January rambling #2: JEOPARDY!, and recess

‘I feel like a dime among nickels.’

Abe Vigoda.Spidey

I received one of those recorded scam IRS phone calls this month, threatening to put me in jail. Mine came from the Syracuse, NY area from a known scam phone number.

2015 Was Hottest Year in Recorded History.

No boots on the ground… What does it mean?

Abortion Is as Old as Pregnancy: 4,000 Years of Reproductive Rights History.

No relation: The Green brothers explain January 1 and Oregon “militia”, the latter before the recent arrests.

Fiscal Woes Drowning Clearwater: Iconic Festival May be Scrapped.

I saw this moving piece (90 seconds) on CBS Sunday Morning: The Man and the Dog.

The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues. Conversely, Recess four times a day is good for learning.

Now I Know: Behold the Power of Cheese and One of These Things Just Isn’t the Same (about twins).

WHATEVER happened to the laptop computer? (1985).

Rejection: A Wilderness Guide for Writers (Evanier) and Jaquandor.

Sharp Little Pencil: Bright Brit (For Alan Rickman).

Frank S. Robinson: Joe Krausman, Monkeyshines, and heightism. Joe writes on Facebook: “Carlos Rommulo, once president of the General Assembly of the UN, was very short. He went to Texas, and when asked how do you feel being short among so many tall men, he said, ‘I feel like a dime among nickels.'”

Watch Bill Nye Weigh In on ‘Star Wars’ vs. ‘Star Trek’ Debate.

Yankees without number (1.9999…).

Dustbury’s Six Degrees of Separation.

Tweets from Gettysburg.

The strange life of Q-tips, the most bizarre thing people buy.

Don’t believe that splashy finding that 10 percent of college graduates think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court.

A Venezuelan beetle named for SUNY chancellor.

Celebrity anagram illustrations from illustrator Steve Rampton and Decluttr.com.

RIP, Abe Vigoda

Mark Evanier, and Abe Vigoda’s Dead (Premortem Mix).

The Godfather – Tessio is taken away to be killed.

The graphic above is from here.


3-day winning streak on ‘Jeopardy’. Not only is Amelia Hershberger from Albany, NY, reason enough to root for her, she attended Greenville Central School (as did my wife), she graduated from SUNY Albany (as did both my wife and I, albeit us in grad school), and she was a political science major (as was I).

Final ‘Jeopardy!’ clue stumps all 3 contestants, who all bet everything. The two people tied for first bet rationally; the woman in a distant 3rd could have bet nothing, or $5,999, or anything in between, and won. (Some really uninformed comments here.) BTW, would you have gotten the Final? I did, but I am of a certain age.

This has passed, but ‘Jeopardy!’ hopefuls can try out online features quotes yours truly.


I was looking through my draft posts. From 2008, and the original source is lost to me:

And to that end: IllumiBowl is a night light for your toilet.


Coverville 1109: A Tribute to David Bowie. Plus David Bowie on Extras, and SamuraiFrog has some Bowie links; he’s right re: Kayne.

Renaissance Geek: Music for MLK Day.

Chuck Miller: Shane Howard and Lawrence Welk.

Of course, you can do mashups of classical music.

Muppets: She Loves You.

I linked to this before, as part of the Kennedy Center Honors, but it’s Aretha, FCOL.

HuffPo: A Shade of Jade: Interview With Rebecca Jade. That would be niece #1.

In Defense of the Eagles, and Not Being a Jerk About Recently Deceased Musicians.

Old music is outselling new music for the first time in history.

Google alerts (me)

Shooting Parrots: Sunday round-up and The Art of a Scammer.

Chuck Miller: Where rejection is growth.

Google alerts (not me)

Top teams win as Hucknall Wednesday Pool League heads for a tight finish. “Station B’s winners in their 8-0 romp at home to Chequers were George Roy, David Butler, Jason Smith, Danny Butler, Roger Green and PJ Singh on singles and the pairings of Andrea and Roger Green and Danny Butler and Jason Smith.”

Regional journalist turned TV wrestler dies aged 76. “Tributes have been paid to Roger Green…, who started out at the Portsmouth Evening News before working simultaneously Fleet Street and as a grappler in the ring.”

In the “Who moved my cheese?” department

What did we do on Monday from 3:52 p.m. to 5:48 p.m.? We, that is to say I, stood in line so that my wife and I could renew our passports…

It’s my wife’s birthday today – happy birthday, Carol! – and we have been chuckling lately over something that started off as annoying.

She’s a deacon in our church. A few weeks ago, she substituted for another deacon in preparing a snack for after the service. She had bought, with her own money, a block of cheese, had cut it up, put it on a plastic plate, covered it up with a plastic wrap, and brought it to church at 9:30 a.m., at which point she went to Bible study.

At 10:30, she went to transfer said cheese onto a nicer plate, but she could not find the cheese. She looked around for a time, finally finding the plate of cheese in the garbage. There were other snacks, but she was understandably annoyed, actually, less about the waste of money and more about the waste of time preparing said cheese, then looking for it.

There is a policy – these are Presbyterians, so naturally, there’s a policy – that food in the refrigerator need be labeled and dated, but Carol never thought that the food she brought could be dumped in an hour. (By contrast, when they cleaned out the refrigerators at my workplace on July 9, we got a week’s e-mail notice, with large notices also on the fridges.)

Carol tells the deacon for whom she substituted about the situation, so she could be alerted when next that deacon served snacks the following week. Then the fun began, with that deacon forwarding Carol’s note, to Carol’s chagrin, to all the other deacons and the pastors. Suddenly, there was a flurry of e-mails going back and forth, some citing policy, others complaining about the waste of food, still others suggesting it be discussed at a committee meeting, and/or that better signs be made. A huge cause celebre.

The custodian had noted that someone else had been eating the cheese that morning, and was possibly the one who rewrapped it poorly. The member of the committee who tossed the cheese had thrown out the cheese because she was afraid it had been there too long; it wasn’t wrapped well, probably by the snacker, but then, to Carol’s embarrassment, she gave her money, to compensate for her loss.

I, on the other hand, thought it was all terribly funny, and labeled it The “Who moved my cheese?” incident. Then it felt more like absurdist theater, and we laughed about it regularly.

Quite coincidentally, there is a unit in my building at work that was downsizing, and they were getting rid of some books. I picked up a few business books for our work library, including the Spencer Johnson book, “Who Moved My Cheese?” I mean, I just HAD to.
So what did we do on Monday from 3:52 p.m. to 5:48 p.m.? We, that is to say, I, stood in line so that my wife and I could renew our passports and so that our daughter could get her first one. There were two families ahead of ours. And we hit the line just minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline. The rush was based on a TV story we heard that the rates were going up on Tuesday.

The downside of waiting is that I did not bring any reading material. The upside is that, by the time we actually got to the front, I could cite, almost verbatim, the policies put forth by our fine postal employee. “The passports will take four to six weeks. It has been taking four weeks, but because of the recent influx, it might take a little longer.”

We hadn’t planned on waiting until almost literally the last minute. We were near the post office earlier in the day, but the daughter was having a stomachache. Later, we got an unexpected 71-minute phone call from an old friend, then I went bike riding with the daughter while the wife napped. (We’d gotten up very early to take a relative from Oneonta to the Albany airport that morning.)

In the end, we saved nearly $100, and I got a lesson in passport policy.
It’s also Linda Ronstadt’s birthday, so maybe she should sing with Muppets.


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