I may never leave town again

US Mail (not US male)

I seem to be involved in a lot of stuff for a retired guy. I may never leave town again. The period following my trip to Las Vegas was hectic.

Fri, Sept 29:  I had my annual physical., which my wife took me to. My physician’s office has moved thrice in the past few years because St. Peter’s Health Services/Trinity Health has bounced her around to Delmar, then to Slingerland, and now to Rensselaer (all in the metro but in different directions). The last move would take me an hour to get to and well over an hour to get back by bus, which is how I had gotten to her previous locations. 

Taking a term created by another patient, my doctor declared me welderly, a portmanteau of well and elderly.

My wife had booked a trip to a Wyndham timeshare property in western Massachusetts well before I planned my Las Vegas sojourn. I went with her largely because I wouldn’t otherwise see her.

Sat, Sept 30: In the morning, we returned to Albany to attend the funeral of  Dwight Smith, and I sang in the choir. I learn so much at a funeral, even about people I’ve known for years. Then, my wife returned to Massachusetts with a friend to see a play the next day.


Sun, Oct 1: I went to church. When I got home, I waded through too many emails.

Then, I went to Fort Orange Brewing for a trivia contest, a benefit for Empower Ethiopia. We started slowly, but we were in the upper half of the teams by the second round, and in second place, only two points behind the leaders, after the sixth and penultimate round.

The category of the final question was US Mail. In what decade did the price of a first-class stamp reach double digits, i.e., ten cents or more? I distinctly remember a four-cent purple Lincoln stamp when I was nine or ten, so the 1970s seemed reasonable. (It was March 2, 1974. ) The team in first place bet nothing but said the 1960s. We bet 213 of our 220 points, making sure we’d beat the third-place team if they got it right, and they had bet it all, assuming we were also correct. Janna, Annika, Chuck, and I won. Fist pump!

One thing to another

Mon, Oct 2: I went to Labcorp for fasting bloodwork at 10:30 a.m., the earliest slot I could get.

At 2 p.m., I recorded a five-minute video for the upcoming conference of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&BS) about my great-great-grandfather, James Archer. I hope they use it. 

Finally, at 4 p.m., I went to Capital Rep to the Wizard’s Wardrobe Reader’s Theater with my wife. I helped greet the readers and escort them to the “green room,” as it were. At the risk of sounding boastful, I’m pretty good at that.

That evening, the power went off for about five minutes, then three minutes, and finally well over an hour, so I went to bed.

Tues, Oct 3: Finally, the restart of my church’s Tuesday Bible Guys on ZOOM.

Then I had to figure out an introduction of Marina Antropow Cramer, who was doing an author talk at the Albany Public Library about her historically-based fiction books Roads (“When Nazi forces occupy the beautiful coastal city of Yalta, everything changes.”) and Marfa’s River.

Wed, Oct 4: Aside from making pancakes for dinner and watching baseball, I did almost nothing, flipping back and forth between two games.

February rambling: Rock Hall 2023

Empower Ethiopia

Journalistic integrity requires a reckoning with how news media covers the criminal legal system

The People Onscreen Are Fake. The Disinformation Is Real.

Are AI Chatbots in Healthcare Ethical?

How did we get $32 trillion in debt?

Massive Inequality Is a “Concerted Elite Class Project

I was given a house – but it already belonged to a Detroit family

U.S. Employee Engagement Needs a Rebound in 2023

Here is the publisher’s link to the book titled Side by Side in Eternity: The Lives Behind Adjacent American Military Graves. The book is co-authored by J. Eric Smith, my old blogging buddy. It is currently available for pre-order from the publisher and also from all of the significant book-selling platforms.

From the Books: NO NAME IN THE STREET by James Baldwin

What I Think About LeBron Breaking My NBA Scoring Record by

Mike Roach, a SABR report of a baseball player who played in Binghamton more than a century ago.

Charles Kimbrough, Anchor Jim Dial on ‘Murphy Brown,’ Dies at 86#

Nathan Lane reminiscing about a few of the 25 starring roles he’s played on Broadway

From 2005:  Periodical comics face many issues


Now I Know: The Man Who Did Well By Himself and The Radio Station for People Who are Blind and The $35 Mailbox That Cost $33,000 and Ten Thousand Reasons to Read Before Hitting “I Accept”

On Monday, February 6, my wife and I, with a couple who got married six months after we did, were on a Trivia for a Cause team at Fort Orange Brewing in Albany. The cause was Empower Ethiopia. We started slow but ended up in third place, thanks to our teamwork. I was the one who knew there was only one member of the Gilligan’s Island cast, Tina Louise, who was still alive.
Most of the questions were reasonable. But one bugged me. It was about the six ORIGINAL Disney characters on the Hollywood Walk of Fame besides Mickey Mouse? We guessed Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck, which were right, and Goofy, Pluto, and someone else (Daisy Duck?), which were incorrect.
The other answers were  Tinkerbell, Snow White, and Winnie the Pooh.  Tinkerbell? She was in the J.M. Barrie books. Snow White was in the Grimm books, and Pooh was created by A.A. Milne. The good news is that NO team got more than three of the five.
The final question was about the first filmed sporting event in 1894, produced by Thomas Edison. What was the sport? Look here. BTW, NO team got it correct.
Rock Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is again offering a Fans’ Ballot. You can select up to 5 Nominees daily and submit your vote until April 28th.

Yes, they should have nominated your favorite band, and it doesn’t matter. I still vote.

My ballot includes: 1. Warren Zevon- eligible since 1994, yet nominated for the first time in 2023. Other musicians are pulling for the late singer-songwriter, and so am I. He might get in as a songwriter.

2. The Spinners – I’ve had them in my head since I wrote about Thom Bell, and I’m writing about them again this month. Will the 4th time be the charm?

3. Joy Division/New Order -does this synth-pop group have a chance at its first nomination? I doubt it.

4. Willie Nelson. He’ll be 90 in April, he’s sung with half of everyone, and he just got a Grammy.

The fifth slot I’ve bounced among Rage Against The Machine, ” a legitimately game-changing rap-rock group with critical respect, popular endurance, and contemporary relevance,” on their fifth try; and Sheryl Crow, who I’d been playing a lot during her birth month.

Lately, I’ve been voting for Cyndi Lauper, not just for her 1980s output but for creating the music and lyrics for Kinky Boots, for which she won a Tony.

But I could have easily voted for A Tribe Called Quest, Kate Bush, or the late George Michael. I’m not a big White Stripes fan, but I like Jack White, from his soundtrack for Cold Mountain to his work with Loretta Lynn. Missy Elliot and Soundgarden are worthy. I’m just not that familiar with Iron Maiden.

Yet again, I hope they put, in the non-performer category, Estelle Axton, co-founder of STAX Records!


Playing For Change BHM playlist

Spark Catchers – Hannah Kendall

Redemption Song – Sheku Kanneh-Mason and siblings

Coverville 1431: The Barrett Strong Tribute

Night on Mount Triglav – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

K-Chuck Radio: What’s that in the air?

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