April rambling: the triumph of zealots

If every episode is a blowout in which two of three contestants are basically never competitive, does that not grow uninteresting over time?

Women and the Resurrection
Women and the Resurrection cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
Read the redacted Mueller report here OR here.

Yes, Obstruction.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mueller Report and Opioids II.

Deconstructed: A Migrant’s Journey and refugees to America brought in $63 billion more in government revenues than they cost in the last 10 years.

As Mr. Parrot pointed out: “Why on earth didn’t we [the UK] follow the Code of Good Practice on Referendums which the UK signed up to in 2006? This advocates a referendum as a two-part process, starting with an advisory vote and proceeding to a detailed proposal, with a second vote by either parliament or the people. They also advise that a vote below 55% in favour should be ignored.” (Brexit passed with 51.9% of the vote.)

When Did Faith & Science Become Enemies? Lessons from a Christian Physicist with Dr. David Larrabee.

Selling the Soul of Franklin Graham.

How Sovereign Citizens Helped Swindle $1 Billion From the Government They Disavow.

Do not mess with Katie Porter. EVER.

“I’ve lived long enough to see the triumph of zealots and absolutists, to watch money swallow politics, to witness the rise of the corporate state. See the party of working and poor people become a sycophant of crony capitalism.

Watch the union of church and state become fashionable again. Witness the coupling of news and entertainment. See everyday people cast overboard as the pirates and predators of Wall Street seized the ship of state. I didn’t drift; I moved left just by standing still.”

  • Bill Moyers, from an interview at The Progressive in 2014.

Why James Holzhauer Is Bad for JEOPARDY! “If every episode is a blowout in which two of three contestants are basically never competitive, does that not grow uninteresting over time?”

The Tragic Story of Bob Fosse’s Second Wife, Joan McCracken.

The #MeToo Blacklist?

What Will Hollywood Do with Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin?

Ken Levine interview with Al Michaels Part 1 and Part 2.

The Exaltation of Anger.

Why do we laugh?

Sesame Street/HBO: Respect is Coming and Respect World.

I like cursive.

We stan: Merriam-Webster just added 640 new words.

Just blog it and 101 Blogging Statistics for 2019.

Waiting for the doctor.

Neil Gaiman on Jack Kirby.

Are X-Men human… or monsters?

Now I Know: The Surströmming Offensive and Why Do Escalators Have Those Brushes Along the Edge? and The Swimming Pool That Was Literally Blacked Out and The Bug in the Plan.

MUSIC

Wayfaring Stranger – Rhiannon Giddens.

My World is Empty Without You/Maneater – Hall and Oates and The Supremes.

Hail Mary, Gentle Woman – Jamie Biller.

Coverville 1258: Cover Stories for Indigo Girls, Dave Edmunds and Dusty Springfield.

The Grande symphonie funebre et triomphale – Hector Berlioz.

O Mio Babbino Caro Darci (Italian Opera) – Darcy Lynne and Petunia.

Triumphal March from Aida – Verdi.

Greg Burgas: The Unsung – the weirder end of the Phil Collins musical spectrum.

K-Chuck Radio: The many branches of Bruce Channel’s one-hit wonder.

Jupiter from The Planets – Gustav Holst – Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Sh-Boom – Sh-Pony.

Guitarist J. Geils Dead at 71.

Top Ten Most Worthless Records, and I own half of them.

November Ramblin’

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about a couple recent podcasts by Arthur at AmeriNZ dealing with the topic, broadly stated: “Are online relationships ‘real’?” I was talking over these podcasts with a couple guys I see on the bus each evening. One suggests that if the relationship generates an action from the other person, then it is a relationship.

Of course, it could be a one-sided relationship. Let’s say you were following Ashton Kutcher on on Twitter and retweeted all of his best lines; unless Ashton reciprocated, it would really be much of a story. But when you are motivated to take some action, and they respond in kind, then certainly, some real human interaction is taking place. I see an article that I believe – because I listen to his podcast, read his blog – that Arthur would interested in for its content. And as often as not, Arthur acknowledges that in some way.

Here’s the odd thing I experienced this fall. There’s a guy in my office. He’s a perfectly nice person. Someone sent out an e-mail asking if we wanted to contribute to a wedding gift. Oh, he’s been engaged? Really? I had no idea. Now this guy sits about 20 feet from my desk, lives (somewhere) in my neighborhood. I say hi to him but I don’t know anything about him, or he much about me, I suspect.

Whereas I know about Scott’s sons, Nigel and new baby Ian, and Greg’s daughters, Norah and Mia; they in turn know a bit about Lydia. I know more about Scott and Greg, and more importantly, interact with them more substantially, than I do the woman who I see on the bus every evening.
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Wednesday, the wife had a follow-up oral surgery. After the ordeal last year, it seems that six of her lower teeth didn’t have enough gum cover for six of her lower teeth. Without gums, the teeth could rot and fall out. So tissue was removed from one part of her mouth to create gum tissue. She’s recovering amazingly well. The in-laws came to our house this year to help Carol and to celebrate Thanksgiving, which was fine.
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I was doing research at work a couple months back, when I came across some New York State law:

EDN – Education
Article 17 – INSTRUCTION IN CERTAIN SUBJECTS
801 – Courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship and in certain historic documents
§ 801. Courses of instruction in patriotism and citizenship and in certain historic documents. 1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and obligation and to foster in the children of the state moral and intellectual qualities which are essential in preparing to meet the obligations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University of the State of New York shall prescribe courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship, and human rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, to be maintained and followed in all the schools of the state. The boards of education and trustees of the several cities and school districts of the state shall require instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over the age of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction.

I did not know that. Surely, this is law that must have been passed long after I attended school – though it seemed we did seem to spend a lot of time on the Irish potato famine. Just found it interesting and can only imagine certain people making political hay over it.
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The bitter tears of Johnny Cash. The untold story of Johnny Cash, protest singer and Native American activist, and his feud with the music industry
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Caring for Your Photographic Collections.
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Hen House Five Plus Two’s In the Mood actually Ray Stevens, the song that first informed me that all music can be done in chicken. The beginning of The Muppets’ Bohemian Rhapsody was a reminder of same.
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Wonderous invention.

ROG

March Rambling

Yesterday, I was walking home from the drugstore carrying a couple bags, including a couple prescriptions plus bottles of ginger ale and cranberry juice for Carol, who had a couple wisdom teeth removed yesterday morning. This guy in his car yells out his window, something “doing with those f*****’ bags?”, looking at me. Then he giggled and drove away. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been a victim of that “yell and drive” before, in Albany, at least twice with a racial overtone. Sure I can ignore it, but I’d lying if I told you it didn’t bother me, more as a reflection of the inanity of human beings, rather than any real damage done to me.

Still, if I weren’t carrying items that slowed me down, I might have tried to catch up with this dude and ask him why he was being such a [end place for the digestive tract for an equine].

In fact, one time when I was a target of yell and drive, I was on my bicycle, and I did go after the car, which caught a traffic light. I got up to the car, pounded my fist on the trunk once, then pulled over to the passenger side, where the yeller was. He got all “hey, man, only kidding, man, it was a joke, man” on me. I said nothing as the car pulled away. That WAS fun, though.
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There is this quite lovely woman I’ve seen on the bus. She is, as they say, “a woman of a certain age”, with gray hair. She had age lines but they looked (really) good on her. A couple days ago, I see her and she’s dyed her hair brown. Oddly, it made her look older, for the gray hairs, her face earned; the brunette ones, not so much.
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High lead levels found in some Albany schools. This is not only somewhat distressing, but also a bit surprising. One of the schools is brand new (opened in January 2007) and is the school Lydia is likely to attend in a couple years.
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There was an excellent story, written by a sixth grader, in the local paper about her peanut allergy. we’re going to make copies so that Lydia and the people around her will have a better idea what Lydia is/will be going through.
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Clutter and mess trump clean and neat: a story after my own desk, er, heart.
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Here’s a useful caffeine reference.
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My old pal David Brickman has one of his photos, “View of Arbor Hill Neighborhood looking North from Lark Street 1998,” which was purchased by the Albany Institute of History and Art last spring, now on exhibit in their “entry gallery,” where works from the vast permanent collection are showcased. If you are within reach, you can go to the Institute and have a look. Or, use the link to see the image on his website.
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My daughter woke up screaming at 4 am yesterday from a nightmare. SHE went back to sleep; I didn’t. Then last night, I stayed up watching basketball (I got 3 out of 4 -Memphis won by 1 – ouch) until 12:30 am. Need caffeine. More tomorrow.

ROG

RM3

More Random Meanderings (or Random Mutterings or Ruminating Madness or Roger’s Minutae):

This is my blogger code: B1 d- t- k+ s– u– f+ i o x- e- l c–
For a translation, go here.
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Someone showed me what you can do with a Windows keyboard. (Besides throw it out the window.) When you press the Windows key (between Ctrl and Alt) and M, it minimizes all the windows you may have opened! Maybe you knew that already, but it’s come in handy for me when I have eight windows open and I can’t see what I’m doing anymore.
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I set up another blog to put articles I think are interesting, but that aren’t mine. Here’s the first post about oil running out, with commentary by my acerbic bud, Daniel W. Van Riper. When the U.S. first went into Iraq, there was a widespread fear that oil may have been a motive. Reading this reminded me of that discussion.
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When I take Lydia for a walk in her carriage, and dog walkers approach, they almost always say that the dog “is friendly” or “doesn’t bite”. Please allow me the privilege of being a little bit wary anyway.
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My friend Claudia writes: “Guess no more what the film of the summer is. LADIES IN LAVENDER with Dame Judith Dench and Maggie Smith was a visual feast of beautiful England, enchanting story, complete with the mastery of Joshua Bell. We just adored every moment of English country side, the crashing ocean, melding personal stories. In other words it is delicious and enjoy every moment of it.” I haven’t seen it, but she generally has very good taste.
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John Rodat has a Myth America columm about Buddhist monks and moving that I related to heavily, and you collector types may as well. If it ain’t there anymore, it’s here.
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I was on the bus home a couple weeks ago when I see a guy get on. He was very striking young man, very fair skin, head shaved, oddly shaped glasses. He was wearing a black T-shirt that read in white letters, “Day of Silence.” I might have thought nothing more about this, except that he had pulled out a cell phone almost immediately after he had gotten on the bus. So, my eyes HAD to follow him to the back of the bus, where he sat, silently, playing some sort of electronic game.
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This is one of those a/v pieces that is funny and scary in equal measure. It appears that the Opus Sunday strip a couple weeks ago was inspired by this concept.
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I shaved my beard on July 4. People seeing me the next couple days often commented, “Oh, you look so much younger!” as though that would prompt me to shave more often. Not a chance. Razor is brutal tool to use on face. I did it once because I was hot. However, even when I’m done shaving, I have a 5 o’clock shadow of Nixonian proportions, and impenetrable stubble on the jaw line. Besides, I’m contrarian enough to wonder why it’s so hot to look “younger”. There’s a mindset, epitomized by those inane Clyde Frazier/Keith Hernandez Just for Men hair coloring ads, that gray is bad. Gray is good; “gray matter” represents the brain, after all.