It was the 4th of August

consult your tax advisor

keysAll of these events took place on the 4th of August. Or maybe one was on the 3rd. I’m retired, so the days blur…

I went to my dentists’ new office, inconveniently (for me) located in Loudonville, which is a suburb of Albany. The previous office was in downtown Albany, which required me to walk one block, take the #10 Western Avenue bus, then walk another block. Getting to the new place involved a bike ride, a bus ride (#125) to avoid the I-90 interchange, then a ride on Osborne Road, which is uphill almost all the way.

Alternatively, one could take the bus to frickin’ Corporate Woods (#737), but it runs at rush hour, but sparsely during the day.

I find the place – I THINK it’s the place, as the signage is unclear – but there’s the familiar receptionist. My dental hygenist took pictures of my teeth, which showed deterioration from the films taken 18 months ago. My former dentist was going to take some ameliorating actions in March or April of 2020, but then COVID. Then he retired. Bottom line, I’m blaming my cavity on the pandemic.

Klyuch is “key” in Russian

My daughter found a pair of keys. A tag from a fitness center less than a mile away was attached to the ring. So I rode my bike over to return them.

At the light, just before my destination, I heard a bunch of motorcycles, colorful, relatively lightweight ones. Four of them to my left in the two lanes, waiting, as I was, for the light.No big deal. But then another rider passed me on the right, and a compatriot rode in front of me then stopped, as the light changed.

I’m more puzzled than nervous. Then another rider flicked their hand, which was apparently a signal to let me pass. Hmm. Another dozen or more rode by me, many of them doing wheelies.

I return the keys to the center, which the guy at the desk, appreciated, and I went home. Should I have been nervous about the bikers? Did I get a pass because I’m an old black man? I dunno.

For the love of money

I’m rich, I tell you, rich! I received this email:

Google Plus Profile Litigation has sent you $2.15 USD.

Note from Google Plus Profile Litigation:

“This is your settlement payment as a Class Member in the Google Plus Profile Litigation, held in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. This settlement payment has been calculated in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Order Granting Final Approval of Class Settlement, Awarding Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Awards; and Entering Final Judgment which are located on the settlement website

“If you have questions regarding this payment, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at If your questions are regarding the tax treatment of this distribution, please consult your tax advisor. We cannot provide individual tax advice regarding this distribution.”

Oh, geez. It hadn’t occurred to me the tax implications of this payment, which I received via PayPal. I’d better contact my accountant right away, and sock some money into an escrow account.

“Googlified” Brains on the Internet

“If we don’t know the answer to something, our first thought is likely to be ‘Google.'”

GooglifiedThere was a recent article in Median recently entitled “This Is Your Brain on the Internet, by Erman Misirlisoy, PhD. The subtitle: “We know where to find information — we just can’t remember it anymore.” I thought the primary points were self-evidently true.

“Our internet usage has ‘Googlified’ our brain, making us more dependent on knowing where to access facts and less able to remember the facts themselves.” That’s the key sentence for me.

“The internet acts as a great aid, but our faith and reliance on it can make us overconfident in our own abilities.” I think this is why I get cranky when people say, “I’ll just Google it.” People seem to use it, not just as a helper for thinking, but in lieu of thinking.

“The internet has changed the way that our brains work. Humans have always been good at learning and adapting to new environments. So given the internet’s dramatic impact on life in the developed world, it is no surprise that we have adjusted our thinking and behavior…”

How do you know the information is incorrect if you don’t already have general knowledge already? I recently caught an error on a podcast I listen to. The announcer said Rockin’ Robin was a Jackson 5 song when I knew it was a Michael Jackson song. It was also a cover of a 1958 hit by Bobby Day. A small thing, sure, but if one were to Google that uncorrected info, the misinformation spreads.

“Researchers have used this principle to test whether difficult trivia questions automatically activate internet-related concepts in our brain. If we don’t know the answer to something, our first thought is likely to be ‘Google.’ When study participants took part in a behavioral task immediately following difficult trivia questions, their performance in that task worsened when words like ‘Google’ appeared on a screen, distracting them…”

This is why, I suppose, I am old-fashioned enough to be impressed when people I know IRL show that they can extract information sans electronic aids. Like Chuck’s team winning a national trivia competition. Or Darrin placing second in the inaugural Times Union Crossword Championship.

October rambling #2: Threat of Tribalism

UncleSamLadyLiberty.PinterestClimate change: The Media is Failing Us and Billionaires Are the Leading Cause

Triumph of the strongman has worrying echoes of the Thirties

Why America Didn’t See Fascism Coming

More Americans Supported Hitler Than You May Think

John Oliver Takes Down Saudi Dictatorship, In Detail

The Rule of the Uber-Rich Means Tyranny or Revolution

This Is What Living on Minimum Wage Looks Like

This is why the Founders banned emoluments

Here’s why he threatened to pull out of a 144-year-old postal treaty

‘It Doesn’t Matter What He Says We’ll Support It’: His Fans Profess Cult-Like Love

Vlogbrothers: The Rigged Election

Republican Voter Suppression Efforts Are Targeting Minorities, Journalist Says (nothing new)

Weekly Sift: 12 Things to Remember Before You Vote and Souls in Darkness

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: State Attorneys General (at 10:00)

Kavanaugh proves one of the nine justices is not like the others

Pregnancy discrimination’s toll: Women in strenuous jobs miscarried after employers denied requests for light duty

The Threat of Tribalism – The Constitution once united a diverse country under a banner of ideas, but partisanship has turned Americans against one another—and against the principles enshrined in our founding document

Melania, we have a Be Best emergency

Guy’s $650 World Series Ticket Stolen by Scammer Through Instagram Photo

How a Ragtag Group of Oregon Locals Took on the Biggest Chemical Companies in the World — and Won

The Most Googled Medical Symptoms by State

James Karen, R.I.P.

Eugene Peterson, author of ‘The Message’ and pastor to other pastors, dies at age 85

A nice remembrance of Neil Simon that was assembled upon his recent passing

Robert S Hoffman The big chill has broken our circle

The heart-busting story of Igor Vovkovinskiy, one of the tallest men in the world

Spectrum customer service

Julia Louis-Dreyfus receives Mark Twain Prize

Speeding up sitcoms

Jimmie Walker on the “Good Times” cast –

Back Machine stops in 1969

intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

Nik Durga’s new blog, My Impression Now. “I’m coming back to blogging because it trains me to write more than a few pithy sentences”

A sin, Arthur! Blogging about blogging

More meta: Internet Wading: A bit of it

PostSecret Ted Talk

SEEN: Albany Public Library Foundation’s Literary Legends Gala 2018

Now I Know: The “Faithful Employee” Award Which Had the Opposite Effect and Until Death Does the Hangman Part and The Battle over The Collect Call and Why We Park on Driveways and Drive on Parkways and The Cell Phone Contract Killer

Dancing robot dog is too creepy


A Scary Time

‘Swamp Rock’ Master Tony Joe White Has Died At 75; Polk Salad Annie

Can’t Run But – Paul Simon, Saturday Night Live, 13 Oct 2018

Steel Here- Tisha Campbell-Martin (powerful backstory)

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – the Beatles (Acoustic Version, Take 2)

English singer Kathy Kirby (1938-2011)

Hard Times Come Again No More – Mavis Staples

I Need To Be Loved – Keiko Togi, Carpenters

POP Chamber String Orchestra

Poke at The Pope – Donovan

I’ll Follow the Sun – The MonaLisa Twins

Coverville 1237: The Radiohead Cover Story IV and Coverville 1238: The Duran Duran Cover Story IV

The Wheels on the Bus – Mad Donna, and Leo Moracchiol

The oddly controversial cover: T Ko Ko Korina -Ahad Raza Mir & Momina Mustehsan

K-Chuck Radio: Seamless segues

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys – Sabrina Lentini’s 10 Worst #1 Songs on the Billboard Hot 100; I own four of them

Music as Medicine

The Copyright of Spring

The Silent Parade against lynching in America

‘America has lynched without trial 2,867 Negroes in 31 years and not a single murderer has suffered.

“10,000 black men, women, and children wordlessly paraded down NYC’s Fifth Avenue in 1917. Their tactic was silence, but their message resounded: anti-black violence is unjust and un-American.”

From Bowery Boys History

“The Silent Parade of July 28, 1917, was unlike anything ever seen in New York City. Today it is considered New York’s (and most likely America’s) first African-American civil rights march…

“This extraordinary procession was organized by the burgeoning National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a group of concerned black and white activists and intellectuals which had formed less than a decade earlier in New York.

“The march was organized in direct response to a horrible plague of violence against black Americans in the 1910s, culminating in the East St. Louis Riots, a massacre involving white mobs storming black neighborhoods in sheer racial animus. Two sets of riots in May and July 1917 left almost 200 people dead. Rioters burned black neighborhoods, cutting off water hoses and watched as families fled the burning buildings — to be picked off by gunmen.”

Google is financially supporting, and highlighting on its page, the Equal Justice Initiative’s Lynching in America presentation, which you should spend time listening to.


“‘The children will lead the parade followed by the Women in white, while the Men will bring up the rear. The laborer, the professional man – all classes of the Race – will march on foot to the beating of muffled drums…’

“The flyer also contained a list of mottos that were to be used on posters during the Silent Parade. Among them:

“‘Make America safe for Democracy.’
‘Thou shalt not kill.’
‘America has lynched without trial 2,867 Negroes in 31 years and not a single murderer has suffered.’
‘200,000 Black men fought for your liberty in the Civil War.’
‘The first blood for American Independence was shed by a Negro- Crispus Attucks.”
‘12,000 of us fought with Jackson at New Orleans.'”

Knowing stuff

Janis Joplin was the second artist to have a posthumous #1 single on the US Billboard charts.

I tell these, not out of boastfulness, but to show how my mind works. It seems to like knowing stuff.

Baseball and WWII

Someone posted this picture on Facebook, with the caption “Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Dom DiMaggio, 1942.” A response: “Joe was not with the Yankees in 1942. He was wearing Uncle Sam’s uniform.”

I didn’t think the “correction” was right, but I didn’t know why. Maybe I read an old bio. So I checked with Baseball Reference and confirmed it: Joe DiMaggio played for the New York Yankees in 1942, and the warrior Yanks in 1943-1945. The same was true, BTW, of the two Boston Red Sox pictured, Williams and Dom DiMaggio.


At the Olin family reunion last Sunday, someone asked their electronic helper how many states in the US are designated as commonwealths. Before the Siri-like device could respond, I said four and named them. An Olin high-fived me. BTW, these are essentially nominal differences, whereas the commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a whole ‘nother issue.

Before Janis

This issue came up a week ago Friday night when The Wife and I went to see A Night with Janis Joplin at the Capital Repertory Theatre in downtown Albany. We ran into a couple from the neighborhood, and like me, they railed at the reliance on Google, noting that it had been an issue professionally.

I asked them a trivia question. Janis Joplin was the second artist to have a posthumous #1 single on the US Billboard charts. Who was the first? (Dustbury: do not answer!)

They had no idea, but as they said, it was FUN to try to guess, not just pull out a device. Was it one of the people from The Day The Music Died? No, much later, but the artist died the same way. They guessed Jim Croce (d. September 20, 1973), but in fact, his posthumous #1 (Time in a Bottle – December 29, 1973) was AFTER Janis.

I finally indicated it was an individual on Stax Records, and while they didn’t know he had died in a plane crash, they eventually got to Otis Redding (d. December 10, 1967) and Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay (March 16, 1968).

Not incidentally, A Night with Janis Joplin was quite fine, although it’s interesting/strange that the performances her “influences” (Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Nina Simone, Odetta, et al, played by Jannie Jones, Danyel Fulton, Nikita Jones, Kimberly Ann Steele) often outshone Kelly McIntyre as Janis, who was nevertheless very good.

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