The Beach Boys in Schenectady 11/17

When We Were Kings

I recently noticed that The Beach Boys will be in Schenectady at Proctors Theatre on Sunday, November 17, 2023, at 3 pm. While I am not planning to attend, it renewed that long-time debate about the legitimacy of that band, or ultimately any band, to use the name.

Yes, I understand that Mike Love has the legal right to the group name. But the last Beach Boys album I bought was 2012’s That’s Why God Made the Radio. It featured Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine (all original members), David Marks (who replaced Jardine briefly early on), and Bruce Johnston (a long-time member who replaced Brian on the road early on.) That group’s tour was presented on the album Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour in 2013.

These guys, with Brian, Mike, and Al, are the Beach Boys, to my mind.

That’s Why God Made The Radio – the Beach Boys Bandsintown notes the band members as Love, Ricky Fataar, Marks, Blondie Chaplin, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Brian Wilson, Jardine, and Johnston, all of whom were in the group at one point, although Dennis and Carl are deceased.

The Proctors site notes: ” The Beach Boys are led by Mike Love, who, along with longtime member Bruce Johnston, musical director Brian Eichenberger, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, Jon Bolton, Keith Hubacher, Randy Leago, and John Wedemeyer, continue the legacy of the iconic band.” 


I guess the Rolling Stones, without the late Charlie Watts but with the Glimmer Twins and long-timer Ronnie Wood, are. Wait, Bill Wyman is on the new album Hackney Diamonds!

Angry – the Rolling Stones

But Paul and Ringo, reportedly also playing on the Stones’ album, couldn’t front their old group. When people speculated about Lennon, Harrison, and Starr playing with Billy Preston and Klaus Voorrman, they wouldn’t have been accepted as the Beatles.

Real Love – The Beatles

The Who are Daltrey and Townshend? I guess so.

All This Music Must Fade – the Who

I’ve long insisted that The Temptations are a lineage group. David Ruffin replaced Elbridge Bryant, Dennis Edwards replaced Ruffin, Ricky Owens then Damon Harris replaced Eddie Kendrick, et al. When Otis Williams, the remaining original member, retires, it’ll still be The Temptations, unless the group ends. Otis and the estate of Melvin Franklin control the group. Oddly, I think of them like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Or maybe Menudo.

When We Were Kings – The Temptations

It appears that any group with Chrissie Hynde can be The Pretenders, with or without co-founder Martin Chambers.

A Love – the Pretenders

Frankie Valli has a quartet that might as well be Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

What are your criteria for whether a group is still “the group”?

Patient Portal should be ADA compliant

508 compliance

My old friend Catbird asked me a question.

Hi Roger— When you need to get information from your medical provider(s), how do you do it? Phone? Email?  USPS? Online system?

My only access is through a “patient portal” that is “protected” by Captcha. I can’t use a captcha because I have a visual deficit, and I am trying to find out how widely it’s used to guard medical information (and even access to my provider). The captcha workaround is widely known, so at best, it’s only an illusion of security or privacy.  The best I can do is take my own notes and try to remember to ask for a paper copy of any results before I leave a medical visit.

Thanks for any info or perspective.

  It wasn’t THAT long ago (was it?) that I could call my primary physician’s office, and usually within two hours, my doctor’s nurse, who knew me by name because we had such a long-term relationship, would call me back.

That’s gone by the boards, as virtually every transaction I have is on my cellphone or the portal. The cell to acknowledge appointments and check-in. Some places don’t want you inside until they text you to avoid overcrowding; COVID accelerated this tremendously. I finally grudgingly embraced the cell phone out of necessity.

Everything else is on the portal. Or portals. I have to access more than one. While most of my providers, for good and for ill, are affiliated with one entity, there are outliers, such as my podiatrist, dermatologist, and allergist, who are not. My computer knows who I am vis-a-vis these gateways; when it inevitably dies, I’m probably screwed.


It occurred to me that the offices would be subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Indeed, per Dreamscape, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE TITLE IV REVISION TO MODERN LIVING: “The Title IV amendment came in 2008. From telephonic communications to the internet, television, and other digital services, it was apparent that Americans with disabilities needed special accommodations. Everyday tasks such as surfing the web or watching television ranged from inconvenient to impossible with hearing, vision, or other physical impairments. 

“Thus, Title IV set a new standard for telecommunications. Through it, certain requirements came into effect for digital communications, including closed captioning and guidelines for web accessibility. These guidelines [which are very wonky] include site navigation, alt text for photos, and other information shared through web content or applications.”

There should be accommodations made. For instance, the Equalweb page suggests that “the Visually Impaired profile automatically activates the Screen Reader Adjustment function, the Low and High Saturation and Contrast modes, and the Image Descriptions, Magnifier, Reader Font, Highlight Links, Highlight Headers, and Text Magnifier functions for individuals who live with visual impairments.”

More on point from the AHIMA Foundation: What To Do If Your Patient Portal Is Not Accessible. “In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice released guidance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on how state and local governments and businesses open to the public (such as hospitals and healthcare organizations) can make sure their websites are accessible to people with disabilities.

“In the context of patient portals, it’s the hospital’s job to ensure their portal is accessible to all patients….

Things to fix

Reasons Why Patient Portals and Other Health Websites Might Not Be Compliant with ADA

  • Poor color contrast. People with color blindness and other disabilities related to vision ─ such as diabetic retinopathy ─ may have difficulty reading text if the text color is similar to the color of the background.
  • Lack or poor alternative text in images and graphics. If there is no alternative text, or alt-text, in an image or a graphic, someone who uses a screen reader will not be able to know what information is in the image or graphic.
  • No captions on videos or transcripts for audio. Someone who is hard of hearing or blind will not be able to know or have difficulty understanding information that is in a video or podcast, for example.
  • Inaccessible online forms. There need to be clear labels on forms for people who use screen readers. Having clear instructions is always helpful.

Patient Portals and 508 Compliance

“Any hospital or health clinic that receives federal funding also needs to be compliant with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act.

“If a patient portal is inaccessible to you or someone you care for, look for a statement of accessibility on the hospital’s website. Typically, it’s linked at the very bottom and includes a phone number and/or email address where you can report any issues you are experiencing. 

“Requesting changes or filing a complaint regarding the inaccessibility of your patient portal should be made directly to your healthcare provider and/or hospital. They may be able to help you and address your concerns more timely than filing with a federal agency.

“Should you not receive a response after contacting your provider and/or hospital, you can file an online ADA Complaint with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.”

I wonder if one reasonable accommodation could be talking to you on the phone and mailing stuff to you if they can’t quickly fix their website. I put it as a short-term solution, not a permanent fix.

One last thing on the topic of medical care. My primary physician used to be in a partnership. Then, the practice was gobbled up by Big Med. Since then, her office has moved FOUR times, including this month. This most recent change means it’ll take me two buses and an hour to get there. [Sigh.]

Sept rambling: extreme heat

backyard train

ALA Releases Preliminary 2023 Book Ban Data. Look for more info here.

Extreme Heat Is Threatening Entire Marine Ecosystems in Florida

Summer Heat Is Killing Incarcerated People — It’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment

US sets record for billion-dollar disasters in a single year, with  months to go

If there’s no federal budget on October 1, blame the House Republicans

Don’t just connect the dots

About the polls (JRB vs. djt)

Legal Experts Have A Field Day With djt’s Megyn Kelly Interview

Colorado Lawsuit’s Strategy for Keeping djt Off Ballot Is Starting to Spread – The lawsuits cite the 14th Amendment, which says former officials who engage in insurrection may not serve as president. But it may not work.

How GOP pressured Texas senators over Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial

Arthur: The fourth horrible anniversary

Travis: Screw Cancer!

FDA OKs Updated COVID Shots — New single-strain vaccines will exclusively target the XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant

John Green attends the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis and gets to give a speech. 

Actor David McCallum died at age 90.  I noted here that my sister Marcia and used to play The Man from U.N.C.L.E. together.  My daughter watched NCIS regularly for a few years.

Brooks Robinson, Hall of Fame third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, died at the age of 86

El Monte Thai garment workers were inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor. They helped expose their employer’s abusive labor practices and spurred changes in legal protections for the nation’s workers.

US senators can wear workout clothes to work under new rules. In response, pearls will be clutched.

In TV’s Wild West, Which Channels Will Be Dropped Next?

Oakland vs. the A’s: The inside story of how it all went south (to Las Vegas)

Jann Wenner [weakly] Apologizes for Saying Black and Female Musicians Aren’t “Articulate” Enough for His New Book

A metamorphosis, completed

NASA: the lunar south pole

Life Expectancy of Pets

Someone’s nice backyard train

Artist Imagines What Would Happen If Disney Princesses Visited A Psychotherapist (10 Pics)


Now I Know: When Being From France Isn’t French Enough and The Fugitive Who Was Put Out to Pasture and The Counterintuitive Problem of Dry Counties and  The Town That Fled a Fake Earthquake and The Mystery of the Exploding Toads and How to Sell* a Lot of Carrots


Perfect Day– Al Green

When You Wish Upon A Star – Sara Bareilles

So You Are Tired – Sufjan Stevens

Ballad Of A Homeschooled Girl – Olivio Rodrigo

I remember everything – Zach Bryan, feat. Kacey Musgraves

Shiny Happy People – Micky Dolenz (Sept. 2023)

Voiceplay, giving the a cappella treatment to a collection of TV theme songs

Start Me Up – The Folksmen (Sept. 2003)

Volcano Girls – Vercuna Salt

Coverville 1457: The Tommy Shaw & Styx Cover Story

I’ll Follow You – The Empty Pockets

Mickey– Toni Basil

Elegy by Mark Camphouse

Romanian Rhapsody #1 by Georges Enescu

Reject All American – Bikini Kill 

The Beatles Stowe School Concert Is Unlike Any Other Show in History

Temptation’s About To Get Me

Bruce Springsteen Postponing All 2023 Concerts to Next Year as He Recovers From Peptic Ulcer Disease

Weird; Godspell; The 39 Steps

Day By Day

Here’s a roundup of some entertainment I’ve seen recently.

The first and only thing I’ve gotten around to seeing on my newish Roku set is the movie Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, starring the unlikely but oddly convincing Daniel Radcliff. I’m a  big Weird Al fan, owning at least 90% of his work on LP or CD.

I imagine that familiarity with not only the music but the backstory of the creation of the songs and the launching of this career would enhance the appreciation of the storyline. The movie was written by Al and director Eric Appel, and it is a parody of biopic films about musicians.

It’s often funny, definitely silly, and inevitably excessive, especially in the second half, featuring Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood), when the pace sags for me.

The pool scene featuring Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), Wolfman Jack (Jack Black), and several well-known icons is my favorite. I also liked the resolution involving Al’s father (Toby Huss). And Al is convincing s the record producer who wants to have nothing to do with Weird Al.

The film sometimes seems rushed, probably because of its 18-day shooting schedule, but I’m glad I saw it.


My wife and I had said in the spring that we might see three or four shows at Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, NY, over the summer. Suddenly, it was Sunday, August 13, and the final day of the third or fourth show. She said, do you want to go see Godspell?

I love Godspell. In 1976, I was in a production in New Paltz. I’ve seen the movie starring Victor Garber.

But this Godspell was sublime. Check out this review:  ” This Godspell, this gospel according to [director Trey] Compton, is an edgy, piercing, gritty, brilliant piece of theatre… “

This is how the show starts: “Cue the Gospel. As the ensemble cast of eight enters, each clutches a cell phone in his or her hand as if they are the last lifelines to their very existence. The soon-to-be disciples are quite literally separated one from another by virtue of Compton’s sharp and intentional staging, scattered about the theatre like the wandering souls they are at this moment.

“Looking for all the world like a world-weary crowd gathered on a dark subway track awaiting the last train of the day, they begin to deliver the Prologue/Tower of Babble, a number not always included in every production, but thankfully included here…

“[It] is a truly unique, brilliant, thought-provoking, cutting-edge work of theater art.” That says it all.


My wife wanted to know if I wanted to go to the Spectrum Theatre to see the film The 39 Steps (1935). I had never seen it, so absolutely.

What I liked is that the protagonist, Richard Hannay (Robert Donat), a Canadian vacationing in London, didn’t believe the mysterious agent Annabella Smith (Lucie Mannheim) and her fanciful tale about an international spy ring involving something called the “39 steps.”

That is, until Smith ends up dead in Hannay’s apartment, with him as the only suspect. Hannay has to elude those chasing him while trying to figure out the truth behind the secret. His life becomes entangled with Pamela   (Madeleine Carroll), his unwilling accomplice, who doesn’t believe Richard any more than Richard initially believed Annabella.

The chase is a bit improbable, as the pursuers are mainly inept. It’s also a very humorous and early rom-com.

Incidentally, I did see The 39 Steps before, but it involved shadow puppets.

Lydster: I’m a girl dad


My wife said I should write a post about being a girl dad. To my recollection, I don’t think I’ve used the term in this blog, at least referring to myself.

My wife’s prompt was embodied in her photo of me. My daughter asked me if I had ever worn a do-rag. Well, no, because I never had a hairdo that required covering. An early receding hairline took care of that.

Still, my daughter decided that I needed to wear one. Ah, she’s dressing me up like she did when she was four or five. My wife thought I looked like a pirate, specifically a “Barbie pirate!” “Or a Barbary pirate,” I retorted.

But I didn’t know what to write until I was reminded that there were always many girls in my extended family. My first wife, the Okie, had a baby sister nearly a decade and a half younger. Reading my diary reminded me I was often assigned to keep her occupied when visiting.

After Leslie had Rebecca, I loved spending time with her. There are pictures of me at her first and second birthdays in New York City; me walking the toddler in Charlotte, NC; her sitting on my lap while coloring at my Grandma Williams’ funeral in Binghamton, NY; her sitting on my shoulders during an impromptu family photo in NYC.

I first saw Alex, Marcia’s daughter, about six months after her birth. I held her, and she was crying because her shoes were too tight, I was told. Alex visited my wife and me in Albany. I took her to work; during lunch, I took scads of her beside various downtown statues. We spent time hanging out in Washington Park.

More nieces

My wife’s brothers had three girls, including twins. I spent quality time with them, especially the twins, who were geographically closer, during family gatherings.

Then my daughter was born. What are the chances I’d have five nieces and a daughter but no sons or nephews?  Oh, about 1.5625%. My sisters claim that they knew I would be a good dad because I was a good uncle, a logic I didn’t entirely accept.

When our child was born, one of my oldest friends misheard that we had a son. When she discovered we had a daughter, she exclaimed, “Thank God!”  Recently, I asked why, and she said, “Cuz your best friends growing up were girls.”

That is mainly true. I had a few male friends in elementary school, including two in Cub Scouts. By fifth grade, I realized that girls were more interesting people to me, and this was not based on romance.

It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I had more than a few male friends, a function of rejoining church and playing racquetball.

So I guess I was destined to be a girl dad, whatever that means.

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