Japanese Switzerland by John Lavery, painted after his visit to Wengen, Switzerland, Christmas 1912. The vertical format of the painting, and the bijin-like posture of the woman, both suggest ukiyo-e. Source.
Morton host Motherwell in the third round of the League Cup. These two clubs last met in Round Five of the 2011-12 Scottish Cup when Morton famously parked the bus and lost 0 - 6. They last appeared together in the League Cup in 2004 when Morton lost 0 - 3. Indeed the last time Morton scored a goal at Motherwell's expense was March 19th, 1991, which was also the last time Motherwell visited Cappielow, if you don't include friendlies. They last played in the same division in 1987-88, when Motherwell won three of four and Morton scored once.
Which is to say Morton are up against it.
Motherwell got to this round by beating East Fife, Morton by beating Elgin City and Queen of the South.
On August 22nd in 1864 twelve European countries signed the first treaty in what would come to be known as the Geneva Conventions, titled the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. And not a moment too soon, considering all the wars going on in 1864. The artist of record, Charles Édouard Armand-Dumaresq, was himself a painter of military subjects.
The Return (1927), by David Shanks Ewart, housed in the National Galleries of Scotland. This is the companion piece to The Emigrants.
Morton return to the Scottish Championship. The Ton are back after only one year away, like Queen of the South two years ago, but unlike Dunfermline Athletic who are now entering their third season in League One.
How does the Championship differ from two years ago? Dundee, Hamilton Academical, and Cowdenbeath are out. Rangers, Hibs, and St Mirren are in. It's been years since Morton has played regularly against any of those three clubs.
Morton are now low man on the Championship seniority list, along with St Mirren. Rangers and Hibs have one year under their belts, Alloa and Queen of the South two, Dumbarton three, Livingston four, Falkirk five, and Raith Rovers six. St Mirren, Hibs and Falkirk came into the league from above, Morton, Rangers, Alloa, Queen of the South, Dumbarton, Livingston and Raith Rovers from below.
Today Falkirk visit Cappielow. In 2013-14 Morton earned only two points from the Bairns, so a win today would be a Good Start. But Falkirk are in pretty fine form, and I predict they'll make the promotion playoffs.
In pre-season friendlies Falkirk defeated Athlone Town and Drogheda United of the League of Ireland, lost to Hamilton Accies, and played Partick to a scoreless draw. They beat East Fife 3 - 1 in the Challenge Cup and East Stirlingshire 5 - 0 in the League Cup.
Morton also won 5 - 0 last weekend. The last time Morton had a result of that magnitude was December 17th, 2012 when they knocked Turriff United out of the Scottish Cup 6 - 0.
When Morton and Falkirk were previously in the same division not so long ago (2010-11 to 2013-14), Falkirk won 7 games, Morton won 4, with 5 draws.
Though Morton and Falkirk are well known to each other in league play, they haven't met in a cup competition since the 1980-81 Anglo-Scottish Cup, when Falkirk took a win and a draw in two meetings.
Morton have already re-established last season's pattern of scoring mainly in the second half. In two cup games they are 0 and 7 in the first and second halves.
How many times have Morton played the other clubs of the 2015-16 Championship?
St Mirren: 192 (not counting all those Renfrewshire Cups.)
Rangers: 169. (Yeah, yeah.)
Raith Rovers: 141.
Queen of the South: 92.
Grand total: 1257.
What should Morton aim for this year? How about: Beat everyone at least once. Beat someone four times, preferably Alloa who did it to us last time. Fill the park at least once. (Last season a visit from Rangers put more than 6000 spectators in Falkirk Stadium, Stark's Park, and Palmerston.) Get on TV.
How do the best and the brightest at Pie and Bovril predict Morton will finish? 16 said 7th, 13 said 8th, 6 said 9th.
Frank McKeown wrecked his knee this week. Tidser, O'Ware and McKee are also out. But Morton have Canadian defender Luca Gasparotto on loan from Rangers.
Morton played a friendly against a Rangers XI on Monday and lost 1 - 0.
Today's starting XI are: [Gaston; Pepper, Kilday, Lamie, Russell; Barr, Miller, Forbes, S. McCluskey; MacDonald, Johnstone. Derek Gaston has been Morton goalkeeper in four straight season-openers.]
Compare the first match of 2014-15: Gaston; Kilday, Crighton, Milojevic, Lamie; McKee, Pepper, Miller, Allan; J. McCluskey; McManus.
Rangers started the Championship season yesterday evening with a 3 - 1 victory over St Mirren. I predict that Rangers will end the season in first place, and I prognosticate that Livingston will finish tenth.
[Morton 1 - 1 Falkirk. Second-half goal by MacDonald.]
After two games Brora Rangers are on top of the Highland League table with 14 goals for, 0 against.
[Buckie Thistle 1 - 8 Brora Rangers.]
Qarabağ 0 - 0 Celtic. Celtic advance.
Aberdeen 1 - 1 Kairat Almaty. Aberdeen are out.
Yesterday UCD hosted Waterford and won 5 - 1.
Today is the Turkish Super Cup between Galatasaray and Bursaspor. [Galatasaray win 1 - 0.]
Ruhmeshalle (1901) by Rudolf Epp. The Ruhmeshalle (literally, Hall of Fame) still stands in Munich, filled with the busts of famous South Germans, though the misty field is now a road. The statue is a personification of Bavaria, and was modelled by a Berliner named Cornelia.
Kate Beaton (blue) versus Alex Colville (red) on Google Trends. A is the release of Obatch! Lumpenpack in Germany. C is the opening of the Colville exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. E: news of Colville's death.