The Daughter had a school exercise in one of her classes to write a letter of complaint or protest. It did not have to be a real situation, but there was extra credit, with bonus points for mailing it.

As it turned out, she had a pretty good example. I have mentioned/complained in these pages about the shoddy work done by the roofer/contractor that our next door neighbor hired. As the Daughter noted, the Dumpster being used was halfway across our lawn. When the workers left, there was still much roofing on the shared walkway between our two properties.” And so on.

What made me grimace and laugh was when she noted that her “elderly” father used that sidewwalk often. In fact, I do, but she was really milking it.

In anticipation of writing the letter, she looked up in Google Maps reviews of the offending companies. There were five 5-star reviews! But one of them was a RESPONSE by the owner of the company to a 1-star review, one of nine. And no rankings in between.

One bad review wrote about lateness and not contacting the client, false promises about the work being completed quickly. “When I hadn’t heard from anyone within the time frame, I called the company to get an update… The woman I spoke with when I called initially told me she would have no way of knowing this…” Bottom line: she was strung around for months with a dearth of info.

Suddenly, one day, “two workers showed up at my door to do the deck work. This had not been scheduled at all with me…” They DID do good work that day. She had similar problems with her gutters, seven apointments, and evasive management, before the work was done

Another: “I was lied to from the start… They took their money, removed my siding and came back about 2 weeks to start the work, ordered wrong size windows, started working on the bathroom and from the start nothing went right…

Another: If I could give this company zero stars I would, but unfortunately it isn’t an option. The… real [reviews] are the ones that come with severe negative aspects first because it sounds pretty accurate to my experience.

Another: Worst contractors I’ve ever dealt with…. We asked them to let us know when the dumpster would be dropped off so we could move cars out of the way, they did not. It got dropped off and blocked one of our cars in the driveway…
.
Another: Owner talked rude and offensive to other races. Totally unprofessional. They maybe cheap, but you get what you paid.

Another: They ran the downspouts of the gutters right across our sidewalk (tripping hazard) and into the neighbors yard. During the first week, they used the neighbors yard as a prep area, and would leave garbage all over when they left for the day… They smoked marijuana right outside my back door while my 9 month old daughter was in the house. They screamed F-bombs at each other right outside her bedroom window. The owner… also lied to our faces numerous times during this ordeal, and refused to admit when he had been caught in his own web of lies. The job was quoted as a one week project, and after a month they had not finished cleaning up, so we had to hire someone else to do it.

We found out that our next-door neighbor is attempting to sue the contractor. The Daughter pointed out the online reviews to him, optimally to use to bolster his claim of the contractor’s incompetence.

From goldduststevie.tumblr.com

When the tease for Fleetwood Mac appearing on CBS This Morning aired on April 25, with Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, but NO Lindsey Buckingham, I had to record it and watch it that evening.

Fleetwood said that Buckingham “would not sign off on a new tour they’d been planning for a year and a half.” Nicks, who joined the band with Buckingham in January 1975, agreed with the decision.

She said, “This team wanted to get out on the road. And one of the members did not want to get out on the road for a year. We just couldn’t agree. And you know, when you’re in a band, it’s a team. I mean I have a solo career, and I love my solo career, and I’m the boss. Absolutely. But I’m not the boss in this band.”

The band is replacing Buckingham with two performers, Neil Finn of Crowded House and former member of the Heartbreakers Mike Campbell, who was recruited as lead guitarist a few months after Tom Petty’s death.

The revised Fleetwood Mac is touring starting in October, and they’re coming to Albany on March 20, 2019. Will I go? Peut être.

Listen to all (by Fleetwood Mac unless otherwise indicated):

Rhiannon (from Fleetwood Mac, 1975), #11 in 1976 – inspired by a book she read, Nicks made the protagonist into what she thought was an old Welsh witch

Landslide (from Fleetwood Mac)

I Don’t Want to Know (from -Fleetwood Mac) – one of her compositions written before she joined the group

Dreams (from Rumours), #1 in 1977 – “Nicks’ mystical assessment of her dying relationship with Buckingham”

Gold Dust Woman (from Rumours)

Sara (from Tusk, 1979), #7 in 1980 – she had a relationship with Don Henley of the Eagles

Storms (from Tusk) – “Nicks’ lament for her brief, messy affair with Fleetwood.”

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, #3 for six weeks in 1981. Nicks, Campbell and Petty co-wrote this. From her #1 solo album Bella Donna.

Leather and Lace – Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, #6 in 1982

Gypsy (from Mirage, 1982), #12 in 1982 – “Back when she and Buckingham were just another struggling pair of hungry songwriters in San Francisco, Nicks used to visit a downtown store called the Velvet Underground, where Janis Joplin and Grace Slick shopped, and fantasize about being able to afford the clothes.”

Seven Wonders (from Tango in the Night, 1987), #19 in 1987

Silver Springs (from The Dance, 1997) – “Nicks intended this simmering requiem for her romance with Buckingham to be her crowning moment on Rumours… But the song (which originally ran almost 10 minutes) was too long to fit on the finished LP and was dropped.” A shorter version does appear as the B-side of Go Your Own Way in 1977.


As of this writing, I have not watched the wedding of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

It’s not that I don’t care, as many seem to feel, though at least 29 million Americans tuned in to watch. (Here’s some music to celebrate by.)

I’ve actually recorded the nuptials but haven’t watched them. I was away at a work conference for most of the following week. (My household is not a zeitgeisty group, as my wife is able to watch Dancing with the Stars, Olympic figure skating, et al. days or even weeks after the broadcast.)

I’m particularly interested in hearing the sermon by bishop Michael Curry, which was so good that it made the prayer list at my church the next day.

While I’m more sympathetic to rants against the archaic, and expensive, nature of the monarchy, the notion that we SHOULDN’T care about royals falls on deaf ears.

For one thing, it violates Arthur’s Law, which, everyone knows, is: “Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.” Arthur himself has a nuanced view of the festivities.

I was absolutely fascinated, BTW, by these ads, sometimes on legitimate news sources, that read, “Royals FURIOUS with Meghan!” These were so clearly clickbait that I simply couldn’t be bothered.

The run-up to wedding was fodder for something called Elite Daily. Most of it I could care less about: which Kardashian is pregnant, and by whom; which TV or movie star who I’ve barely heard of is having an Instagram war with a person I’ve never heard of.

Why do skim the emails then? Because, as a business librarian, I’ve come to realize that some YouTube star I’m unfamiliar with, who’s undoubtedly making more money than we are, has entrepreneurial savvy that may be applicable to others.

While I’m thinking about it, I’ve really tired of articles with headlines such as “Here’s the tweet that absolutely DESTROYED [fill in the name of some politician you hate]!” Very few people are “destroyed” on social media.

Well, maybe lawyer Aaron Schlossberg. We’ll have to see.

After reading that Joseph Campanella died at the age of 93 recently, I realized that I had absolutely seen him in various television programs for nearly 50 years. You might not have known his name, but he was definitely, “Oh, THAT guy.”

The list of his TV credits is massive. I’m only going to mention programs I actually watched.

Before I knew who he was, I saw him on such shows as Route 66 (1962-1963), where he played two different characters, and The Fugitive (1964-1967), where he played four separate folks in three years, including in the momentous penultimate episode.

In fact, he portrayed multiple characters in series a lot: The Virginian; Night Gallery; Marcus Welby, M.D.; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; The F.B.I.; Gunsmoke; Ironside; Medical Center; Quincy M.E.; and Murder, She Wrote.

In the first season of Mannix (1967-1968), the private detective (Mike Connors) worked for Lew Wickersham (Campenella) at Intertect, before Mannix went off on his own. Campanella was nominated for a Primetime Emmy as Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama in 1968, but did not win.

The Bold Ones: The Lawyers (1969-1972) was a rotating series. Walter Nichols (Burl Ives), an experienced lawyer, served as a mentor to two attorney brothers (Campanella, James Farentino). I watched all the law shows in those days.

On One Day at a Time (1976-1982), Campenella appeared eight times as Ed Cooper, the ex-husband of Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) and father to Julie (Mackenzie Phillips) and Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli). In his first episode, Ann is “excited about her new job until she learns” that Ed is getting remarried. In his last, Ed is present for Barbara’s wedding.

He was in three episodes of Beauty and the Beast (1988-1990) as Dr. Peter Alcott.

I started watching the soap opera Days of Our Lives in 1990. Joseph Campenella was in his second run (1987-1988, 1990-1992) as the villain Harper Deveraux. In 1989, he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, but lost.

He was the voice of Dr. Curt Connors / Lizard in the animated Spider-Man (1994-1997) series.

Having been a lawyer in so many series, he was appropriately cast five times as Judge Joseph Camp in The Practice (1998-2001).

Finally, in terms of my viewing, Campanella played Joe in 11 of the 36 episodes of the 2000-2001 series That’s Life with Heather Dubrow, Ellen Burstyn, Kevin Dillon and Paul Sorvino, a program no one I know ever saw, other than my wife.

And I didn’t mention the wealth of his one-shot appearances, or shows I never viewed, such as The Bold and the Beautiful or The Colbys.

Joseph Campanella was always a solid performer, and was the backdrop of most of my television viewing life.

There has been a tidal wave of teachers taking action in the the United States in 2018. Strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, North Carolina, and for the first time ever, in Arizona have made headlines. Educators in the Grand Canyon State, many of whom are Republicans, believe it’s time to raise taxes.

The actions are not limited to teacher salaries but for money for supplies and equipment, since 94% Of Public School Teachers Spend Own Money On Classroom Needs. This CNN article lays out the issue:

“Inadequate education funding has created the conditions that make teaching the daily struggle that has finally drawn teachers and families to the picket lines: unmanageable class sizes, inadequate resources, and facilities, cuts to essential medical and mental-health school services and more…

“To be sure, teacher salaries are also a significant concern: US teachers are paid 30% less on average than other college graduates, and in most states, the average teacher heading a family of four qualifies for several forms of government assistance… According to the Economic Policy Institute, US teachers’ wages have declined relative to those of other college-educated workers since the early 1990s, when they were at their most competitive — and when teacher attrition was much lower than it is today.”

Of course, strategies to discredit teacher strikes have been developed. The “manual” to smear the strikers include “teacher strikes hurt kids and low-income families,” even though students have often supported their teachers’ position

I found this 2014 article Why Aren’t All Teachers Covered By Social Security? I contacted an author of the original report who notes the data statewide are still accurate, though there are some states where charter schools are allowed to opt out that would then be enrolled in Social Security.

A new Rockefeller Institute report highlights equity gap in New York teacher Workforce. “It found no statewide teacher shortage in New York, but school districts with high poverty rates and minority student populations are more likely to face challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers.”


Here’s something from 1855 in Binghamton, NY, a cellphone picture off a microfilm because the print function was not working. It’s a recruitment flyer to get more teachers, and indicates the skills necessary for the task.

Finally, here are some teacher-created, classroom-tested lesson plans using primary sources from the Library of Congress.

For ABC Wednesday

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