May rambling: Uvalde, TX

1400th episode of Coverville



Fourteen children and one adult are dead. The assault at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman killed fourteen students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February 2018. Wait, now it’s 19 children and two adults murdered. The assault at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

 And… Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) blames CRT?  The time for politics – the politics of actually doing something – is now. Not, as Lee Goldberg points out: “The GOP’s answer is to have a third-grade teacher, armed w/a handgun, take [on a shooter]. Are they insane!?” Evil Stalks the Hall at the NRA. How the Uvalde police kept changing their story. The Weekly Sift guy repeats himself. 

Jacinda Ardern talks about gun control on The Late Show and gives the 2022 Harvard Commencement Address. (Should we move to New Zealand?)


The Rising Tide Of Color, a 1920 book, “is sometimes cited as the origin of Replacement Theory. It’s available for free at Project Gutenberg, but you need a strong stomach to read it because it’s unapologetically racist in a way you seldom see today.”

D’Souza’s ‘Big Lie’ Movie Is So Bad Fox Won’t Promote It

Subway franchises and Utilities: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

USPSTF Guidance Misses the Mark on Youth Suicide Risk Screening

How many lives could have been saved with COVID vaccinations in each state

He Donated His Kidney and Received a $13,064 Bill in Return

Rod Serling sitting around talking about writing

Big ‘Saturday Night Live’ Departures Will Test the Show’s Depth

Before Pixar’s ‘Turning Red,’ ‘Braceface’ and a 1946 Disney Short Tackled the “Taboo” of Menstruation

Now I Know: The Eye Shield That Keeps the Grumps Away and And He Couldn’t Use the Discount Anyway and The €222 Million Nap and The Mystery of the 175-Year-Old Battery-Powered Bell

Undamming the Hudson River


Roger Angell, Revered Baseball Essayist, Dies at 101

Into The Storm: Alan White, YES drummer 

Ray Liotta Dies: ‘Goodfellas’ Star & ‘Field Of Dreams’ Actor Was 67

Fred Carter, the little-known Black artist behind Chick tracts of evangelism cartoons, Died. Those Chick tracks could be theologically… challenging.

R.I.P. Neal Adams, 1941-2022


Thoughts and Prayers – Drive-By Truckers

Beethoven Symphony No. 7, recast as a piano virtuoso work by Franz Liszt

Mr. Blue Sky and Kodachrome – Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

Field Of Dreams – The Place Where Dreams Come True/End Titles (James Horner)

You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lie – Dana Valery 

Finale from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones by John Williams

Broken/Head Over Heels – Tears For Fears 

Avatar suite by James Horner

Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You – Randy Rainbow

Coverville 1400: The Subject of this Cover Story is Talking Heads and  1401: Covers of 50-Year-Olds

I’m Alright – Jo Dee Messina

MARVEL Uptown Funk

The Untold Story of the White House’s Weirdly Hip Record Collection

Fussy about Memorial Day


If I were honest, I’d have to admit that I’m rather fussy about Memorial Day. This is pretty weird for me actually. It’s not that I regularly go to cemeteries and put flowers by the graves of the war dead, or something similarly significant.

It’s just that I hate the holiday being reduced to being “the unofficial beginning of summer.” I’m also pedantic enough to want to correct people about the difference between Veterans Day in November, which honors all veterans, and Memorial Day in May, which is set to REMEMBER those who died in military service to their country. Now, I don’t ACTUALLY correct people in person.

To the best of my knowledge – and obviously, my information is necessarily incomplete – I have no one in my lineage who has died in a war. I have a great-great-grandfather, James Archer, and two of his relatives who fought in the Civil War for the Union. When he came back from the war, he and his wife had my great-grandmother, who eventually had my maternal grandmother.

My paternal grandfather, McKinley Green, fought in World War I. And my maternal grandmother’s brother, Edward Yates, fought in World War II. Of course, my father, Les Green, served there as well. His cousin Sheldon Walker, who died recently, served in the military, but I don’t know if he was stationed in a combat zone. Still, thankfully, they all survived.

A matter of a few inches

I was recently watching an old episode of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates. He was describing to late-night talk show host Seth Meyers how the comic’s ancestor went to Canada during World War I so he could fight to support his native Britain. The ancestor was wounded, but not grievously so. Meyers noted correctly that an explosive being launched a foot closer to his grand and there would be no Seth Meyers.

So I’m grateful that, to my knowledge, my people made it back to their lives. This makes me think about all of those who did not.

Love Me Some Surveys: Sunday Stealing

Why Forgive

The new Sunday Stealing is Love Me Some Surveys.

1. Who was the last attractive person you saw?

Attractiveness is one of those notions I think is rather fuzzy, actually. My wife and I saw a movie recently in which a particular character was supposed to be very handsome. My wife just didn’t see it. It is so subjective as to be largely unanswerable.

2. Do you have a tattoo? If not, are you going to get one?

No, and no.

3. Have you smoked a cigarette in the last 24 hours?

I’m pretty sure the last cigarette I even attempted to smoke was in 1985. No, wait, that was a different type of cigarette. Never mind.

4. Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

Ostensibly yes. But let’s face it: some things are very difficult to forgive. A group at church read the book Why Forgive back in 2018-2019, which I wrote about here. Are we not all worthy of redemption?

How odd

5. What is your favorite number?

37, which is a prime number.

6. What time did you go to sleep last night?

12:15 a.m., after I did the Wordle and the Quordle.

7. Are you one of those people that always answer their phones?

No, I only answer the phone if the number is familiar to me, or if the caller ID alerts me that it’s someone I know. Usually, the landline goes to the answering machine. People reaching my cellphone usually just hang up; I get a LOT of Potential Spam indicators.

8. If you died today would your life be complete?

Well, yes and no. On one hand, I have an ever-increasing list of Things To Do, optimally including, ideally, getting my daughter through college. On the other hand, what you’ve done when it’s time is what you’ve done.


9. If you are being extremely quiet, what does that mean?

It could mean any number of things. I could be uncomfortable being with a bunch of strangers. I might be tired. Maybe I’m about to take my blood pressure, before which I sit quietly for nine minutes. Or I could be seething with rage, and working very hard not to say something I would assuredly regret.

10. Do you know what high school your dad went to?

According to the Binghamton School Directory 2019, he went to Central.

11. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?

It was talking to a financial adviser. It gives me agita.

12. Where is your cell phone?

It’s probably in the pair of pants I wore yesterday.

13. What is the nearest purple thing to you?

Books, right in front of me. The spines of reference books, one on comic books, the other on soul singles.

14. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?

I came back from a graduation party for the children and nephews of a friend from church.

15. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

I watched black-ish, an episode I recorded six weeks ago because I don’t watch television in real time.

A history bee, with music

ballads, battles

history beeMore of that musical History bee from, with links that don’t rely on Spotify, though they do count on YouTube. Not to be confused with the history of the musical.

Backwater Blues – Leadbelly — “About the Tennessee flood of 1926”
The Ballad Of Casey Jones – I couldn’t find the version by Wallace Saunders, so I settled on Johnny Cash, though LOTS of folks have covered this.– “About a 1900 train wreck in Mississippi and the engineer’s heroic death.”
The Ballad Of John And Yoko – The Beatles — “About John and Yoko’s marriage”
The Ballad Of John Axon – Ewan MacColl — “Called the British Casey Jones, Axon’s actions saved many lives in the 1957 train wreck”
Ballad Of The Alamo – Marty Robbins — “Folk story of the siege of the Alamo in 1836”
Ballad Of Sacco And Vanzetti – Joan Baez and Ennio Morricone. This is a three-part song stitched together. — “About a duo sent to the electric chair” on August 23, 1925
Ballad Of Spring Hill – Peter, Paul, and Mary — “about the Spring Hill mining disaster.” There were actually three disasters, in 1891, 1956, and 1958, in different mines near the town of Springhill in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. The song refers to the latter.
Ballad Of Tim Evans (Go Down Ye Murderers) – Ewan MacColl — “About the 1949 Timothy Evans murder trial.” He was executed in March 1950

Not Conan

Barbarian – The Darkness — “About 9th-century Viking invasion”
The Battle Of Hampton Roads – Titus Andronicus — “From a naval technology view, this was the most important naval battle of the U.S. Civil War, between the Monitor and the CSS Virginia.” March 8, 1862
The Battle Of New Orleans – Johnny Horton — “About the Battle of New Orleans.” January 8, 1815, at the end of the War of 1812
Belfast Child – Simple Minds — “About the Enniskillen bombing.” 8 November 1987 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. An IRA bomb exploded near the town’s war memorial. Eleven people (10 civilians and a police officer) were killed, many of them elderly, and 63 were injured.
Belsen Was A Gas – The Sex Pistols — “About the Nazis.” I assume this is about the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany. It became a refugee camp after it was liberated by the Allies in 1945.
The Big Three Killed My Baby – The White Stripes — “The struggle (and failure) of Preston Tucker to launch a new automobile company” c. 1948.
MY Addition: Biko – Peter Gabriel. About the black South African who protested against apartheid who died in police custody in 1977. Lyrics.
Birdland– Manhattan Transfer — “About the New York jazz club, Birdland, that operated from 1949 – 1965. Charlie (“Yardbird”) Parker reportedly named it.”


Blackbeard’s Ghost – Chase Rice — “About a North Carolina ghost story stating you can see Blackbeard’s Ghost, the song also references Blackbeard’s death and journey in the state.” Edward Teach (or Edward Thatch) died on 22 November 1718.
Black Day In July – Gordon Lightfoot — “About 1967 Detroit Riot”
Black Friday – Steely Dan — “About the original Black Friday, 24 September 1869,” the collapse of the U.S. gold market
Blue Sky Mine – Midnight Oil –“About Workers at Wittenoom asbestos mines.” A tragedy in Western Australia.
Boston Tea Party – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band — “About the Boston Tea Party” December 16, 1773
The Boy In The Bubble – Paul Simon — “About the change that began in the 1980s from conventional wars to terrorism.”
Braes O’Killiecrankie – The Corries — “About the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689” – a Scottish Jacobite victory
Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies — “About Brian Wilson’s struggles with mental health” – the Beach Boy
Brighter Than A Thousand Suns – Iron Maiden — “About The Manhattan Project,” the research and development undertaking during WWII that produced the first nuclear weapons
The British Are Coming – Weezer — “Using the American Colonies relationship with the King of England as a metaphor for the relationship between a father and son”
Burial Of Wild Bill – Captain Jack Crawford — “Bill Hickok was killed 2 August 1876 by a shot to the back of the head by Jack McCall while playing poker in a Deadwood, South Dakota saloon” Read by Francisco Castro Videla
Burke and Hare – The Scaffold — “About the Burke and Hare murders,” sixteen killings committed over a period of about ten months in 1828 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Burn On – Randy Newman — About the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland, Ohio
Bye Bye Badman – The Stone Roses — About the 1968 Paris riots

Metathesiophobia – c-c-c-changes

“But never leave the stream of warm impermanence”

Some folks have decided that others, who don’t like change, are experiencing metathesiophobia. That is the phobia that causes people to avoid changing their circumstances due to being extremely afraid of the unknown.

I’ve concluded that there are perfectly good reasons to be wary of change. One is that it actually may get worse. I’m been pondering this in part because of two pieces of mail I received on the same day.

The first pice notified us that our lawyer is changing law firms. Do we want to stay with the lawyer in the new firm or stay with the old firm and get another of their lawyers? Since we went with the firm BECAUSE of the lawyer, I assumed we’ll stay with the lawyer, but my wife wanted to know more details before ultimately coming to the same conclusion.

The other mail was from the company that processes my reimbursements for payments I make for health insurance. They are being taken over by another entity. Will it be the same level of service, as promised? Time will tell.

Here’s an old work story. We used to access a product on CD-ROM that was vital to our audience. The company announced they were going to migrate online, which seemed fine. Unfortunately, and I’m trying not to be too librariany here, they did not index the online product very well. This meant one could look up a given company but not find their competitors by SIC (a business code).

After we, and doubtless, MANY of their customers, expressed their distress, the company made changes, but it took about a year before it was as robust as the CD-ROM version.


As it turns out, Chuck Miller and I must have had the same ophthalmologist. As he noted, they moved from downtown to a location less convenient to me. Moreover, they also stopped carrying eyewear, so you have to go somewhere else. NOT an improvement.

My dentist actually was in the same building as my eye doctor. They moved out off of Albany-Shaker Road. I can get there first thing in the morning by taking two buses but would have to wait four hours to get home. Fortunately, they have a second location, in Albany, that will take 15 minutes to get to. Unfortunately, my dental hygenist of about a decade and a half is at the remote location, but the new (to me) person works well.

Doesn’t matter

My time with Time Warner Cable was not great. Now that it’s Spectrum, it’s arguably worse. My credit card had expired, but I got a new one with the same number, just a new expiration date, and CVV. I gave Spectrum the info, which they applied but failed to put on file. The short story is that I have received past due notices for the past two months by phone, cellphone, text, and snail-mail. I’ve called each time. Will it FINALLY be rectified?

Also, I know two people who worked for a fine regional bank. It was taken over by a national bank; if you’ve seen The Music Man, you know which one. The processes of the larger organization were, er, less than robust, as news stories in recent years have indicated.


As I noted, getting the iPhone 8 has worked out. Frankly, it’s better for other people. One friend was distressed that they had to actually email me photos – the horror, the horror – can now text them. In fact, this photo was texted to me recently. It’s one neither my sisters nor I had ever seen before. That’s my grandfather McKinley Green holding me, probably at Ross Park in Binghamton. I haven’t changed at all.

A Bowie song; I won the Hunky Dory LP from my college radio station.

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