I like Easter

We can say Hallelujah! again

I like Easter. It’s much less a theological thing, though. For a brief time, I had a pastor named Matt who described himself as more of a Lenten than an Easter person.  And I get that.

There was a meeting I was supposed to attend this week, but I blew it off because it was on Maundy Thursday. Someone said that he didn’t know what that was. I noted that if you’ve seen the painting of The Last Supper, not just the one by da Vinci, you have some idea. Or if you’ve listened to/seen the latter half of Jesus Christ Superstar, which ends before the resurrection.

Those Lenten songs, Requiems, and the like resonate more with me than the triumphant Easter anthems.

I like going to church on Easter Sunday. One year during the first decade of this century, my wife and I were driving to Charlotte, NC, to visit my family. But I hated not singing. Listening to church music on the radio merely made me more melancholy.

I love to see the C&E people at church. C&E refers to those folks who come only on Christmas and/or Easter. I do think about the limited theological picture they get. “They sing the Hallelujah chorus almost every time I’m there,” they might determine, but so it goes. Do people still wear Easter bonnets?

When is Easter?

I’m a fan of Lent and Easter bouncing around the calendar. It’s like jazz; ya gotta riff with it. As timeanddate.com notes:  “Easter falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon date, based on mathematical calculations, that falls on or after March 21. If the Full Moon is on a Sunday, Easter is celebrated the following Sunday.

“Although Easter is liturgically related to the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (March equinox) and the Full Moon, its date is not based on the actual astronomical date of either event.

“March 21 is the Church’s date of the March equinox, regardless of the time zone, while the actual date of the equinox varies between March 19 and March 22, and the date depends on the time zone.” And it’s even a little more complicated than that.

The art piece was created by my daughter, who writes: “Re-coop-erations – Recuperations Project – Scale Shift. Eggs represent a very literal sense of recuperation, new color, new season, and new life. In many traditions spanning geographies and time, many cultures have used eggs in customs, especially those around the time of the Spring Equinox. During Nowruz, the Iranian and Persian New Year, families decorate eggs to bring good luck and fertility. Pre-Christian Ukraine brightly decorated eggs.”

Of course, Christianity leaned into the spring festivals, just as they positioned Christmas to coincide with the Roman holidays of the winter solstice.

Happy Easter!

Sunday Stealing: the unknown

Have Mercy

In this week’s Sunday Stealing post, I call it the Unknown based on the first question. Swap Bot developed the quiz.

1. Do you believe in the unknown and Mystics?

Sure, many people do. They may call it God, the Force, magick, voodoo, Fred, or whatever they believe, and I’m fine with that.

2. How do you tell time? Do you use a watch or your phone, and why?

I have a difficult time keeping track of my watch. Still, I prefer the watch over the phone because I can tell time by turning my wrist instead of pulling the phone out of my pocket. I’ve had conversations with people IRL who tell me vehemently that using the phone is better, and I don’t understand it.

3. How do you stay cool in the summer?

That’s why Allah created air conditioning. Huge swaths of the United States wouldn’t be populated if air conditioning didn’t exist. I don’t care that it’s a “dry heat;” 104 F/40C is brutal on me.

4. Egg yolk or white?

Both. Scrambled, omelets, et al. Imagine deviled eggs with just one part.

5. What is your current on-repeat song?

I don’t have an on-repeat song. That’s the whole idea of having literally thousands of albums, creating sonic variety. That said, I’ll pick a song I’ve played recently that I might have played more than once when I got the album. Have Mercy by Loretta Lynn from the Van Lear Rose album.

6. What is your favorite sound in the world?

The inverse pedal point in music.

7. What’s the must-have-items in your bag?

When I leave the house, I only need to carry three items—wallet, keys, and phone—and I say them aloud as a mantra.

Pants first

8. When dressing up, which one do you put on first: pants or tops?

Pants. Oddly, this reminds me of a segment of All In The Family when Archie and his son-in-law Mike debated whether you should put on socks, socks, shoes, shoes, or socks, shoes, socks, shoes.

9. what is the one thing you wish you could take back?

The 2016 US election

10. what is your pet peeve?

Rude people.

11. have you ever been ashamed after buying something frivolous? What?

Nah. It is what it is.

12. what dessert would you eat even if you were beyond full?

Apple pie a la mode.

13. sweet or spicy?

Generally sweet.

14. Which website do you visit most often?

Other than Google? It might be News From ME from Mark Evanier because he often posts multiple times daily.

15. Which countries/states have you visited, and which one did you like the most?

I have visited about 30 states. My favorite was Maine. I’ve only been to Canada, Mexico, France, and Barbados; I’ll pick the latter because it was lovely and cost me very little.

Same title, different songs


photo by David Hinchen

I have long been fascinated by this phenomenon of many tunes with the same names. But they are often different songs. Also, I’ve seen several dissimilar movies that have done the same thing.

How is that possible? An article in TheLaw.com explains.

“Copyright law provides exclusive protection to someone who creates an original work of authorship that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. What does that mean to people who don’t understand legalese? It means that the thing you create must be:

  • Some type of creative expression (such as a painting or song) which is;
  • Sufficiently original and independently conceived by its creator, that is;
  • In some permanently stored format, so that it can be reproduced (such as a painting on canvas but not a design drawn in water which is only visible for a moment.)
Lacks originality

“Song titles generally don’t fall within the protection of copyright law since most are not sufficiently original or independently conceived by the artist. Are phrases like ‘born to run’ or ‘on the road again’ sufficiently original so as to deserve legal protection? The few words in a song title may have been used many times before and should be able to be available for general use as a natural part of the English language. Copyright law in itself doesn’t seem to prevent anyone from placing a song title on a bumper sticker or t-shirt.”

Conversely, “Song lyrics, like chapters in a book, consist of many words strung together by a person conveying a thought or series of thoughts. The more words the artist uses the less likely it is that someone else will independently use the exact same words to express the same thing. How common is it to hear someone utter the phrase, ‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven?’ Probably not often…  This is why Led Zeppelin would have copyright protection for the song lyrics to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ but not for the title. ” There is a song by the O’Jays called Stairway To Heaven, that was released after the LZ track.


This article suggested the following song title options: I Want You, Tonight, Angel, Changes, Sunday Morning, Baby, Crazy, and Stay.

Angel is the first one I thought of. According to the Top Pop Singles book, which tracks pop hits and “classic” tracks, there are at least 17 of them.

Shaggy, #1 in 2001 with a riff from Angel Of The Morning by Merilee Rush, #7 in 1968

Aerosmith, #3 in 1988

Sarah McLaughlin, #4 in 1999. This was covered by Javier Colon, #64, in 2011, and Jacquie Lee, #87, in 2013

Madonna, #5 in 1985

Jon Secada, #18 in 1985

Aretha Franklin, #20 in 1973

Amanda Perez, #20 in 2003

Jimi Hendrix, classic in 1970, covered by Rod Stewart, #40 in 1972

Johnny Tillotson, #51 in 1965

Akon, #56 in 2010

Natasha Bedingfield, #63 in 2008

Lionel Richie, #70 in 2001

The Weeknd, #102 in 2015

Kate Voegele, #103 in 2009

Fifth Harmony, #112  in 2017

Chaka Khan, #119 in 2007

Angela Winbush, classic in 1987

This doesn’t count the titles Angel Baby, Angel on My Shoulder, and especially Angel Eyes.

My favorites are Hendrix and McLaughlin. Of the ones I’d never heard before, and there are several, Chaka Khan.


March rambling: censorship figures

Unsold Pilots

The American Library Association (ALA) released censorship figures from 2023. The data are alarming.

The 10th anniversary of the Foilies — awards given to public agencies responsible for the most egregious, absurd, and outrageous defiance of freedom of information requests.

Student Loans: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

FTC Releases Report on Grocery Supply Chain Disruptions: Pandemic-induced disruptions disproportionally impacted smaller firms, as larger companies sought to protect market share, power

Businesses Are Not as Agile as They Think

Jobs most impacted by AI

Bob Westphal died early this morning. Someone accurately wrote, “He was a wonderful person, an honest seeker, lover of poetry, storyteller, and friend.” He was also one of the Bible Guys until he moved away a few years ago and a member of the First Pres Choir from 2007 to 2009.

Jeanette Sharp,  Ph.D. died. From her obit:  “She developed macular degeneration at an early age, which eventually progressed to complete blindness. Despite this hurdle, she earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from SUNY Albany. She worked at Albany Medical Center, and held a private practice until her retirement in 2018.” I sang with her for several years at the Trinity UMC choir. We shared a birthday. I was quite fond of her.

Why the I’s have it. Is there a physiological reason why we say “tick tock” rather than “tock tick?” Why does the “i” get first position in all of our i/o word combinations (as in “ping pong”)? Writer and narrator Robert Krulwich explores the phenomenon in this video essay.

Are You Mispronouncing These U.S. City Names, such as Schenectady?

Doctors warned women of developing “bicycle face” from cycling in the 19th century.
Kelly gets rid of some open tabs
Bad proposed laws in New York State
Steven Sanders of Troy, a former member of the state Assembly for 28 years, writes in the Times Union: 
“Legislation being circulated in Albany would criminalize certain acts of protest. Such laws would be way out of bounds…

“According to a state Senate bill (S. 8646), anyone who obstructs public thoroughfares, even a single street or avenue, with an “intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm” could be charged with ‘aggravated disorderly conduct’ and jailed for up to a year. Under an Assembly proposal (A. 8951), persons engaged in similar conduct could be indicted as “domestic terrorists,”  a Class D felony that could be punishable by up to seven years behind bars. Those measures would surely intimidate individuals from exercising their First Amendment rights or participating in time-honored civil disobedience or protests. Criminalizing such actions would be a serious suppression of political speech.

“Under another measure before the Assembly (A. 8334), a person who disrupts a public meeting by being unruly or not obeying the rules set forth by the moderator could end up charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which could bring up to one year in jail. This kind of protest conduct is common, albeit bothersome. But who may or may not be arrested for such behavior is a totally subjective decision. Giving such wide discretion to police officials will inevitably lead to selective enforcement.”

Pop culture

“It’s a Silent Fire”: Decaying Digital Movie and TV Show Files Are a Hollywood Crisis. Industry pros sweat the possibility that many digital files will eventually become unusable — an archival tragedy reminiscent of the celluloid era.

Oscars’ Best Casting Award: Which Movies Would’ve Won Over 96 Years of Academy History?

M. Emmet Walsh, Actor in ‘Blood Simple,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘The Jerk,’ ‘Slap Shot,’ ‘Brubaker’ and ‘Critters’ Dies at 88

Mark Evanier celebrated Unsold Pilots Week March 10-16, including these television one-offs: Stick Around (1977) with Andy Kaufman as a robot; Carol Channing Show (1966); Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe (1959) with Kurt Kasznar as Nero Wolfe and William Shatner as his sidekick, Archie Goodwin; Operation Greasepaint (1968) created by the comedy team of Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, it starred the comedy team of Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber;  Scared Stiff (1971), written and produced by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson much in the vein of an old Abbott and Costello movie, starring Bob Denver and Warren Berlinger;  Dick Tracy (1967) by most of the folks who brought you the Batman TV, starring Ray MacDonnell; and Bozo the Clown (1954) with Gil Lamb

William Shatner on His Biggest ‘Star Trek’ Regret – and Why He Cried With Bezos

2024 ToC Champion Yogesh Raut | Inside Jeopardy!
Greg Hatcher: ‘And Friday’s Contestants Are …’
Up in the sky … it’s a restored Superman!

Now I Know: Good Mousekeeping and The Blind Man and the Armless Man Who Planted 10,000 Trees and The Town Where It’s Fun to Be a Grouch and The World’s Oldest Kindergartener and The Endless “Africa” in Africa and The Problem with Customer Support Chatbots [I DO so hate them]


Kamasi Washington – Prologue

Peter Sprague Plays We Love The Drums featuring Duncan Moore

Favorite Songs By Favorite Artists: Guadalcanal Diary and Earth, Wind, & Fire

Polovtsian Dances by Alexander Borodin from his opera Prince Igor 

Coverville 1480: Eric Carmen Tribute and Sly and the Family Stone Cover Story and 1481: Tributes for Steve Harley (and Cockney Rebel) and Karl Wallinger (and World Party)

Bully – Atom Bomb

Hoagy Carmichael sings the Yabba Dabba Doo Song on The Flintstones

Your Forgiveness – Paul Simon (LIVE on The Late Show)

“Life Is Incredible” – Stephen Colbert’s FULL EXTENDED interview with Paul Simon

The Father Of All Music — Why Not Listening To Bach Is A Mistake


Starting on St. Patrick’s Day, I received the same spam comment from several sources. But they had one feature in common: the names were related to vaping, such as best mouth to lung vape and brit beast sub-ohm tank.

“Hi, It has come to our attention that you are using our client’s photographs on your site without a valid licence. We have already posted out all supporting documents to the address of your office. Please confirm once you have received them. In the meantime, we would like to invite you to settle this dispute by making the below payment of £500. Visual Rights Group Ltd, KBC Bank London, IBAN: GB39 KRED 1654 8703, 1135 11, Account Number: 03113511, Sort Code: 16-54-87 Once you have made the payment, please email us with your payment reference number. Please note that a failure to settle at this stage will only accrue greater costs once the matter is referred to court. I thank you for your cooperation and look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Visual Rights Group Ltd, Company No. 11747843, Polhill Business Centre, London Road, Polhill, TN14 7AA, Registered Address: 42-44 Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 1JJ”

Interestingly, the photos included ones I’ve taken myself, pics from federal government sites, the promo stuff from movies, and even the duck I’ve been using for nearly 19 years.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: 60 Years Later

State Of Black America

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: 60 Years Later is the most recent iteration of the State Of Black America report, which the National Urban League regularly publishes.  Reports from 2011 are available online.

“Since its first appearance in 1976 under the stewardship of the late Mr. Vernon E. Jordan Jr., the organization’s fifth president, the State of Black America® remains one of the most highly-anticipated benchmarks and
sources for thought leadership around racial equality in America. The report explores the inequities across America’s economics, employment, education, health, housing, criminal justice, and civic participation systems through research and the words of our contributors.”

The headline from the CBS Mornings interview with Marc H. Morial, NUL president and CEO, is embodied in the graphic Black–White Equality Index Broken Down by Category. “The 2024 Equality Index of Black America stands at 75.7%, an improvement of 1.8 percentage points from the 2022 index of 73.9%.” By their matrix, this is the discrepancy that Black Americans experience compared to White Americans. 

Some areas are more encouraging than others. The score for Civic Engagement, 10% of the overall grade is 95.6%. Conversely, Social Justice, another 10% of the grade, is only 55.7%. 


This year’s report includes:  The National Urban League Evaluates the Biden Administration’s Performance Three Years In. For people struggling to cite Joe’s accomplishments, this is a source. It notes The American Rescue Plan, The Inflation Reduction Act, The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and The CHIPS and Science Act. “The Minority Business Development Agency became a statutory agency for the first time, a 30-year goal of the National Urban League.” On the other hand, The Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act have yet to be passed in Congress.

I imagine the document will be considered partisan since Biden is listed as a contributor. Read his essay, My Vision for the Future: A Democracy with Dignity

His Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, wrote a piece for the 2023 report, Energy Justice for All: Our Collective Imperative. The outgoing HUD secretary Marcia Fudge wrote Ensuring Social and Economic Justice on Behalf of Communities of Color in 2021.

This topic interests me, and I imagine I’ll be checking it out annually. 

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