Archive for April, 2018

Seven Deadly Sins Gone Tech

Black mothers and babies die at more than double the rate of white mothers and babies

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships: How many hours does it take to make a friend?

The amount of control that Facebook, and other social platforms, have over us, has been at crisis levels for some time

Two Trade Wars: 1807 and 2018

“Make a Deal”: My Contribution to the Trump/Mueller Musical

Already Acting Like Nixon in His Last Days

His Racism: The Definitive List

Comey’s Book

John Oliver Bought An Ad On ‘Hannity’ To Teach Him Basic Math

Can I Stop Writing About Paul Ryan Now?

Arthur wrote About Barbara Bush, so I don’t have to

Nicolas Notovitch published La vie inconnue de Jésus Christ which purported to reveal that Jesus has spent many years as both teacher and scholar at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery.

How Muslims, Often Misunderstood, Are Thriving in America

100 Ways White People Can Make Life Less Frustrating For People of Color

The first (and only) Jewish Miss America’s victory tour was cut short

Fifty Years an African-American: Is It Time for a Change?

The Pulitzer-laden researcher embedded in the Post newsroom

Infinitesimal Odds: A Scientist Finds Her Child’s Rare Illness Stems From the Gene She Studies

A suspicious fire at Cornell in 1967 killed 9 people; the case was never solved

Marriage diversity in the USA

This Video is About Marijuana

Daniel Nester: How Watching ‘Caddyshack’ Helps Me Stave Off Depression

Baby Boomers Reach the End of Their To-Do List

The 100 Pages That Shaped Comic Books

Icelandic boy’s Titanic Lego replica makes it safely across to US museum

You Probably Didn’t Watch SCTV, But It Shaped the Comedy You Love Today

How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You)

Harry Anderson, RIP from Ken Levine, Dustbury, the NY Times, and USA Today

NPR Newscaster Carl Kasell Dies At 84, After A Lifelong Career On-Air

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Wedding Cost

How to Get the Best Sleep Every Night!

Online Safety for Seniors: How to Spot Fake News, Medicare Fraud, and Phishing Scams

How cruise ships work

Bats actually don’t fly like birds

The 15 most dangerous human foods for dogs

20 Quirks & Strange Habits. The Weird Side of Famous Writers

Satire: Sinclair TV Anchor Suddenly Begins Reading News in Russian

Reality: Court Refuses to Toss Lawsuit Between Monkey and Photographer

Now I Know: Why You Should Whistle While You Work and The Gross, Metallic Secret Behind America’s Westward Expansion and The Man of Many Thank Yous and The Fort That Would Have Never Worked

Sliced Ketchup Is Coming Whether We Like It or Not and How to make ketchup (but WHY?)

MUSIC

Nothing Compares 2 U Prince (1984 rehearsal tape)

Sweet Thames, Flow Softly – Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger

From the Middle Ages -Alexander Glazunov

Coverville 1213: Springtime in Coverville

Mozart Symphony No. 41- Jupiter

Barbershop bologna

Lift Every Voice And Sing – Beyoncé, and story

For the longest time, I’ve thought bargain days given to senior citizens, of which I {gleep!} am now one, would become unsustainable when the Baby Boomers started using them, they/we being a very large segment of the population. Still, I’m not complaining, and I’m SURE not giving them up.

I use the Capital District Transportation Authority half fare card, 65 cents instead of $1.30 per ride when using the new Navigator card. CDTA ridership may be declining slightly, but not with me, at least until I start riding the bike again. I will once the Daughter and I move that big branch blocking the door to the shed that came crashing down after one of those Nor’easter storms in March.

My wife and I went to the excellent production of Hairspray at Albany High School just after my last birthday. It was probably the best production we had seen there. My wife’s ticket was $15 but mine was only $5. I was about to pull out my ID when the woman at the table explained, “You claim it, you own it.”

The senior price at the Spectrum Theatre is a quarter less than the matinee price, and even on those afternoons and Tuesday nights, I take it, in part because the Daughter can now be charged full price.

I’ve secured my Senior Pass to the national parks for $10 a couple years ago, before the price skyrocketed up to $80.

Of course, the threshold for the discounts, particularly to restaurants, vary. For some, it’s 55, others 60, and several are 62. But by 65, they ALL kick in, and I’m parsimonious enough to make use of every single one.

All this savings brought to mind a song by The Carlisles from 1955 called Bargain Day, Half Off which was in the pile of 45s (singles) that my father once owned. I played it regularly. It surprised me then that he had it – it’s VERY country – but I suppose he found it humorous. Give a listen.

Long before I knew who Willie Nelson even was, I was listening to the music he wrote. Pretty Paper was a hit for Roy Orbison in 1963. On The Supremes Sing Country, Western & Pop (1965), they covered Funny How Time Slips Away.

Of course, the big hit was Crazy by Patsy Cline which went to #2 on the Adult Contemporary charts in 1961 and #2 on the country charts early the next year. More significantly for, it hit #9 on the pop charts in 1961, and was covered by Linda Ronstadt (#6 country in 1977).

I don’t know when I was first aware of Nelson as a performer. He was the “outlaw” country star who owed money to the IRS due to bad management and who got arrested several times for marijuana possession.

I do know the first album of his that I bought was Across the Borderline (1993), produced by Don Was, Paul Simon, and Roy Halee. It features songs by Simon, Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, and Nelson. It features songs such as Getting Over You, a duet with Bonnie Raitt; and Peter Gabriel’s Don’t Give Up, a duet with Sinead O’Connor.

I thought that his 40th album would be a commercial pop breakthrough. For a while, it was out of print, but it’s currently available as an add-on from Amazon for five bucks.

Subsequently, I got other Nelson albums, including his hit, Red Headed Stranger (1975). I know at least one work colleague who simply cannot stand his voice, but I’ve grown to enjoy it.

Listen to

Crazy – Patsy Cline
Crazy – Willie Nelson
Crazy – Linda Ronstadt

Pretty Paper – Roy Orbison, #10 adult contemporary, #15 pop, #27 on the Christmas singles chart in 1963
Pretty Paper – Willie Nelson, 1964

Funny How Time Slips Away – Willie Nelson
Funny How Time Slips Away – Supremes

She’s Not for You, #43 country in 1965

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, #1 country, 21 pop in 1975

On the Road Again, #1 country, #7 adult contemporary, #20 pop in 1980

Always on My Mind, #1 country, #2 adult contemporary, #5 in 1985

Still is Still Moving to Me, single that failed to chart in 1993

American Tune, a duet with Simon, #70 pop in 1993

Something You Get Through, 2018

Coverville 1214: The Willie Nelson Cover Story III

Sometime this summer, the family went to the nearby Madison Theatre to see Night at the Museum (2006). It must have been August, because we walked, my wife’s foot having sufficiently healed from her operation.

It was an interesting experience because The Daughter had seen it before, on DVD, but her parents had never seen it at all. I guess it’s not a great movie, but I enjoyed it anyway. And I think it was partly because I got to laugh in places that just confounded the Daughter.

One involved some wordplay, near the end, which I no longer recall. But one moment is a scene with the late Anne Meara as Debbie, an employment counselor trying to get Larry (Ben Stiller) a job. Larry thought he felt some connection, but Debbie dashes that. Anne was, of course, Ben’s real-life mom.

Part of it is remembering Ken Levine’s odd antipathy towards Kim Raver, who plays Larry’s ex Erica. Or some comments Jon Stewart made about preternaturally young looking Paul Rudd as Erica’s new boyfriend Don.

Maybe it was seeing the three former guards: the late Mickey Rooney; Bill Cobbs, who I loved in I’ll Fly Away and other projects; and Dick van Dyke, who was then a pretty spry octogenarian, and is now an amazingly spry nonagenarian.

There’s a line the late Robin Williams says about him not really being Teddy Roosevelt but a wax figure – an odd self-awareness in this wacky film.

I may be one of 16 people who remember Carla Gugino (Rebecca from the museum) in some 2003 cop show called Karen Cisco, which lasted maybe 10 episodes. And I was the ONLY one in that very theater, to see a showing of Spy Kids 2, some years back.

Ricky Gervais, as the museum director, was not as annoying as he would later become.

And yes, I’ve felt like a complete loser and have been in situations of complete chaos. So, yeah, the movie likely lacked a “consistent inner logic”, but I didn’t care; I liked it for what I got out of it.

The Daughter has started calling me “Roger” about half the time in the past few months. It doesn’t particular bother me.

I think it came about when we were in a crowded school setting, and she called “Daddy, daddy.” But there were lots of other dads and I guess I didn’t hear it. Finally, she said “Roger!” and of course I heard that.

One of my sisters is all distressed about it because she feels as though my daughter is showing disrespect. Well, maybe, but I think she’s just testing my limits.

Interesting that she almost never calls her mother by her first name, but “Mom”, or, very occasional, “mommy.” She says that all the kids in school her age are going through the same conundrum of what to call their parents that isn’t too juvenile (Mommy, Daddy), too formal (Mother, Father) or otherwise uncomfortable.

Her class had been reading To Kill A Mockingbird, and I was struck by the descriptions in Chapter 10:

“Atticus was feeble; he was nearly fifty… He was much older than my school contemporaries.” Like the attorney, I AM too old to do all the things the Daughter wants to do. And just as Scout an Jem called their father by his first name, so does the Daughter, unless she wants something or needs something, or is tired or hurting; then it’s “daddy.”

Of course, like Atticus Finch, I do have my skills, even if the Daughter is currently unappreciative. It’s true that I don’t remember the names of the members of her favorite K-Pop bands such as BTS or Astro.

But who is helping her with algebra homework, a subject he hasn’t studied in a half century? Who can name not just the first four Presidents, primarily from listening to Hamilton incessantly, but all of them?

The difference in our ages is, of course, something I can’t change. I consider it an asset rather than a liability. There are days when I can remember a piece of history first-hand; that is useful.

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