For me, this graphic is mostly fiction. I mean, it has happened to me with songs, book passages, interesting news stories that people did not appreciate what I liked, or embraced what I loathed. But I recall someone named Arthur having some sort of law – what did he call it? – that says:

“Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.”

Since I started blogging, I’ve given up the notion of “guilty pleasures”. It may be pleasure, but I don’t have the need to feel guilty. I may have swiped that idea from SamuraiFrog.

In fact, I steal a lot of ideas in this blog from other places, some so long ago I don’t remember. I had been linking to articles that I didn’t have enough of an angle/time/interest to write about them. I had been doing that twice a month. But two people I know In Real Life suggested that the posts were too long, though they’re no lengthier than my usual posts. Still, as a result of being out of sync from changing servers, I did it three times in April. I may do so thrice in May. Or twice. Or four times, I dunno.

All of this technical drama on the blog was frustrating because it’s not what interests me about blogging. I’m like the guy who likes driving but he doesn’t care to look under the hood. I’m the guy who is looking around to find the latch that opens the hood – “it must be here SOMEwhere.”

I have been actively trying to write shorter pieces that are still worth your time AND my interest. I have this SEO thingy that tells me that if I don’t hit 300 words, it won’t be as popular, or something that. Guess what? I don’t care.

Enough navel-gazing for now.


Online Privacy Guide for Journalists 2017

How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind

Race and education make a bigger difference in who you vote for than ever before

Voting Rate for the Non-Hispanic Black Population Dropped in the 2016 Presidential Election

John Lewis: “Get in the way”

vlogbrothers: Your Neighborhood, Your Life Expectancy

Cartoon: Freedom to be screwed, 2017 edition

Are we monsters?

Quora: Before Obamacare, when insurance companies denied people for pre-existing conditions, did that mean people who had them couldn’t get insurance? (The short answer is “yes”, over and over.)

Climate of Propaganda

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality II; last 4 minutes are true about people on the Internet

The statement issued by 50 prominent Republican national security experts in August 2016 pointing out that a man who would not, under normal circumstances, ever be given a high-level security clearance was unfit to be President

#37 counsels #45

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality” – Dante

“Closer Look” with Seth Meyers, maybe the sharpest political comedy on TV these days

The 5 Worst Dressed Men on Capitol Hill

Narcissistic personality disorder

He is what he appears to be

Pence embodies what’s wrong with Washington

‘SNL’s’ Yuuuge Year

Danth’s Law is an Internet axiom which asserts that if a person has to insist that he or she has won an Internet argument, it is likely the said person has lost

Mark Evanier writes about palliative care for Carolyn Kelly

Mauno Koivisto, president who led Finland out of Soviet shadow, dies at 93

Steve Palermo, Umpire Whose Career Was Ended by a Bullet, Dies at 67

Internet Archive cited for Lifetime Achievement at the 21st Annual Webby Awards

See Old New York in Stunning Photos

You Use Algebra All The Time (Even If You Don’t Realize it)

Find Percentage With Percent Increase Online Calculator ; I’ve had to use this to explain a point this year

50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice

Word of the week: An abseil (/ˈæbseɪl/ or /ˈɑːpzaɪl/; from German abseilen, meaning “to rope down”), also called a rappel after its French name, is a controlled descent of a vertical drop, such as a rock face, using a rope. Climbers use this technique when a cliff or slope is too steep and/or dangerous to descend without protection. Pronounced AB-sale. As seen here.

The Mystery of the Mysterious Glass

Now I Know: The Self-Aware Conference Call Line and The Off-Color Golden Arches

The sandwich alignment chart

MUSIC

Walter O’Brien: The Man Who Never Returned by PETER DREIER and JIM VRABEL. “In 1949, the Boston People’s Artists wrote ‘MTA’ for a left-wing candidate. The song became a hit — the man behind it disappeared.”

Visions, by Jules Massenet

Baltimore – Audra McDonald

Coverville Cover Stories 1169: Badfinger and Tommy James & the Shondells and 1170: Talking Heads

Julie London singing Cry Me A River and…

The great songs: Time Is Tight by Booker T. & the M.G.’s

Meet the critic who panned ‘Sgt. Pepper’ then discovered his speaker was busted; he’s still not sorry

TheDowntown.church, Springfield, MO

There are a LOT of songs with counting in them, from Len Berry’s 1-2-3 and Feist’s 1234 to the Jackson Five’s ABC (“easy as 1, 2, 3”) and the Beatles’All Together Now or the end of You Never Give Me Your Money (“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, All good children go to heaven”). Here’s a Reddit post on the topic, and there are plenty more.

By odd coincidence, I played a couple songs in the category on the same day recently.

13 Question Method by Ry Cooder is a fairly obscure Chuck Berry song. The YouTube description says it was a Berry bootleg in 1957, then released as a legitimate track in 1961.

Count the Days (1-2-3-4-5-6-7), recorded by Gene Pitney, was written by Y. Williams, C. Fox, and B. O’Dell. Pitney’s take, released at the end of 1968, does not appear to have charted. However, a version from about a year earlier, by the brother-and-sister group Charlie and Inez Foxx, went to #17 R&B and #76 pop on the Billboard charts. The duo’s big hit was Mockingbird, later covered by James Taylor and Carly Simon.

I must admit being a sucker for a Beach Boys song in the genre, When I Grow Up (To Be A Man), that starts with age 14 and fades out at 31. It got to #9 in 1964.

Listen to:

13 Question Method (live) – Ry Cooder, with David Lindley
13 Question Method – Chuck Berry (1957)
13 Question Method – Chuck Berry (1961)

Count the Days (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) – Gene Pitney
(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days – Charlie and Inez Foxx

When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) – Beach Boys

1-2-3 – Len Berry

1234 – Feist
1234 – Feist, Sesame Street version

All Together Now – Paul McCartney (live in 2013 in Tokyo)

ABC – Jackson Five

1,2,3 Red Light – 1910 Fruitgum Company

There is this article that Dan Lewis of Now I Know pointed to: Why Nothing Works Anymore, with the subtitle “Technology has its own purposes.”

“The contemporary public restroom offers an example. Infrared-sensor flush toilets, fixtures, and towel dispensers are sometimes endorsed on ecological grounds—they are said to save resources by regulating them. But thanks to their overzealous sensors, these toilets increase water or paper consumption substantially. Toilets flush three times instead of one. Faucets open at full-blast. Towel dispensers mete out papers so miserly that people take more than they need.

“Instead of saving resources, these apparatuses mostly save labor and management costs. When a toilet flushes incessantly, or when a faucet shuts off on its own, or when a towel dispenser discharges only six inches of paper when a hand waves under it, it reduces the need for human workers to oversee, clean, and supply the restroom.”

Surely I have experienced this. In the previous building I worked in, the toilet flushed an average of 2.5 times every time. Not only would the faucets only turn on with proper distance wave, they would often fail to turn off even ten minutes later. And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

I’m not the handiest person in the world, but I have opened the back of a standard toilet to get it to work again. I think this is the same frustration car owners have with everything so calibrated that they can’t fix what’s under the hood. It gives me an uneasy feeling.

I went to this home show maybe decade or so ago, and we marveled how wonderful a “smart” house would be, knowing how efficient it would be. Likewise the driverless car. These would be particular wonders to the elderly and the disabled. But can they be hacked?

Or go rogue? I think of HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the characters in the movie Westworld. I don’t think I’m just being a Luddite when I get wary that technology will always make our lives easier. Maybe paranoid, though.

Marcia, the younger sister, in very many ways, has become the keeper of the flame, not only for the history of the nuclear family in which we grew up back in Binghamton, NY in the 1950s and ’60s, but for the extended tribe as well.

It’s logical. She was the only one who moved to Charlotte, NC with the parents. Leslie and I were already ensconced in college, though of us lived down there for brief periods in the late 1970s.

After my father died in 2000, Mom and Marcia took care of Marcia’s daughter Alex and each other, though as time marched on, Marcia and her daughter were tending more to Mom until she died in 2011.

She still is tending to our parents’ memory, as she has access to decades worth of photos and other material.

As all three of her kids knew, my mom LOVED Nat King Cole. She had a whole bunch of 78s of his, but I have no idea whatever became of them. There were some items in my maternal grandmother’s house, the house my grandma and mom grew up in, and where my sisters and I spent a lot of time. The stuff went into storage and ultimately disappeared long ago, including some photographs of mine.

Marcia was musing about my mother back in November, just before Mom’s birthday. Our mother particularly loved Nature Boy and other familiar tunes by Cole. But neither Marcia nor I had heard him perform There Will Never Be Another You. It’s become one of Marcia’s favorite Nat King Cole songs. And I can hear why.

BTW, neither she nor I ever really learned to play the guitar, though Dad and Leslie did. The painting in the background with the guitar was by our father.

LISTEN to There Will Never Be Another You

Arturo Sandoval

Nat Cole

Doris Day

Happy birthday, Marcia!

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