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hospital-bed-talk-with-doctorThe blogger fillyjonk wrote on December 15: ” I dunno. Locally and globally, sad and difficult stuff.” She was SO right.

*Her post began: “Someone took hostages in Sydney. In a Lindt chocolate shop.” Unfortunately, that ended with two of the hostages being killed, along with the gunman.

*About the same time, I’m listening to this story of a guy killing his ex-wife and five of his ex-in-laws at three different places in Montgomery County, PA, just north of Philadelphia, before turning the gun on himself. Worst of all, I awaken the next morning to the news of 140+ people murdered by the Taliban in western Pakistan, most of them children.

*Locally, and more recently, there was an Amber alert for a five-year-old boy near around here, then canceled 10 hours later when the boy’s body was discovered. The abduction story was a crock; his 19 y.o. cousin has been arrested. Meanwhile, eight children were slaughtered in Cairns, Australia.

*The Daughter complained of sharp pain on her left side Read the rest of this entry »

One of my first CDs

While listening to the Coverville podcast about legendary music producer Phil Ramone, who died a while back – I wrote about him, briefly – host Brian Ibbott noted that Ramone produced the first album, Billy Joel’s 52nd Street, “to be commercially released on CD when it went on sale in Japan” in the fall of 1978.

This got me thinking about my love/hate relationship with compact discs. I had 1200 LPs in the early 1980s, and I was quite resistant to this new technology. The music industry was working hard to get consumers to embrace the CD. Read the rest of this entry »

From Tom Tomorrow

From Tom Tomorrow

While I’ve had the intention of writing about the disturbing report that the Senate Democrats recently released about the United States and torture, circumstances have not allowed that. So here’s a bunch of links, with brief observations:

From The Implications of the Torture Report by Mike Lofgren, Truthout:

The present writer will take as a given the veracity of its three main findings: that the United States engaged in practices both legally and commonly definable as torture; that the actionable intelligence these practices produced was negligible; and that the practices tainted the moral prestige of the United States government in a manner that damaged its foreign policy. These assertions may be taken as true both because of the abundant evidence presented in the report itself and because of the flailing and hysterical reaction by our country’s national security elites…
Read the rest of this entry »

lee_smith_autograph Recently, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Golden Era Committee failed to select anyone to the Hall, with Dick Allen and Tony Oliva coming tantalizingly close, much to my chagrin, especially for Tony O., who was my favorite American League player not o the Yankees , when I was growing up.

Once again, time for me to think about the players, who will be voted on by the baseball writers, the results of which will be announced on January 6. “To be enshrined, players must be named on at least 75% of the Committee members’ ballots.”

Here are the players on the ballot. Last year, three players were inducted – Tom Glavine, and Grefg Maddux, pitchers for the Atlanta Braves, and Frank Thomas, first baseman for the Chicago White Sox. Still, there are lots of quality picks available. The sportswriters who vote can select up to 10 players, though, clearly, most do not.

These are my picks, if I had a ballot:
Read the rest of this entry »

10390445There are a couple reasons I don’t write much about the weather:
1) it’s so ephemeral
2) if I complain now, there’s the fear the next time could be worse

Still, the weather last week, for whatever reason, beat me down. It wasn’t 70 inches of snow. In fact, in the city of Albany proper, it wasn’t much snow at all, though some of the outlying areas got more than a foot.

That was the problem, really. The meteorologists, even 36 hours out, were candidly unsure of the forecast. The Winter Weather Advisory suggested 1-3 inches of snow, plus sleet and freezing rain.

Tuesday morning: looks dry. I walk out to go to work and realize that walking is treacherous. As bad ss it is on the sidewalks, though, Read the rest of this entry »

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