April rambling: Clorox Chewables

Virtual choirs abound

FILL OUT THE 2020 CENSUS! For you data geeks: Cornell’s Program on Applied Demographics – Intro to Website.

Keep checking out Notes From The Pandemic, a regular newsletter.

Is the Pandemic Expediting Our Digital Burnout?

The problem with thinking you know more than the experts.

Why We Believe Obvious Untruths.

The Stephen Bissette Shoot Interview! A Career-Spanning Chronicle!

An innocent man spent 46 years in prison. And made a plan to kill the man who framed him.

The Lawyer Whose Clients Didn’t Exist.

Two-Time Tony Award Winner Brian Dennehy Has Passed Away at 81.

Clear and Vivid® is a series of Alan Alda’s spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country.

Vanity Fair interview with Chris Matthews.

The Throwback League is a once a week podcast that’s essentially a March Madness-style tournament played out over 48 weeks. The World Series winners between 1974-2006 all make the tournament, and 16 at large pennant winners too. On Hollywood & Levine, sportscaster Josh Lewin joins Ken to discuss the podcast.

Take The Intelligence Test That Thomas Edison Gave to Job Seekers.

Why the Nazi Party Loved Decaf Coffee.

A Commercial, Sandwiched Between Lines of Dialogue on ‘Hawaii Five-0’, referenced in this podcast.


‘Break Glass Moment for Our Democracy’: Experts Sound Alarm Over Plan to Purge 7 Inspectors General.

Cartoon: Trump vs. the Postal Service.

The most dangerous President in history.

Disinfectant Manufacturers Warn Consumers Not to Heed “Injection” Remark and CoronavirusMemes – Clorox Chewables!

“It (freedom) ain’t something permanent like rocks and hills. It’s like manna; you just got to keep on gathering it fresh every day. If you don’t one day you’re going to find you ain’t got none no more.”
– Man, and the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston, spoken by her fictionalized Moses

Now I Know

Raiders of the Lost Journal and The Dot in Your Kitchen You’ve Probably Never Noticed and Kings and Queens are Royals. But What’s a Jack? and The Pigeons Who Needed a Proctologist and The Singer Who Couldn’t Really Sing and Meet Her Royal Not-Quite-Highness.


What if doing the Hokey Pokey isn’t what it’s all about?

The Liar Tweets Tonight.

Down to the River – Virtual Choir.

1812 Overture, with chorus! of Tchaikovsky.

Coverville 1305: Tribute to John Prine and Ritchie Blackmore Cover Story and 1306: This Day in Covers: 1980.

Spanish Guitars and Night Plazas – Loreena McKennitt.

The Rainbow Connection – Kermit.

For What It’s Worth – Young@Heart (Zoom Rehearsal COVIDeo).

Long May You Run– Neil Young.

Piano Sonata No. 18 (Op. 31, No. 3) of Beethoven.

A Satisfied Mind – Pete Drake from this album my grandfather brought home from work.

A completely mad handbell arrangement of The Hallelujah Chorus; another Hallelujah Chorus.

I Go Swimming – Peter Gabriel.

In resurrectione tua – Taizé virtual choir.

Finlandia by Jean Sibelius — Cantus.

Psalm 53 Sung in Aramaic for Pope Francis by Georgians.

Animation: Johnny Cash on gospel music

Tonight at Toads – Blotto, 1982.

The Weirdly Enduring Appeal of Weird Al Yankovic.

Why Do We Even Listen to New Music?

The will of Thomas Eatman, Jr.

three bee hives

will and testamentThomas Eatman, Jr. (1755-1840), the DNA says, is my 4th great-grandfather. Raymond Cone, my newly discovered grandfather, is the child of Willis Cone and Sarah Eatman (1850-1935). Sarah’s parents were Alfred Eatman (1812-1880) and Mahala Price. Alfred’s folks were Kinchen Eatman (1783-1860) and Susannah Gaines.

Kinchen was a son of Thomas Eatman, Jr. His mother’s identity is unclear to me. What IS obvious is that Thomas Eatman was white and Kinchen’s mother was probably black. The nature of this relationship is fuzzy.

I have 13 4th to 6th cousins in Ancestry.com with whom I have a common ancestor. Six of them are related to Thomas Eatman, Jr., and they are 5th half cousins once removed. This means that their 4th great-grandmother is not the same woman as my 4th great-grandma. The former woman was almost certainly white.

A couple more cousins I’m related to via Thomas Eatman, Sr. and his wife Frances Robinson. It is through the Robinson line that my daughter found that heraldry linkage.

My more distant cousins are largely through Thomas Eatman, Jr. (8 of 14), Thomas Sr. (1), or Sarah Eatman/Willis Cone (3). It’s strange that the family line I didn’t even know about six months ago has been so genealogically fruitful.

Last will

Thomas Eatman, Jr.’s will, which I found on Archives.com, bequeaths his son Kinchen the sum of one dollar. His daughters Zilla, Delily, and Isley, and his son John also received a dollar each.

More favored were Liby (?) Eatman, who got five head of hogs, a dutch oven, an earthen pot, a pewter basin, three pewter plates, a table, a loom, three bee hives, a feather bed, and more. Daughter Cally Boykin got 100 acres of land, five hogs, one flax wheel and one bee hive.

Tealy Eatman, another daughter received 175 acres. Her son Calvin Eatman got 10 cider casks, all of Thomas’ working tools and three head of cattle. Calvin and his cousin John Boykin got to share the use of the blacksmith shop.

“I also leave my negro Peter to be equally divided between my two daughters Cally Boykin and Liby Eatman.” Ideally, they came up with a Solomon-like solution.

Have you evah? (Swell party)

Now I probably never will

Have you evahHave you evah? is a meme done by ADD. Here’s the Cole Porter song, performed by Bing Crosby & Frank Sinatra and Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop.

Driven 100 mph — No, I doubt I’ve ever done 65.

Ridden in a helicopter — No. BTW, there are scenes in the movie Catch-22 and the YV show ER that freak me out.

Gone zip lining — Heck No.

Been to an NFL game — Yes, on October 13, 2002, in San Diego, the Chargers against Kansas City. Also, sometime between 1964 and 1969, probably towards the latter, the New York Jets v. the Houston Oilers at Shea Stadium. The home teams won.

Been to Canada — Several times. To the Toronto area for five days, to Montreal twice (1991/1992), to Windsor for about five minutes, and to Niagara Falls at least a dozen times.

Visited Florida — Twice, both times to ASBDC conferences. Once in Miami; there was flooding on the first floor. And Orlando. Both in the 1990s.

Visited Mexico — Once to Guadalajara in 1987, once to Tijuana in the mid-1990s.

Visited Vegas — Never.

Eaten alone at a restaurant — Many times.

Ability to read music — A fair amount.

Ridden a motorcycle — I’ve been on the back of someone else’s once or twice.

Ridden a horse — I did. The first time was June 9, 1976, after I had suffered a hangover. Not recommended.

Stayed in a hospital — A few times. At five and a half – a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. At 19, after a car accident. And at least one other time.

Donated blood — 170-odd times. Far less frequently in the past two years because of the increased scar tissue at the injection sites.

Been snow skiing — No.

Wishing upon a star?

Been to Disneyland — no Disney anything. Pricey!

Slept outside — My family used to go camping, Not my idea of a good time.

Driven a stick shift — My college girlfriend tried to teach me. Then she screamed because I was burning out her clutch.

Ridden in an 18 wheeler — Yes, a few times in the 1970s, when I used to hitchhike.

Ridden in a police car — Yes. In college, writing a story for a college newsletter. When I got arrested in 1972, I think we were put in a van.

Driven a boat — In the past two or three years in western Massachusetts.

Eaten escargot — If I did, I don’t recall.

Been on a cruise — No. And now I probably never will.

Run out of gas — Once, in Speculator, NY with my father when I was about 11.

Been on TV — Technically, several times. My church choir used to sing at telethons when I was a kid. I was on a kids’ show thrice. Ken Screven interviewed me for a benefit called Rock for Raoul in 1985.

There was an anti-racism workshop in the 1990s and I was asked some questions. When the Underground Railroad History Project used to give tours, I could hear me singing in the piece. I was interviewed about a 1987 snowstorm in 2017.

Probably a couple other times. Oh, yeah, I was on JEOPARDY! twice. Also, I was interviewed by the local TV affiliate before the shows aired.

Eaten sushi — A few times. At least once in 2020, at a restaurant in downtown Schenectady.

Seen a UFO — I think so, a couple times, though my recollections are fairly vague.

Been bungee-jumping — Not on your life. Or mine.

Richard Powell (1936-2020)

“Hammerin’ Harmon”

The late Richard Powell, me, the late Les Green
My father-in-law Richard Powell and I bonded over baseball. He loved the game, and I had grown up with it, even having a big baseball card collection in the 1960s and early 1970s. When he moved to Oneonta in the early 1990s, he usually had season tickets to the minor league farm team, first for the Yankees and then, from 1999 to 2009, the Tigers.

Richard was an avid, and serious fan. He kept score of the games in a series of ledgers And by “keeping score”, I mean recording every out or hit of every batter. He was so reliable that the official scorekeeper, the person who decides whether that was a hit or a fielder’s error, occasionally called on him for his expertise.

We went to the exhibition games in Cooperstown nearly annually through 2008. No way would we drive to Cooperstown. We took the bus, which was much more civilized. And much cheaper, as the local homeowners charged exorbitant fees to park on their plot of land. He became quite expert at picking out the old-timers who would be in town to sign memorabilia.

We even went to a New York Yankees game on Father’s Day weekend 2015, which I wrote about here.

Minnesota Twins

His favorite player was Harmon Killebrew, who hit 573 home runs for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins in an era when reaching 500 homers was an achievement. He’s still 12th all-time among home run leaders. He led the league in that stat six times and all of major league baseball five.

Richard’s persona was like the play of another one of his favorite players, Kirby Puckett. Not ostentatious but steady, reliable, showing when necessary a surprising bit of power.

And in October 2019, Richard seemed quite healthy and vital. Then he got what seemed to mimic a bad flu, which lingered into the new year. He had excessive calcium, which was treated by his doctor. But he spent about a week at a hospital in Oneonta, and another week and a half in a hospital in Schenectady, taking an ambulance 75 miles between the two.

Finally, he was diagnosed with Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. It’s a rare form of lymphoma. While there were medical options presented, none were particularly attractive. So we were told he had about a year to live around Presidents Day. Four weeks later, and after a number of falls it was suddenly only another month to go.

As it turned out, his wife and three surviving children were all present on the day he died, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Expect more on Richard Powell, especially if/when I find that picture of the two of us in Cooperstown.

Lydster: school days, reimagined

rigorous sans being onerous

albany-city-school-district-squarelogoBy Friday, March 13, the rumors were rife in Albany, NY that there would be no school the following week because of the pandemic. Specifically, Albany County had confirmed two cases in the county the day before. Two of my daughter’s teachers gave her homework for the following week, just in case. At about 4:35 p.m., it was official: no school for the next two weeks.

The district had links to old exams, Khan Academy and other materials. As it became obvious that the schools would be closed well beyond the initial March dates, the district started distributing Chromebooks to students to assist families with computer access at home. Some free WiFi options were touted.

A new schedule

On Monday, April 6, teachers were to begin new instruction at all grade levels. For high schools, it meant classes at 9 and 10:30 a.m., lunch between 11:30 and 12:30, and classes at 12:30 and 2.p.m. The online learning is through Google Classroom. So the daughter is up by 8 a.m. to start her reimagined school day.

It was interesting to me how the course work has been recreated. Her physics teacher has worksheets and short videos, featuring herself. Others were making use of existing worksheets from various sources; some are great. Some, though, were difficult for even me to follow.

I have helped my daughter with her physics, math and French homework because of my experience from a half-century ago. My wife, the ENL teacher, who is also working all day from home, assists with English Language Arts, as they call it, and art, not that my daughter needs the assistance there.

Electronic resources continue to be available. Given the fact that these classes weren’t designed for online learning, the schedule seems rigorous enough without being onerous. It would be trickier, though if she were taking two classes of the same category, such as math, science or language. Or if she and siblings were sharing a Chromebook. Fortunately, this not the case. I feel very glad that I’m not in the position to have to homeschool my daughter, just help her a bit.

One real drag: the spring break, scheduled for April 10-17, became instead “scheduled days of instruction in alignment with Governor Cuomo’s executive order closing all New York schools through April 29 due to COVID-19.”

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