.”

  23. Charivari Rob says:

    “I want to live in New York.”

    As do many others, even (or better – especially) those who deny it the loudest.

    “The Star Wars scripts are the worst scripts ever written.”

    Not even close. One might argue, though, that the movies were disproportionately successful when compared to the quality of the scripts.

    The Star Wars scripts are fun stories and only fall particularly short when someone tries to make more of them than what they are – like each time Mr. Lucas tries to “improve” things whenever there’s a re-release or new format.

    My personal response when I encounter those things? Simple: “Noooooooo!”

  24. flyfree432 says:

    “The Star Wars scripts are the worst scripts ever written.”

    I knew Father Z had to have at least one flaw, I just didn’t imagine it would be so serious.

  25. worm says:


  26. Random Friar says:

    Caro Kann, eh? I am on chess.com , if you fancy a duel over the intertubes.

  27. contrarian says:

    “I want to live in New York.”

    I’d also like you to live (here) in New York.
    How can we make that happen?

  28. jdskyles says:

    Unfortunately Navies generally stopped wearing bicornes athwartships in the 1830’s. The US Navy stopped wearing them all together in the 1930’s. The Royal Navy followed suit in the 1950’s.

  29. LuraV says:

    I only watch Star Wars for the soundtrack. John Williams is a musical genius

    Actually, he is a genius plagiarist. Strauss, Korngold, Stravinsky, and that’s just Episode IV.

  30. Supertradmum says:

    Sorry, the Star Wars scripts are the worst ever written. Just listen to the lines….sample from cracked.com

    Don’t you see, we don’t have to run away anymore. I am more powerful than the Chancellor. I can overthrow him, and together you and I can rule the galaxy.
    I don’t believe what I’m hearing… Obi-Wan was right. You’ve changed.
    I don’t want to hear any more about Obi-Wan. The Jedi turned against me. Don’t you turn against me.

    And the actor….who can’t act, Hayden Christensen…randomly forgettable.

  31. Supertradmum says:

    PS Father, do you really want to live in New York? Wow. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to live in New York–London or Rome, yes. New York, no.

  32. benedetta says:

    I like the free ruminations.

  33. Fr-Bill says:

    I grew up in northern California. I visited New York, arriving at Grand Central, walking then to Penn Station. I was impressed by the constant smell of urine. Why would anyone want to live there?
    …and it is too humid.

  34. Mike says:

    My favorite line–or word–to hate in the “Star Wars” movies is “Younglings”.

  35. benedetta says:

    I agree, Fr. Z. Cheese.

  36. benedetta says:

    But what is The Cold Steel Recon?

  37. Somebody from Northern California thinks NYC is too humid?

    I cleverly deduce that you’re not from San Francisco and surrounding areas (aka “But I thought California was warm and sunny!”).

  38. Banjo pickin girl says:

    benedetta, it’s cutlery. i prefer my sharpfinger.

  39. AnAmericanMother says:

    Randall for outside the kitchen, Sabatier carbon steel for inside.
    And a little folding Buck in my purse for odd jobs.

  40. AnAmericanMother says:

    Even my daughter the Star Wars fanatic figured out that Christensen couldn’t act.
    Wow he was awful – worse than the script! I’ve seen better high school juniors stumbling through Hamlet.

  41. benedetta says:

    I get hungry for dinner @ 8, hate California as it’s cold and its damp…

    An old chestnut for our friend Fr. Bill above and anyone else. (I feel like amenamen! Where is amenamen?)


  42. RichardT says:

    I’m just reading Clarissa Oakes – not one of his best.

  43. benedetta says:

    Poor Fr-Bill, he’ll never desire to post here about associating New York and the smell of urine again…Don’t be scared, Fr-Bill. We don’t bite.


  44. benedetta says:

    I just have one other sound styling and then I shall be moving along…


  45. RichardT says:

    AnAmericanMother says: “And a little folding Buck in my purse for odd jobs.”

    I prefer Opinel for a pocket knife. Choice of carbon- or stainless-steel. Good choice of sizes. The handle feels just right in the hand. Chosen by the Victoria & Albert Museum as one of the 100 most beautiful products in the world (mind you, they also chose the Porsche, so I’m not sure about their taste). And still a family company.

  46. Martial Artist says:

    From: Keith H. Töpfer, LCDR, USN [ret]
    To: Father John Zuhlsdorf
    Subj: Proper wearing of uniform cap

    (a) The first bulleted item in your article Random Thoughts, dated 04 SEP 2011
    (b) US Naval Uniform Regulations
    (c) Your comment in re Ref (a), by Thomas G., dated 04 Sep 2011

    Your attention is invited to ref (a) concerning the proper wearing of the uniform cap by Naval Personnel. Your proposed modification of wearing the uniform cap athwartships fails to comply with the requirements of ref (a). Secondarily, the statement in ref (c) is correct, or as we in the U.S. Navy would phrase it, it is the “straight skinny.” Failure to comply with the requirements of ref (a) may result in disciplinary action, which may be reflected in your annual performance appraisal.

    (signed) K. H. Töpfer, LCDR, USN [ret]

    [A good thing this doesn’t apply to the “number one scraper”.]

  47. Martial Artist says:


    The Cold Steel Recon is a series of folding knives that currently has four variants, which are shown on this page of their corporate website. They are excellent knives, although I have a slight preference for the products of SOG knives. [I also like Benchmade. Look at the 581.]

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  48. Martial Artist says:

    Also, Father, the Dos Equis guy is not particularly interesting because he is not real. You are, and I presume each person commenting here is, a real person.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  49. Mixolydian says:

    “Why you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking…. NERF HEARDER!

    Who’s scruffy looking?”

    Cinematic genius. Genius, I say!

    That said, episodes I-III are an embarrassment. [Yes, indeed they are.]

  50. Random Friar says:

    Hayden Christiansen was a painful casting choice to watch as Anakin, but think about it:

    An evil megalomaniac grew forth from an overdramatic little emo kid who thought the universe revolved around him and his warped idea of love.

    Sounds about right.

  51. Cantor says:

    Well, Father, so long as you enlist in the Navy and remain a seaman you can wear the circular sailor’s cap athwartships to you heart’s content!

  52. irishgirl says:

    ‘I want to live in New York’.
    Yes, Father Z, please come and live here! But in Upstate New York, not ‘the city’!
    Maybe you can set up a little ‘Sabine Farm’ near Auriesville Shrine….

  53. AnAmericanMother says:

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never heard of Opinel before, guess it’s because we have no particular French contacts or connections.
    It looks like a handsome, not too expensive, practical knife – and the carbon steel is a big plus. I love carbon steel.
    The Buck couldn’t have been any cheaper though – it was free! I have a tendency to lose pocket knives (I’m still mourning my drop tip field-dressing knife, have no idea what happened to it), so free is good. I did put a lanyard and ‘biner on my Buck, harder to lose it that way.

  54. benedetta says:

    Thanks, Martial Artist and AnAmericanMother. I do not know what I would do with one of these as I don’t hunt. Then again I could use a new hobby so why not start now.

    Further with respect to Random Thought: cheese, I say, grilled.

  55. Mariana says:

    “That said, episodes I-III are an embarrassment. [Yes, indeed they are.]”

    But the absolute WORST thing is my dvd of Episode 6 (as our video player has finally collapsed), when, at the end, instead of the beaming original grown-up Anakin, you are shocked by seeing the scowling, non-attractive, boring Hayden Christensen Anakin!

    I have managed to get a dvd with the original actor at the end, but now the music is the wrong kind, not the uplifting melody but the boring one, which I think was the original piece of music which later was changed. If anybody understands what I’m talking about.

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