Oct. rambling: idealism, cynicism

coming to the aid


cell phone functions
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Pew Research: In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

Obituary: Megan Angelina Webbley, 1988-2019

How corporations are addressing guns

John Oliver: National Weather Service

The Best Places to Live in a Future Troubled by Climate Change – Upstate New York state gets an honorable mention.


The Apartment Shortage Controversy

Today’s Environmental Crisis Was Created in 1919

Arkansas’ Phillips County Remembers the Racial Massacre the US Forgot

An entire Manhattan village owned by black people was destroyed to build Central Park

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama spoke at the funeral of Congressman Elijah Cummings

Why The Normalization of Stan Culture is Unhealthy

Tips you need to know to help you spot fake news

D.C.’s Newseum Is Closing Its Doors at the End of the Year

What Happens Right Before Your Best Employee Quits

The Best Home Protection: Home Security Systems

Eeyore is named onomatopoeically, after the braying call of a donkey; he’s the most depressing character in the Pooh universe


Students at Albany Medical College are coming to the aid of sanctuary seekers in the US; victims of persecution, torture, and other abuses are three times more likely to be granted asylum if they are evaluated by medical professionals and can provide an affidavit in court

Goodbye DARE — More Schools Are Embracing Realistic Drug Education

A good reason to brush your teeth – from the American Dental Association

How Long Do Average U.S. Marriages Last?

Was Bruce Springsteen born to be a filmmaker?

Greg Burgas: Idealism and cynicism in art

Albany Library Foundation gala photos by DTrae Carter (I’m in there somewhere)

Now I Know: When Playing a Doctor on TV is Good Enough and How a Cute Cartoon Created a Catastrophe of Raccoons and The Secret Life of Supermarket Apples and The Lifesaving Powers of Being an NFL Superfan and The Bird That Set The Record Straight and Why You Can’t Perform Hamlet at the Bar and What’s So French About the F-Word?

Canned Pumpkin Isn’t Pumpkin At All

Mad as a Hatter


Do What’s Right – chockablock with links

He serves nobody except himself


The un-American president: he hugs the flag every chance he gets, but the truth is very dark indeed

The Daily Show: Kurds edition; John Oliver: Syria

AIER: Presidential Harassment Is a Public Good and Five Wrong Claims about Trade

Rob Dreher in The American Conservative: Is he mentally unstable?

Doral was sited for 524 health code violations from 2013 to 2018

Nate White: Why do some British people dislike him?

Taylor’s Testimony Goes Way Beyond Quid Pro Quo

William Barr’s Wild Misreading of the First Amendment


Guiliani – Randy Rainbow

The Fury – a suite from John Williams’s score

Coverville: 1282: Cover Stories for No Doubt and Avril Lavigne and 1283: Yes Cover Story and Yacht Rock Revue Interview

Piano Sonata No. 9 by Alexander Scriabin

Moses Supposes from Singin’ in the Rain, re-created by dancer Derek Hough and an animated Donald O’Connor

The Isle of the Dead, Sergei Rachmaninov’s epic tone poem

How’d You Like to Spoon With Me? – Angela Lansbury, from Till The Clouds Roll By (1946)

Swing You Sinners! (Fleischer Studios)

You’ve Got to Eat Your Spinach – Mae Questel

Hocus Pocus – Focus, from Disney and Pixar’s Onward, released 6 March 2020

Nippertown: IN MEMORIAM: LYRICIST ROBERT HUNTER Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performing member of the Grateful Dead

Forty years in Albany; two score!

Shall the city of Albany accept the offer of Mr. Andrew Carnegie of $150,000 for public library purposes?

Albany.land trustIt had totally slipped my mind that I have lived for forty years in Albany, NY. I moved to an apartment on the corner of Morris and Ontario Streets in August 1979 My intention was to attend graduate school at SUNY Albany in Public Administration.

I spent one year in grad school, pretty much hating it for a variety of reasons. Working at FantaCo, the comic book store, was meant to be a summer job; it turned out to be 8.5 years. After a little over a year at a not-great insurance job, I went back to UAlbany, this time to library school.

I worked for the NY Small Business Development Center for 26.7 years, in five different spaces. This included two in the same building, and one in Corporate (frickin’) Woods, also the general locale of the insurance job.

Since I lived in close to a dozen places in my first two decades here, my friends told me they put my information in their address books in pencil. I resided on both Morris Street in the Pine Hills section, and on Lancaster Street, off of Lark, two different times. The nice two-family house where I lived in the West Hill section of town now has a red X on it.

Before I moved to Albany, I resided in Schenectady, in the same metropolitan area. Though less than 20 miles apart, they’re quite different places. Schenectady has had Democratic mayors and Republican mayors.


Forty years in Albany means that Erastus Corning 2nd, “the longest-serving mayor of a major American city,” was still running the show. The Democrats have been in control for nearly a century, and the Republicans for the previous 30 years before that. I blame the patroons.

In 2007, the city voted to create a much more robust library system. This was in stark contrast to a century earlier. From the Library Journal, volume 27, Nov 1902, under NEW YORK STATE LIBRARY SCHOOL, CALENDAR, 17TH SCHOOL YEAR, 19O2-3, NOTES AND NEWS:

“The students have been interested in watching the Carnegie library campaign, which culminated on election day, Nov. 4. The following question was submitted to the people on a separate ballot: Shall the city of Albany accept the offer of Mr. Andrew Carnegie of $150,000 for public library purposes?

“The offer was rejected by a majority of 5056. There were 7152 votes for and 12,208 votes against the proposition, 23,334 being the total city vote cast for Governor. Only four out of 19 wards gave a majority for the library.”

Albany was one of the relatively few cities in the US that rejected a Carnegie library because they didn’t want the comparatively small cost of maintenance. So Albany has evolved somewhat.

Sometimes, my wife asks where we might move to if ever that was our choice. I dunno. Right now, I’m within three blocks of a pharmacy, a grocery store, a library branch, a police station, a half dozen restaurants, and at least four bus lines. Whatever its flaws – and there are still a few – Albany is still home.

Q is for the Province of Quebec

sinfully delicious

Montreal.Quebec CityI have been to Quebec twice in my life, in 1991 and 1992. Both times I took the train with Z from Albany to Montreal.

I loved Montreal, especially in the old city. One of these decades, I need to scan photos we took of the Notre-Dame Basilica. They were, in my mind’s eye, gorgeous. In fact, looking for those old photos sent me on a wholly metaphysical trip back through time…

What do I remember? Walking up to Mont-Royal and its splendid view of the city. There was a wide variety of activities that took place, and the weather was astonishingly beautiful in the early fall.

Poutine – what IS that? “A dish that includes french fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy. It originated in the Canadian province of Quebec and emerged in the late 1950s in the Centre-du-Québec area. It has long been associated with Quebec cuisine.” I don’t recall LOVING it, but I ate it. I don’t believe I’ve had it since.

Crepes. We had them at least twice. The first time was an OMG moment. They were sinfully delicious.

Smoking. I recall a LOT of it, even in the halls of the inn we stayed in one time. I understand the laws are far more restrictive now, which, for me, is a good thing.

One Sunday. There was a nearby Lutheran church that had two services, one in German and one in English. We opted to attend the latter. After the service, the congregants were very friendly. One asked if I’d like to sing in the choir. I indicated that the commute would be too long.

My daughter went on a one-day trip to Montreal in 2019. She loved it, but between the transportation and the necessarily very long day – leave at 5:30 a.m., return at midnight – it was difficult for me to get meaningful details from her.

Obviously, I need to go back to Montreal, and maybe visit Quebec City for the first time as well.

QC Quebec, a province in Canada, abbreviated Que or Qc. Also P.Q. is unofficially used, short for Province du Québec. Oddly, New York State and New York City use QB to identify Québec Vehicle Licence Plates. Capital: Quebec City. Largest city: Montreal, the second-largest city in Canada.

Cue for ABC Wednesday

Caitlyn Jenner turns 70

Kardashians? Oy

Caitlyn Jenner
per the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library
In the spring of 2019, my church had a forum about transgender people, featuring a panel of a half dozen people of a variety of ages and ethnicities who shared their experiences. It was quite remarkable, and in the political climate, rather brave.

One of them discussed an attempt to explain something to a relative. The relative said, “Like Caitlyn Jenner?” “Yes.” So I guess Caitlyn’s very public transformation was helpful in clarifying the subject to the masses. (BTW, there are no good synonyms or antonyms for “transgender” in the dictionary.)

I’ll admit that I was mortified when I discovered then-Bruce Jenner was involved with the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I find explaining Kardashians very difficult, except to say they are the American royalty of self-promotion. They’re collectively very good at it, making oodles of money and becoming trendsetters.

Kristen Mary Kardashian (née Houghton) had four children – Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Robert – with her first husband, O.J. Simpson defense lawyer Robert Kardashian. They divorced in 1991, and he died in 2003. Kris then married Bruce Jenner in 1991, and they had two daughters, Kendall and Kylie.

Breakfast of Champions

Bruce Jenner won the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, which dubbed him as “an all-American hero” and “world’s greatest athlete.” He was on the Wheaties box, which I surely purchased frequently, and was the cereal’s spokesman from 1977 to 1984.

Bruce appeared on six episodes of the TV show CHiPS and did some other TV and film projects. He was even a Playgirl cover model.

Perhaps being a well-known athlete then a reality star helped when describing the transition. Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer on April 24, 2015, in a highly anticipated interview. That was the year he got divorced from Kris.

In 2018, Caitlyn Jenner admitted to being quite naive about the current regime. Maybe because of appearances on The Apprentice, she thought the guy in the WH would be more supportive of LGBTQ+ people, which has not proved to be the case except for some lip service.

Caitlyn Jenner turns 70 today.

More Abbey Road than I need

Formerly Everest

Abbey Road.4 discsAfter seeing Scott Freiman’s Deconstructing the Beatles: Abbey Road, Part 1, on film at the Spectrum, I made a decision. Though Part 2 was also available at the cinema for a day in August, I chose to see Freiman in person at The End of September instead.

As most people know from all the 50th-anniversary hype, Abbey Road was the last Beatles album recorded. Side two starts with Here Comes The Sun, George’s song written in Eric Clapton’s garden. Then Because, a truly lovely song, derived when John had asked Yoko to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata backward.

Then the medley, which came from a bunch of sources, some going back to the white album: You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End, with Her Majesty at the end.

A bed-in, of sorts

John was late getting to the sessions that took place in July and August of 1969. He and Yoko were in a car accident. A bed was brought into EMI Recording Studios so Yoko could rest there during the sessions.

As a result, John was absent for a few songs, notably Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight. The lyrics for the former were swiped, slightly altered, from Thomas Dekker’s 17th-century poem. The latter was sung by Paul, George, and Ringo.

There are at least three new packages of the album. One is the Super Deluxe Edition, which includes the medley as originally conceived, with Her Majesty placed between Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam.

Paul didn’t like the way it sounded, so he asked that Her Majesty be cut. Engineer John Kurlander, who knew not to throw out anything, attached the track to the end of the master tape after 20 seconds of silence. The song opens with the final, crashing chord of Mustard, while the final note was lost to Pam.

The album might have been named Everest, after a cigarette brand, but since they were at 3 Abbey Rd, St John’s Wood, London, the street name seemed an easier choice. And they could just go outside for ten minutes and get a photo of them crossing the road, rather than having to climb a mountain.

Super Deluxe?

I realize that I won’t be buying that Super Deluxe edition, even though it has a version of Goodbye, a song Paul wrote for Mary Hopkin. Her take reached #13 on the singles chart in the US. It got to #2 in the UK, blocked by the Beatles’ Get Back, and #1 in the Netherlands and Ireland.

Super Deluxe also has Come And Get It, a song Macca later said was planned for Abbey Road; I have his demo on Anthology 3. The song ended up being given to the Apple band The Iveys, who became Badfinger. That version is on the soundtrack of the movie The Magic Christian with Peter Sellers and one Ringo Starr.

But nope, no Super Deluxe or even the Anniversary Deluxe iteration Because I don’t need it. Now if YOU want to get it for me…

Listen to Coverville 1280: Abbey Road 50th Anniversary Album Cover.

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