Lydster: Calling me by my name

Some of her friends are not happy

roger-rabbitMy daughter and I were at church in December. Someone, a person around her age, I think, heard her calling me by my name. They said to me, “Did she just call you Roger?” And I acknowledged that she had. Moreover, she’s been doing it for so long, I can’t remember exactly when she started.

I can tell you HOW it began, though. She had gone into the attic. The doorknob came off in her hand, and she could not get out. She reportedly pounded on the door and called me several times, “Dad” or “Daddy”. Finally, she yelled, “ROGER!” That I heard. And she’s been calling me that ever since, probably close to four years. I don’t prefer it, but it’s become just what she does.

A few months later, she started calling her mother by HER first name. My wife is far less than happy about this than I am, and my daughter knows it. Every once in a while, the daughter will appease her mother by calling her “mom.” In fact, on the Christmas packages my daughter gave to my wife this past year, she indicated the recipient as Mom or Mommy.

My daughter has actually taken grief from her friends for addressing her mother and me in this fashion. One chum said that if they called THEIR mothers or fathers by their first names, the parents would kill them. Having met the parents, this may, or may not, be literally true.

She’s got my number

Not that she NEVER calls me by a title, but it’s usually tinged with a bit of sarcasm. “I’m going out now… FATHER!” Did I mention she’s a teenager who we get along with? Well, usually.

I guess I’m just glad that she calls me at all. When she’s out, and occasionally when she’s in her bedroom, she usually Instant Messages me on Facebook, rather than texting me. This is undoubtedly a remnant of the time when texting or calling me would have been foolish because my phone would usually be turned off. This was back last year before I finally got a decent cellphone.

So it’s NOT allergies?


This spring has been terrible for my nose and throat. I assumed the cause. But it’s NOT allergies?

I would have coughing jags. One at church on May 8 was so severe that I had to leave the choir loft, lest I hack through the sermon. I seemed OK enough the following Wednesday to ride my bike a few days later to a memorial service for a choir member, then onto my Dad’s group at church. But by the time I rode home, I couldn’t get enough air. This wasn’t the not-fit-enough response, but the my-lungs-feel-awful scenario.

The next morning, I had another coughing event WHILE I was taking my blood pressure. That 168 systolic reading WAS an aberration. Later, I went to my allergist. To test whether the allergy shots I took for about five years, but hadn’t taken in for just as long, I had to stop taking Zyrtec for three days. So I was pretty miserable when I once again became a human pincushion.

It’s all in my nose

But surprise! I have rhinitis, which “is moderate to severe and not well controlled.” But I have “no evidence of remaining sensitivity to tree or grass pollens based upon negative skin tests to these allergens.” I AM still allergic to ragweed, but that’s a late summer thing. “A second course of immunotherapy is not recommended.” So I’m still using nasal sprays in the morning and evening.

Then am I ill? I went to the local urgent care place as a walk-in the following Saturday. The hour-long wait turned out to be 210 minutes. Did I want a COVID test? Sure, why not? And just as the rapid tests have shown, I still don’t have it.

It’s a strange thing having symptoms that COULD be COVID. Almost any bodily reaction COULD be COVID. And with the recent spread into the Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest, I suppose I need to continue mask indoors. So far, so good.


Oh, and it’s not monkeypox, people. Some people I know IRL are fretting, “First COVID, now this.” Not yet Not yet.  Another person I know IRL believes that it’s a WHO plot to inject us again.

Doctrine of Discovery: papal bull

European Christian governments could lay title to non-European territory


The Anti-Racism Task Force at my church has been holding a series of online discussions. One involved the Doctrine of Discovery. I was vaguely aware of it. From the material:

The Doctrine “originally came from Papal bulls issued in the 1100s by popes, providing permission for Christian explorers to take land from non-believers and do with those people whatever they wanted. (e.g.Crusades, slavery, etc.)”

Daniel N. Paul created a First Nations history, worth reading in its entirety. He starts with a quote from Thomas Aquinas’ rationalization. “On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer… after [a couple of tries] that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death.”

The Gilder Lehrman website describes in detail “The Papal Bull ‘Inter Caetera,’ issued by Pope Alexander VI on May 4, 1493… [It] played a central role in the Spanish conquest of the New World.” This follows a similar series of bulls by Pope Nicolas V a few decades earlier justifying the Portuguese slave trade.

The American version

The Wikipedia entry, also useful, notes: The doctrine… is a “concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, most notably Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Chief Justice John Marshall explained and applied the way that colonial powers laid claim to lands belonging to foreign sovereign nations during the Age of Discovery. Under it, European Christian governments could lay title to non-European territory on the basis that the colonisers travelled and ‘discovered’ said territory.”

Look at the whole thing, which helps to explain the Monroe Doctrine and most especially Manifest Destiny. A legal debate found the Native Americans “to be in violation of international law through their resistance to Spanish exploration and missionary activities. By resisting Spanish incursions, Indians were, according to Vitoria, provoking war with the Spanish invaders, thus justifying Spanish conquest of Indian lands.”

I also highly recommend the links at the Upstander Project.

In a quick search, you’ll find a number of churches, governments, and other organizations repudiating the idea of the Doctrine of Discovery. These bodies recognize that the philosophy is not well known, and difficult to understand. But they recognize they’ve been advantaged, and that it still has an impact on modern-day dealings.

The Unitarians lowlight one of their own, Joseph Story. He was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court at the time of the Johnson v. M’Intosh decision. The United Church of Christ addresses “Why it still Matters Today.” A group of Anabaptists noted: “Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery can seem overwhelming for a lot of people. Here you can find a few foundational components to help break it down.”

This is a big topic, far beyond what I can fairly address here. But I believe it is worth your while to investigate.

Favorite one-season television shows

East Side, West Side

Thank goodness for Greg Burgas. He asked about our favorite one-season television shows. The trick is that some of these shows I haven’t seen since they aired decades ago, so my memories are largely about how I felt seeing the shows rather than the programs themselves.

I’m going to list them in chronological order, with their IMBD ratings.

Grindl 8.1
Sep 15 1963-Sep 13 1964 NBC Sun 8:30-9 pm
“Grindl [Imogene Coca] is an employee of Foster Temporary Service, and her boss Anson Foster [James Millhollin, a very recognizable character actor] accepts a variety of jobs for his employees. Grindl works at everything from babysitting to a theater ticket taker, but typically finds a unique way to accomplish her task.”
I recall this was very funny. Coca was on Your Show Of Shows in the 1950s with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, and Howard Morris. There were a bunch of short-lived programs between Disney and Bonanza that didn’t last very long.

Ahead of its time

East Side, West Side 8.8
Sep 23 1963-Sep 14 1964. CBS Mon 10-11 pm
“George C. Scott plays a dedicated, idealistic yet practical, compassionate social worker trying to solve the problems of his clients in the fascinating mix of cultures that makes up New York City.” Cicely Tyson played the office secretary Jane Foster, the rare non-comedic, non-music role by a black person. The show was probably too downbeat to last. What was I doing up that late on a school night when I was ten? It won an Emmy for best director, and six nominations, including Best Drama and Best Actor in a Drama.

He and She 8.2
Sep 6, 1967-Sep 1968 CBS Wed 9:30-10 pm
“Dick (Richard Benjamin) and Paula (Paula Prentiss) Hollister are a witty, sophisticated couple living in New York City. Dick is a comic-book artist who has become well-known for creating a superhero called Jetman, which has been turned into a TV show starring egocentric actor Oscar North (Jack Cassidy).”
It reminded me of The Dick Van Dyke Show, which had left the air a year earlier. The couple was married in real life. Reruns of the show aired on CBS in the summer of 1970.

“I am not a number.”

The Prisoner 8.5
Jun 1, 1968-Sep 1968 CBS Sat 7:30-8:30 pm
“After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.”
The show aired in the UK in 1967. I don’t know if I watched it in ’68, or when CBS reran it on Thursdays in the summer of ’69. But I knew ABOUT it well before I saw it.

My World and Welcome To It 8.6
Sep 15 1969-Sep 1970 NBC Mon 7:30-8 pm
“John Monroe (William Windom) observes and comments on life, to the bemusement of his sensible wife Ellen (Joan Hotchkis) and intelligent, questioning daughter Lydia (Lisa Gerritsen). Monroe’s frequent daydreams and fantasies are usually based on material from New Yorker cartoonist James Thurber.”
I thought this was a great show! It won two Emmys, for Outstanding Comedy Series and Best Actor in a Comedy Series. It was rerun on CBS during the summer of 1972.

Five Emmys

The Bold Ones: The Senator 8.2
Sep 13 1970-Aug 22 1971 NBC Sun 10-11 pm
“Hays Stowe [Hal Holbrook] is a new senator who comes to Washington DC with his wife Erin and daughter Norma. He arrives full of optimism that being on the side of justice can help him change things for the better. His chief aide Jordan Boyle is there to assist him.”
This was a rotating series with The New Doctors and The Lawyers. It won five Emmys, including Outstanding Series – Drama, Best Actor in a Drama, plus directing, writing, and film editing. I LOVED Holbrook in this, and pretty much everything thereafter.

Paul Sand in Friends And Lovers 7.7
Sep 14 1974-Jan 4, 1975 CBS Sat 8:30-9 pm
“Shy, unassuming Robert Dreyfus is a Boston-based symphony violinist who is constantly falling in love. It never seems to work out so Robert generally hangs out with his brash brother Charlie (Michael Pataki) and his wife Janice (Penny Marshall).”
Despite airing between All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, its ratings were OK, but not good enough for its prime time slot.

Mel Brooks

When Things Were Rotten 7.3
Sep 10 1975-Dec 24 1975 ABC Wed 8-8:30 pm
“This short-lived comedy in the style of Mel Brooks is set in Sherwood Forest, in which Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and Robin’s band of Merry Men are struggling heroically against their rotten foes, nasty Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.”
It may have been silly, but I liked it. Starring Dick Gautier, Dick Van Patten, and Bernie Kopell.

The Associates 8.0
Sep 23, 1979-Apr 17, 1980 ABC Sun 8:30-9 (Sep-Oct 1979); Th 9:30-10 pm (Mar-Apr 1980)
“The working lives of three neophyte lawyers.” (Martin Short, Alley Mills, and Joe Regalbuto)
The firm was run by the crusty Emerson Marshall (Wilfrid Hyde-White). This show often shows up on these lists of great shows gone too soon, in this case, a mere 13 episodes.

Police Squad! 8.4
Mar 4 1982-Sep 1982 ABC Th various times
“Sight gags and non-sequiturs dominate this spoof of police dramas. The six episodes formed the basis for the very successful ‘Naked Gun’ film franchise.”
I recall laughing uncontrollably. It was nominated for two Emmys, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. CBS reran the series in the summer of 1991.

The nineties

My So-Called Life 8.4
Aug 25, 1994-Jan 26, 1995 ABC Thu 8-9 pm
“A 15-year-old girl (Claire Danes) and her trials and tribulations of being a teenager and dealing with friends, guys, parents, and school.”
On Greg’s list. A very moving program. It was nominated for four Emmys, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, plus directing, writing, and the theme song.

Freaks And Geeks 8.8
Sep 25 1999-Nov 1999 NBC Sat 8-9 pm; Jan 2000-March 25, 2000 Mon 8-9 pm
“A high school mathlete (Linda Cardellini) starts hanging out with a group of burnouts while her younger brother (John Francis Daley) navigates his freshman year.”
I related HEAVILY to this show, which is on Greg’s list. It won an Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, and it was twice nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

If I had to pick a handful, it’d be:
5. Police Squad! 4. My World And Welcome To It 3. Freaks and Geeks 2. East Side, West Side 1. The Bold Ones: The Senator.

A helpful aid in this post was the ninth edition (2007) of The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh.

Fewer than 5000 questions

Life On Mars

Sunday Stealing links to a site with thousands of questions. From this are culled fewer than 5000.

Who do you take for granted?

At some level, maybe everyone who has died who I expected to be around a lot longer, from my parents to my friend Norm Nissen. Put differently, I don’t take ANYONE for granted.

Short, knee, or ankle skirts?

Haven’t worn skirts in years, but if I did, surely ankle.

Do you wear a hat?

Always. Hat, cap, or in lieu of those, an umbrella to use as a parasol. I’m really susceptible to the sun on my pate; I have a rational fear of skin cancer.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

Popeye, I suppose. He got me to eat spinach. More than that, he had a pretty long fuse. But at some point. “That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more.” I think there’s a bit of me in that.

Does break dancing impress you?

Yes, but I don’t want to do it and have never tried.

Are you a miracle?

Sure, why not? But aren’t we all? Or at least most of us.

Have you ever eaten tofu?

Yes. I think that people processing it have gotten better at it because I used to hate it.

Does the moon have an effect on your mood?

Not so as I [howls at the big thing in the night sky] have noticed.

Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree?

That’s just silly. If nothing else, it has gotten a ton of people to read enthusiastically.

What are you doing next Wednesday?

Actually, going to my Dad’s group at church.

Elvis won’t leave the building

Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive?

Elvis fulfilled some need for something mythic. I mean, he just COULDN’T die that young, and in such a pedestrian manner, so he’s been willed back to life.

Are your hands cold?

No, but my wife’s hands often are.

Have you ever given blood?

Only about 174 times, as I noted here. There was a stretch of about two decades when I was giving at least five times a year. I give less frequently now because scar tissue has developed on both arms in the locations from which they had traditionally drawn.

What SCI-fi books do you read?

I’ve tried. Asimov, LeGuin, Herbert. I think the only science fiction book I ever finished that wasn’t a children’s book was Stardancer by Kelly Sedinger. Unless you count 11/22/63 by Stephen King. But I did read short story sci-fi when I was younger. And I read comic book adaptations and watch television and movies.

One TV show that oddly came to mind recently was called Life On Mars. It was a 2008 US drama that was based on a 2006 UK series. Apparently, the British version was better, but I’ve never seen it. “A present-day car accident mysteriously sends a detective back to the 1970s.” It starred Jason O’Mara, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, and Harvey Keitel, but only lasted a season.

Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity?

No, but my wife did.

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