August rambling: personality cult

The 2030 Census

Guns and reproductive system
Original source unknown

“Unite the Right” five years later

Secret Service Held Onto Violent Jan. 6 Threat Against Pelosi

Governing Party vs. Personality Cult

djt: His Alleged Crimes at CRIME-A-LAGO and THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO ALL THE WAYS HE IS LEGALLY SCREWED, and his discarding and hoarding of documents just might be pathological

The FBI Confirms Its Brett Kavanaugh Investigation Was a Total Sham

Let’s Hear From the Women Lis Smith Smeared. The political operative who covered for Cuomo is on a comeback tour, trying to paper over the damage she caused.

Correcting Misinformation About Dr. Fauci

Poll Finds 3 in 4 Voters Want to Expand Social Security by Taxing The Rich

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Afghanistan and Carbon Offsets 

Most victims of the global problem of out-of-control militarism don’t get the same attention from the Western press.

Is This The Moment For A Third Political Party?

The 10 Things That All Flat Earthers Say

Mr. Brunelle: quiet quitting and new Florida teachers

Census and more

Census: Post-Enumeration Surveys and Bureau Invites Public Input on Designing 2030 Census, and Bureau Must Ensure the Next Census Deploys the Highest Quality Science

Average Lifespan Of Residents In Each US State,

Federal and State Agencies to Notify of a Name Change

Salem Witch Trial Victim Exonerated After 329 Years

Was King Arthur a Real Person?

Should Christians Listen to Explicit Music?

Frederick Buechner, popular Christian ‘writer’s writer’ and ‘minister’s minister,’ dies at 96

Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and broadcasting legend, dies at 87

Ken Levine remembers Vin Scully 

Cross-Pollinating for the Collective

Kelly’s eclectic linkage

Jodi Balfour on the Importance of Her Coming Out on ‘For All Mankind’

14 Notorious Movies and TV Shows That Have Never Been Released

Academy Apologizes to Sacheen Littlefeather for Her Mistreatment At the 1973 Oscars

Capitol Records Severs Ties With A.I. Rapper FN Meka, Apologizes to Black Community for “Insensitivity”

Steve Martin on His Late Career Surge; he plays well with others

Now I Know: The Musician Whose Big Break Was a Broken Instrument and Münchausen by Internet and Why U-Hauls Pretend to be From Arizona and  Why Barber’s Poles Have All Those Stripes and How to Get Supplies to an Underwater Laboratory

Student debt

President Biden’s announcement on student debt cancellation generated a lot of conversation. Some believe the $10,000 forgiveness was far too little, while others bemoaned doing so at all. A Facebook comment by Kelly Sedinger resonated with me.

“Nothing illustrates our society’s abdication of the notion of leaving a better world for our children than we ourselves received than (a) creating an economy where higher education is almost a requirement to succeed at any level of comfort, (b) making said education wildly expensive, to the point that virtually no one can afford it out of pocket, (c) thus requiring a system of financing that applies higher-than-they-should-be interest rates and making that debt unable to be dissolved in bankruptcy, and finally (d) freaking out at forgiving some of that debt.”

Mark Evanier added:  “A lot of folks who are fine with your, my and their tax dollars going to very, very rich people sure get upset when that money goes to people who are not very, very rich.


Lock Him Up Yesterday – Randy Rainbow

I Hope So – Katrina Stone

Coverville 1411: The Jethro Tull Cover Story

Javelin by Michael Torke.

Let It Be – Peter Sprague,  featuring Rebecca Jade

Apotheosis of this Earth by Karel Husa

Shattered Memories – Michał Łapaj (feat. Mick Moss)

I’ve Just Seen A Face – Peter Sprague, featuring Rebecca Jade

Home Grown – Booker T and The MG’s (stereo)

Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna – Franz Von Suppe’

The streets of Albany are weird

The surveyor says…

Albany StreetsWAY back in 2005, during my first year blogging, I wrote a post titled The Streets of Albany Were Designed by Sadists. Maybe they’re just weird.

Then a few days ago, my friend Dan posted this chart on Facebook. He said it popped up on Capital District Urbanists, posted by Ian Benjamin. The source is Reddit. “I decided to trust it because I recognize most of these intersections as accurate.” And he is SO right.

I know some of these intersections well. The third one. I was taking a driving lesson in 1987. As directed, I was driving south on Watervliet Avenue, the up-and-down part of the K. He told me to turn left. So I turned onto Livingston Avenue (the upper part of the K), but he wanted me to have taken 3rd Street (the lower part of the K). Inexplicably, he started screaming at me. 3rd Street was a 90 left turn, while Livingston was more like 120 degrees.

The sixth one. I had a friend named Bill who lived on Madison Place, a street I didn’t even know existed until his party. My late friend Norm wrestled me into the baseline of Bill’s wall.

The eighth one. Manning Blvd., with its cousins, North Manning and South Manning, is a weird S of a street across most of the city. My wife and I lived near this intersection when we first got married.

The twelfth one. This is very close to our house. Thank goodness it has walk signals, the pattern for which I’ve managed to memorize.

The thirteenth one. If you’re on Manning, the crossing part of the A, heading south, you can be stuck in that tiny stretch between Clinton and Central for a while.

My old stomping grounds

The fifteenth one: FantaCo, where I worked from 1980 to 1988, was on 21 Central Avenue, the upper of the diverging streets, so right in the split between Central and Washington. As I wrote, “Get to Lark Street. The bulk of the traffic seems to be going at 1 o’clock, and that continues to be Route 5. But that’s not Washington Avenue; that’s Central Avenue. No, stay straight in one of the worst-designed intersections in any city.”

The nineteenth one: One of THE worst intersections for bicyclists or pedestrians.

Quoting a local historian of our acquaintance, Dan noted, “the western borders and roads leading west from Albany radiate from the center because back in the day they used a compass, but didn’t realize that magnetic north shifts every now and then. Several times in the 1600s and 1700s, surveyors went out and re-surveyed because they thought the last surveyors did it all wrong! They couldn’t move or remove a road that had been laid out decades earlier, so they laid out the next road or border ‘properly,’ which meant it wouldn’t be parallel to the older roads that were laid before the last shift of magnetic north. After the mid-1700s, surveyors developed the superior technique of laying out boundaries by the stars.

Potential Royale with Cheese movies

I’ve never seen Air Force One

Royale with cheese

My blogger buddy Chuck Miller has created this series about movies called Royale with Cheese. It’s films that EVERYBODY has seen, but he had not until, finally, he did. It’s named after a line from Pulp Fiction, the 1994 movie he watched in 2011.

What reminded me of this was the passing of Wolfgang Petersen. On the CBS morning show, the announcer said that “Everybody is saying, ‘Get off my plane'” as they showed a clip from Air Force One. Well, I wasn’t because I’ve never seen that movie, directed by Petersen.

It’s odd. From 1979, when I was dating a cinephile, to 2003, the year before my daughter was born, I saw LOTS of films. Indeed, I watched every single movie nominated for a major Oscar award (movie, actor, actress, director, and the two screenplays) that came out in 1997 except Ulee’s Gold with Peter Fonda.

So I’m going to make a list of films that came out between 1970, right before I graduated from high school, and 2019, just before the pandemic, that I managed to miss. I won’t pick movies I didn’t/don’t want to see for whatever reason.

Some films

Here are the qualifiers from the Top Lifetime Adjusted Grosses from Box Office Mojo.

Avatar (2009)
Incredibles 2 (2018) – I really liked the first film
The Lion King (2018) – I was curious whether it’d be any good
The Dark Knight (2008) – I have the graphic novel
Wonder Woman (2017) – my wife and daughter saw it, but I was busy
Aquaman (2018) – for a guy who used to work in a comic book store, I’m not faring well with these DC adaptations

Independence Day (1996) – the biggest film of that year
Inception (2010)
The Hangover (2009) – or the sequels
Maleficent (2014)
Shrek Forever After (2010) – but I saw the first two movies

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Ocean’s Eleven (2001) or its sequels, although I did see Ocean’s Eight
Elf (2003) – in honor of James Caan’s passing, I may need to see it this Christmas season
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)

Lilo and Stitch (2002)
Ready Player One (2018)
Minority Report (2002)
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) – although I did see the sequel
On Golden Pond (1981) – Henry and Jane Fonda

So, opinionated people – this means you,  Greg Burgas – suggest which ones of these ought I to check out first? And you are not limited to this roster of films or my cinematic timeframe. 

Upstream Life with Sunday Stealing

Making ADD happy

This week’s Sunday Stealing Stealing is Upstream Life.

1. Your favorite sport.

Baseball. Something Kelly said recently resonated with me. “I’ve been paying more attention to baseball the last few years than I had basically from 2000 to, oh, 2015 or thereabouts. In the 90s, I loved baseball, and I almost always had a game on the teevee if there wasn’t something else we were watching (and it was baseball season, of course). While I’m not much for televised sport anymore, I’ve found it appealing to follow sport the way people probably back in the days before television: they read about it!” This is exactly correct for me as well.

2.  A quote to live by.

“No matter where you go, there you are.”

3. A city in the US you would like to move to.

Given the vagueries of climate change, it’d certainly be in the Northeast or upper Midwest. Madison, WI or Burlington, VT.

4.  3 beautiful little things in your life.

The door of our house refracts the light so that, most mornings, I see rainbows on the walls and/or the carpets.
My very full built-in bookcase.
Flowers that grow between the cracks in the sidewalk.

5.  What made you laugh today?

Some off-the-cuff banter between a nurse and me.

6. A good deed you did today

Apparently, I was very nice to that same nurse, who had a subsequent patient be not nearly so nice.

7.  Activities you like to do when you are bored.

I’m never bored. That said, play pinochle, chess, or spades on my phone; read.

8. Are you a procrastinator?

No. The consequences of procrastination make me anxious.

And then

9. Your thoughts about dying

There is about a 99.999999999999999999999999% chance that it will happen. To everything, there is a season.

10. What superpower would you like to have?

Flight, mostly as a timesaver. But also, I always enjoyed my dreams in which I am flying, so much so that I’ve awakened to be very disappointed that it did not actually happen.

11. Top 3 Netflix series

n/a – I’ve never had access to Netflix.

12. Things you want to do before you die

Go through my diary to scope out all of the FantaCo references, which would probably make ADD very happy.
Make sure my daughter is reasonably secure in her life.
Write a book: about what, I’m unsure.

13. Your biggest fears

Humans will make the earth uninhabitable via climate change, war, or another catastrophe.

14. What makes you angry?

Disinformation, which some folks are trying to fix.

15. Do you listen to podcasts?

Three regularly. Coverville; Brian Ibbott has been playing cover songs since 2004.  AmeriNZ; Arthur Schenck, one guy, two countries, since 2007. Hollywood and Levine; writer Ken Levine, since 2017.

Holland-Dozier-Holland, 1963-1964

Len Barry’s 1-2-3?

Holland-Dozier-HollandOne of my favorite albums growing up was The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. It was a bit of a silly name as virtually all of the trio’s hits were written by Brian, Lamont, and Eddie.

The writers were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

After Lamont Dozier died recently, I decided to link to some of their songs. How do I choose? If I own the track, I’ve included it.

Except for The Supremes. I’m going for the more obscure tracks. Know, though, that the writers wrote ALL of their hits, from Where Did Our Love Go in 1964 to Forever Came Today in early 1968. I’m sure I’ll share more Supremes/H-D-H hits in 2024.

I also opted for some non-Motown covers. Ultimately, I decided that H-D-H is worth multiple posts, so that’s what I’ll do.

Come and Get These Memories– Martha and the Vandellas, #29 pop, #6 RB in 1963
Heat Wave – Linda Ronstadt, #5 pop in 1975 (Orig. Martha and the Vandellas, #4 pop, #1 RB)
A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Every Day)- Ike and Tina Turner, #16 UK in 1966 (Orig. Martha and the Vandellas)
Mickey’s Monkey – The Miracles, #8 pop, #3 RB in 1963
Can I Get A Witness – Marvin Gaye, #22 pop, #3 RB in 1963

Quicksand – Martha and the Vandellas, #8 pop, #7 RB in 1963
When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes – The Supremes, #23 pop, #2 RB in 1963
Leaving Here – Eddie Holland, #76 pop, #27 RB in 1963
Run, Run, Run – The Supremes, #93 pop, #22 RB in 1963
You’re A Wonderful One – Marvin Gaye, #15 pop, #3 RB in 1963


Baby, I Need Your Loving – Johnny Rivers, #3 pop in 1967 (Orig.  Four Tops, #11 pop, #4 RB in 1964)
Baby Don’t You Do It – The Band, #34 pop in 1972 (Orig. Marvin Gaye, #27 pop, #14 in 1964)
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – James Taylor, #5 pop in 1975 (Orig. Marvin Gaye, #6 pop, #3 RB)

Ask Any Girl – The Supremes, B-side of Baby Love, 1964; 1-2-3 – Len Berry, #2 pop, #11 RB in 1965. Holland, Dozier, and Holland received a co-writing credit for 1-2-3, originally credited to John Madara, David White, and Len Barry, after a court decided that the song bore similarities to Ask Any Girl. I did not know this.

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