April Rambling: Kiwi marriage equality; Eddie’s aunts

Jaquandor has been doing this musical A to Z, and they’re all interesting.

moi, a couple of years ago

“If every kid having a mom and a dad is really what you are concerned about,” Miriam Axel-Lute expects “to also see you showing up” for these struggles.

The Fagbug meets Equality House.

Arthur: “When I was a kid, I expected life to be a certain way, and that way did not include being true to myself. I simply couldn’t imagine that one day I might be a full citizen.” Here is his favorite speech (it IS a hoot) and his favorite moment in the marriage equality passage in New Zealand.

The Man On the Street: Three Decades of Street Harassment.

This month in 1889, the so-called “Unassigned Lands” in what is now central Oklahoma were opened to white settlement, the celebrated Oklahoma Land Run. “The Native tribes, you may be sure, aren’t quite so enthusiastic about celebrating.”

Mr. Frog re: Spike Lee’s School Daze and a Ramble About Racism.

10 Cover-ups That Just Made Things Worse.

27 science fictions that became fact in 2012.

Meryl: Logos: The power of grounding logic and expectations in our communications. Also, Optical Illusions and their role in Education, Brain Training, and Visual Literacy; at least check out the video at the end of the latter one.

J: The sexiest letter.

Neil Gaiman: There wasn’t anything in there that indicated that I was going to be a writer, a real writer, with something to say, except for one thing, and it was this: I was writing. There was lots of writing going on.

I whine a lot about writing, but I never have whined quite so persuasively as this.

Healing the Wounded Womb.

MY FAVORITE STORY OF THE MONTH: Eddie writes This is the Story of Gussie and Bertie, two of his aunts, of a sort.

Tegan tells a story.

Amy’s momoir.

Mark Evanier sells the house he grew up in.

Happy Navroze – a personal look at the Zoroastrian holiday

SamuraiFrog’s fond memory of Turkey in the Straw.

Math Anxiety: What it is and How to Relieve Its Stress and Impact.

Here’s an alphabet mural Ken Jennings painted on his daughter’s wall when she was a newborn. Very clever.

Jaquandor has been doing this musical A to Z, and they’re all interesting. Cheri asked what music makes me cry. One of them is his B. “Bach’s music is, to me, architectural. It is mathematical. Now, to some that might make it sound like the music is clinical and sterile in emotion, but nothing could be further from the truth.” Another is his D; funny story therein. He ALSO wrote a great obit of trumpeter Bud Herseth, who you’ve probably never heard of – I hadn’t – but still a most worthwhile read, and listen.

Lost in translation: CHEERS theme in German, and an ad for the musical Wicked when it got to Helsinki, Finland. Also, If you don’t understand this commercial…

The latest Carl Reiner book, and an anecdote about a funeral.

From the 1940 Charlie Chan movie, Murder Over New York: The police round up every Hindu in town.

Always liked Jonathan Winters, and sorry he died. Here’s what Ken Levine had a nice piece. Mark Evanier wrote several pieces; first thoughts; Jonathan receiving the Mark Twain Award at the Kennedy Center in 1999; him at a recording session for Garfield and Friends in 1990.

Willie Nelson turns 80 this week, and Coverville celebrates the occasion.

I probably watched Pat Summerall announcing sporting events for 40 years. And Maria Tallchief, a great dancer.

Never DID trust Winnie the Pooh.

Someone on Facebook wrote: “If you’re a geezer, you’ll hear it in your head.” And I do.

K-Chuck Radio: Miles to go before I sleep…

Contraptions: Oreo separator machine. Also, a recipe for making ice.

The state capitals.

Photos of Insects with Drops of Water On Their Heads

P is for Poland’s perimeter

“The allies decided then that the eastern parts of Poland would be passed on to the republics of the Soviet Union.”

Poland 1920-1939

When I was in 10th grade, or maybe earlier, I was taking a world history course. Much to my distress, I discovered that, in the 1790s, Poland did disappear as a free country. It was carved up by Russia, Prussia, and Austria. “At the height of its power, the Commonwealth of Poland included Lithuania, Belarus, and much of Ukraine.

It developed a unique form of government in which the nobility elected the king and a single dissenting vote (the liberum veto) stopped any legislation. This system invited foreign intervention and civil war, and made the country vulnerable to more powerful neighbors.”

Due to the intellectual and artistic climate of the early 19th century, which included the great composer Chopin, there was a “growth of Polish demands for self-government.” Armed rebellion, though, was ultimately unsuccessful. The latter part of this period was also a time of a large Polish emigration, largely to the United States.

Now, I grew up in Binghamton, a small upstate New York city with a fairly sizable eastern European population. So not only did I think these imperialistic actions were terribly unfair, I recognized, even then, that the changing boundaries of a country must wreak havoc on anyone trying to do any type of genealogical research.

Poland was reborn as an independent nation after World War I. However, after the Second World War, “the allies decided then that the eastern parts of Poland would be passed on to the republics of the Soviet Union. The large cities… were ethnically predominantly or almost exclusively Polish… After 1945 most of the “eastern” Poles were forced to resettle into the present area of Poland and especially into its new western territories which in turn had been cut off from the ‘old’ Germany.”

Here’s a 100-second video showing Poland’s changing borders over the centuries.

ABC Wednesday – Round 12

My favorite albums from 1961-1970: 150-126

I couldn’t stop with 100, so I went to 150, and I’ll go through them 25 at a time. I won’t post every day, but it’ll be every three or four days.

SamuraiFrog has ” been doing a massive project for the past couple of years: listening to all of the music I ever wanted to listen to, in chronological order… I thought I’d jump back into the sixties and make a big list of favorites… So, in my journey through the 1960s, here are my 100 favorites of the many, many albums I listened to, 20 a day for the rest of the week.”

He wrote about them HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

“A couple of ground rules, though:

“First, I count in units of 10, so the years active here are 1961-1970.”
Well, OK. Must say, though, that most of the albums I listed for 1970 I played in college, while the ones from 1969 and earlier were from high school, so it represents a sea change in perspective, though there was some carryover.

“Second, no greatest hits albums or compilations. I always feel like that’s cheating to have them on the same list as proper albums because compilations are the cherry-picked best.”

True, though most of my albums early on WERE the greatest hits. Herman’s Hermits, much of my early Motown, Donovan, and especially Sly and the Family Stone.

“Third, I apologize if this list isn’t really that different from the myriad of greatest album lists already in existence.

“Fourth, as always, I reserve the right to cheat my rules because they’re my rules.”

In deference to the originator, I will play by most of these rules. That said, I did NOT engage in a massive listening. I took a couple of greatest albums of the period lists, added some top sellers lists, and augmented with my rapidly fading memory to come up with the raw list from which to pare down. The chances I’m forgetting SOMETHING is very high. Also, some of the dates have come from secondary sources, so if they are wrong, you can tell me and I will correct them.

Also, I couldn’t stop with 100, so I went to 150, and I’ll go through them 25 at a time. I won’t post every day, but it’ll be every three or four days.

150. Blind Faith: Blind Faith (1969)
That group with 2/3s of Cream, Steve Winwood, and a guy I hadn’t hear of.

149. Neil Young: Neil Young (1968)

148. Judy Collins: Whales & Nightingales (1970)

147. Jefferson Airplane: Crown Of Creation (1968)

146. Iron Butterfly: In A Gadda Da Vida (1968)
What else was even ON that album?

145. Rolling Stones: Beggar’s Banquet (1968)

144. Diana Ross: Diana Ross (1970)
Her first solo album, with ‘Reach Out And Touch’, and ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’.

143. The Byrds: Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)
Came to this album this century.

142. Silver Apples: Silver Apples (1968)
A “psychedelic electronic music duo”. Got the LP in the 1980s. “Oscillations, oscillations. Electronic evocations of sound’s reality.” Opening lyrics to the single from the album.

141. Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
I found it revolutionary at the time, and much imitated (often badly), but, to me, it feels its age. Still I listened to it a lot. And my friends in high school referred to themselves as Holiday Unlimited. Our motto came from ‘Mr. Kite’ – “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

140. Beach Boys: Wild Honey (1968)

139. Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold As Love (1967)
I think I bought this album twice, by mistake.

138. Temptations: Cloud Nine (1969)
The first side was the first iteration of psychedelic soul on Motown, with songs written by the late Norman Whitfield with Barrett Strong, and produced by Whitfield.

137. Rolling Stones: Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)

136. King Crimson: In the Wake of Poseidon (1970)

135. Jeff Beck Group: Truth (1968)

134. The Band: Stage Fright (1970)
The third album, which I played a lot in my dorm room freshman year in college.

133. Rascals: Once Upon a Dream (1968)
I was a sucker for the Rascals, even when they got a bit – weird.

132. Three Dog Night: It Ain’t Easy (1970)

131. Diana Ross and the Supremes and Temptations: Join (1968)
‘Try It Baby’, a cover of a Marvin Gaye song, is my favorite.

130. Cream: Wheels Of Fire (1968)

129. Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (1970)
Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes’ featured here.

128. Blood, Sweat, and Tears: 3 (1970)

127. Diana Ross and the Supremes: Reflections (1968)
There is this Motown compilation I have on LP, and I think it was Mary Wilson who said, in the intro, that the title tune, is a “weird, weird song.”

126. Stephen Stills: Stephen Stills (1970)
Stills could be rather preachy, but I was OK with that at the time.

Disappearing text, and pictures in blogs

I may be a technophobe, but necessity can be a real mother.

My text can go here. Yahoo! This is so easy.

This is in response, not so much to a question, but to a comment. Chris said, in response to this post, “That ‘highlight the text to avoid an accidental spoiler’ is absolutely brilliant.”

How did I do that? Well, some years ago, I saw it done on someone’s blog (Mike Sterling? Greg Burgas? I don’t remember) and asked, “How do you do that?”

If I cut and pasted the code, then you wouldn’t see it because it would be invisible. So I’m going to write it out descriptively; you’d type the symbols indicated with no gaps.

The left arrow (comma uppercase)
The words span style
The equal sign
Back slash
The word color:#ffff
Back slash
Right arrow (period uppercase)
Whatever text you want to hide
Left arrow
Back slash
The word span
Right arrow
(And if this is unclear, send your e-mail to rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, and I’ll send it to you.)

(UPDATE: as Jaquandor indicated, the ffff only works if your background is white. If your background is another color, you need to pick THAT color; check here, for instance.)

While I’m in this geek mood – it won’t last, believe me – let me talk about photos on this blog. On my original Blogger blog, it took me a while to figure out how to add graphics to my Blogger blog, but eventually, pretty much by accident, I did. When I started with my Times Union blog in 2008, on WordPress, I couldn’t figure out how to put in pictures. More correctly, I couldn’t SIZE the picture. I tried to put in a picture of Dudley Do-Right – former NYS governor Eliot Spitzer looked VERY MUCH like the cartoon character – but it was SO huge, it took up the entire screen. So I continued to compose in Blogger, then pasted it into the TU WP. Then when I got this blog in WP in 2010, I stayed drafting it all in Blogger.

Then recently, my Blogger interface changed so that I couldn’t insert the pictures the way I wanted to. They’d sit on the top of the page – see this post, e.g., and it just wasn’t what I wanted.

I decided to look at WP again, and in the last six years, they made it easier. Not only that but now I can put CAPTIONS in the pictures. Sizing is also more instinctive than it used to be. At the same time, I learned how to post an MP3 file of music successfully onto this blog; I had tried as recently as a year ago, without success.

I may be a technophobe, but necessity can be a real mother.

Speaking of Blogger: Prevent Blogger Blog from Redirecting to a country-specific domain. “The main reason behind the redirection is the selective censorship so that they can easily block a blog or selected pages on a blog in one country while serving the content to other countries… Reports suggest that your blog SEO will be affected which is bad for your blog health.”

I see this in e-mails, and elsewhere: someone is citing a specific webpage from some RSS feed. It’ll look like http://mindhuntersinc.com/doing-what-we-can/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=doing-what-we-can – but it can generally be cut down at the ? – try it and you’ll find that http://mindhuntersinc.com/doing-what-we-can/ works just as well.


The Lydster, Part 109: E-mail

Thought I would ask y’all your opinion on this issue: when did your kids get their own e-mails?

The Daughter, who is nine, wants an e-mail account. Why? Because her friends have them. Often, when I am trying to decide what is appropriate for her, I try to remember what it was I was allowed to do when I was a child. Lessee, I got my first e-mail account when I was…forty. OK, that’s not helpful.

I asked my friends with children. They let their kids have e-mail anywhere from eight and eleven, but they knew they would have no expectation of privacy. The kids ask but tend to not even use them that often; some would rather text, which my daughter does not currently have access to.

I am inclined to say yes – it would not cost us any money – but The Wife was resistant. She suggested that The Daughter could use The Wife’s e-mail; I think that is a TERRIBLE idea. My bride has hundreds of unread e-mails at any given time. How would either of them find the items of her own? I suspect this whole exploration is that good and natural desire for her to become her own person. That said, I’m willing to monitor her e-mails, probably just to her schoolmates and relatives.

Thought I would ask y’all your opinion on this issue: when did your kids get their own e-mails?
In other news, she still misses us. She had two child watchers in two evenings last week, and she said she was fine with it, both before and after the fact. But when we asked if we could get another child watcher this week so we could use the symphony tickets we were given, she said “No, it’s too soon.” So Papa will stay home and let Mama and her friend use the tickets.