September Rambling: Frank Doyle’s daughter, and pie v grief

Congrats to Brian Ibbott of Coverville. Also, kudos to Arthur@AmeriNZ.


My old college friend Claire is 55 and Still Alive. Her late father, BTW, was awarded the Bill Finger Award at Comic-Con 2012.

Jaquandor’s review/reflection about the book Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie by Beth Howard, which is about processing grief. And dessert. Check out her website.

Gemuetlichkeit: Dachau.

9/11: Another View.

Legal Analysis Outlines Potential Crime In Mitt Romney’s Financial Disclosures

“Recent DNA and genealogical evidence uncovered by researchers suggests that President Obama is a descendant of one of America’s first documented African slaves. What surprised many is that Obama’s connection to slavery is through his white mother, not his black father.”

The Strange Story Of The Man Behind ‘Strange Fruit’.

Wells Fargo mistakenly forecloses on the wrong house, destroys elderly couple’s entire lifetime’s worth of possessions. Oops. And if it HAD been the right house, would the action be justified? (My answer is NO.)

The truth comes out: CEO says ‘stupid’ consumers deserve hefty fees.

Gay rights, free speech, politicians and the NFL.

Leo Meets His Internet Troll.

Son of a Bigot. His dad founded the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Nate Phelps is dedicated to reversing that legacy of hate.

I am a First Year, First Semester, M.Div.

Under 18, or know someone who is? Name that asteroid! The deadline is December 2.

Kickstarter for MAN ON THE MOON exhibit at Space Center Houston.

The Big Daddy Kickstarter is still going on. I mentioned it before, but Mark Evanier has mentioned it again and again, so I shall as well.

Harvey Pekar statue to be dedicated at Cleveland Heights’ Lee Road library next month.

Cerebus: The Fantagraphics offer and the Dave Sim response. Follow the thread about other Sim-Fantagraphics product possibilities here.

1922 Kodachrome film.

The Last Record Store Standing?

George Martin: He Had You Hooked on the Beatles.

David Byrne’s How Music Works.

Emily Dickinson ages.

Congrats to Brian Ibbott of Coverville, who recently podcast his 900th show. One of the tunes on that episode was David Garrett – Vivaldi Vs Vertigo.

Also, kudos to Arthur@AmeriNZ, who has been blogging for six years. He’s been musing about modern technology.

Glamour is different on the other side of the pond if Emma Watson is the example.

Bug Comic: Rise and Whine, an insomniac’s lament.

People stuck on an escalator.

Music product placement?

An oldie, but goodie: Troy (MI) Library’s book burning campaign.

Jaquandor answered my questions here and here and here. Which reminds me: you can still Ask Roger Anything.


Visible light communication could simplify car electronics
A team led by Prof Roger Green is planning to demonstrate how visible light communication (VLC), which is already used as an alternative to wireless internet transmissions, could simplify and lighten the electronic systems in cars.

BOWLS: Moulton edged out in centenary match
In the battle of the presidents, Moulton’s Roger Green came out on top on rink four against Stuart Lake winning 24-17. But Green’s rink were pipped for top honours by Tony Keating who led his home quartet to a ten shots success.

Denver “folk & roll” songstress Esmé Patterson is releasing her solo album November 20th
Making appearances on the album are Nathaniel Rateliff, Roger Green (formerly of the Czars), Ben Desoto (Czars, Nathaniel Rateliff, Bare Bones), Genevieve Patterson and Sarah Anderson (Paper Bird), Carrie Beeder, Eric Moon, Mike Fitzmorris, Will Duncan, and many more.

Shades of the autumn of ’04

2004 was the first time I had been to three funerals in a year; 2012 is the second.

I came home Friday night and realized I had forgotten my antibiotic pills at the office, which I was supposed to take every six hours. Worse, I couldn’t find my stinkin’ badge to get back into the building, even if I had returned to work. Reluctantly, I called a friend from work, and she picked me up, got me into the building, and helped me get my medicine.

Saturday, I went over to another friend’s house. I had been surprised to discover that she and her husband were separating. We’d been to their wedding only a few years earlier. I had asked her, who I had known far longer, whether I could help him get some of his stuff out of the house, and she had readily agreed. But after we’d loaded the vehicle, he declined my invitation to go to his new place to unload. However, when another friend came with HIS vehicle, it was necessary to reveal the location, only about 10 minutes away, and I helped unpack that next load.

Coincidentally, his new abode was the very same apartment complex where my friend from paragraph one used to live, where she had held the party before Carol’s and my wedding back in 1999, the one where Carol guessed correctly that my favorite book was the World Almanac, but I had no idea hers was 100 Years of Solitude. I hadn’t been there in over seven years.

The further coincidence is that the two women in this story lost their husbands to illness in 2004, indeed in the fall of 2004. I went to three funerals in that span, the third being the mother of still another friend, and there were other friends who lost family members in that period as well. Also, my main boss at work suffered a heart attack during that period; his first appearance outside the hospital was at our work friend’s husband’s funeral.

Oh, and the two women, who I do not believe know each other, have the same first name.

Carol and I always remember that most unsettling period. That was the first time I had been to three funerals in a year; 2012 is the second. But those 2004 funerals were all packed in about a three-month period. I wouldn’t want to call it annus horribilis, or terrible year, since it was also the year the Daughter was born. But what would be the term for a truly awful thirteen weeks, quartus horriblis?

MOVIE REVIEW: Ballin’ in the Graveyard

While the term “the graveyard” was meant to define a “do or die” level of play, that section of Washington Park indeed was a cemetery.


I took off from work early one day last month, and the Wife and I saw the documentary Ballin’ in the Graveyard at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany. Early on, the participants explained that some of them have played street basketball in various tough neighborhoods in New York City and around the country, yet no game is as intense as the ballin’ in Albany’s Washington Park, less than a dozen blocks from the theater, BTW. These are in-your-face players who do trash-talk to gain an advantage and occasionally will make a bogus call to even up the score.

But the film is only partially about sport. Their success on the court is shown in relationship with meeting the challenges of everyday life. Their court swagger belied the often tranquil demeanor at other times.

While the term “the graveyard” was meant to define a “do or die” level of play, that section of Washington Park indeed was a cemetery, with sections for the city’s black and “stranger” population until 1868, when those bodies were exhumed and reburied. mostly in Albany Rural Cemetery.

The documentary was produced and directed by Paul Kentoffio and Basil Anastassiou, the latter a longtime player, and co-produced by Spectrum owner Keith Pickard.

My wife liked it more as it moved away from basketball and more into their private lives, noting that it was both local and universal. But she also appreciated the notion of the culture and tradition passed down to the next generation. I liked it all.

The movie trailer.

A review by Amy Biancolli

I do/do not understand

You know that Bill Cosby story about making a wood shop item with one leg too long, so one trims that leg, and THREE legs are too long? That was me.

A bit ago, Chris wrote What should I expect others to know and understand? It was based, initially, on a comment she made on Facebook, though her article took its own direction, as articles often do. She also mentioned a piece, Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, from the CIA.

“How can you not know that?” How often have you said those words, either out loud, or silently, in your mind? How often have others said that about you?

The struggle is that we have developed a wide range of opinions about what one OUGHT to know.

I know the Speaker of the House’s skin color (orange) but not Snooki’s real name; she’s on some apparently popular show called Jersey Shore. Depending on who you’re asking, X or Y is IMPORTANT to know, and Y or X, not so much.

I had a colleague who used to infuriate me. Ask her for advice, and, almost inevitably, she’d say, “Oh, that’s EASY.” Well, it was obviously NOT easy for me, which why I was asking; at the same time, she diminished her own gift.

It would be immodest, but probably true, to suggest that I happen to know a boatload of factoid type of stuff – though not about astronomy, botany, or cars, e.g. Conversely, I’ve always been lousy about physical stuff.

You know those two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional objects? There would be tests asking which one of the four objects is like the original. Of course, the examples would be turned on their axes. I simply could not “see” it easily at all. Some people look at architects’ drawings or floor plans and can visualize what the finished structure will look like; they are just lines on paper to me.

There were these exams called the Iowa tests that I took in sixth grade. I did really well in math and reading and the like. But on a 100 scale, I got a 13 in mechanical aptitude. You should have seen – or better still, NOT seen – the stuff I made in shop. You know that Bill Cosby story about making a woodshop item with one leg too long, so one trims that leg, and THREE legs are too long? That was me. Honestly, I blew up more ceramic items in the kiln than the rest of the class combined.

One learns to compensate, though. Accepting that one just can’t be good at everything helps a LOT.

Although, I will always remember this: I was in 7th-grade art, and I did some pieces. My father visited the classroom, and he expressed surprise (shock) that I received a grade as high as a B in the marking period. The teacher responded that I had done as well as I could, which was certainly true.

(I will have come back to this. Didn’t go where I was thinking it would, at all…)

The Lydster, Part 102: Science Girl

She also loves to water the outdoor plants and weed the garden.

Maybe The Daughter will be a scientist. Two of her favorite shows are science-oriented. One, which I may have mentioned, is the Canadian/American television series called Dino Dan, shown on Nick Jr in the US, which “follows the adventures of the paleontologist-in-training Dan Henderson (played by Jason Spevack)… and his friends, who uncover clues about the past and secrets of the dinosaurs. The show combines live action with CGI dinosaurs.”

The other is Wild Kratts, an animated series, with live-action framing sequences, “created by Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt, presented by PBS in the United States… The show’s aim is to educate children… about biology, zoology, and ecology, and teaches kids small ways to make big impacts… while entertaining them with the Kratts’ usual antics.” Here are some videos.

She also loves to water the outdoor plants and weed the garden. Her reading material includes lots of biology books. The Toronto Zoo was entrancing to her, as was the Ontario Science Centre, where the picture above was taken.