February rambling: extrauterine children

Alexei Navalny, RIP

22 Feb 2024

Alabama hospital puts a pause on IVF in the wake of ruling saying frozen embryos are children. Conservative groups have long revered Chief Justice Tom Parker as an architect for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “The majority, in its opinion, cited an 1872 statute that allows parents to sue over the wrongful death of a child and found that ‘unborn children,’ including ‘extrauterine children,’ were included in that.” SMH at the faux Christian “logic.”

‘Unconscionable’ criminal justice bills could fuel soaring incarceration in Louisiana. Reform advocates condemn raft of measures expected to pass under the new far-right governor, Jeff Landry.

Mitch McConnell to Step Down as Senate Minority Leader

Capital One to Acquire Discover, Creating a Consumer Lending Colossus. “The all-stock deal, valued at $35.3 billion, will combine two of the largest credit card companies in the United States.” As a long-time satisfied  Discover cardholder, I am extremely wary.

Ecological Overreach: Ignorance, Hubris, and Stupidity

To purchase The Black Woods: Pursuing Racial Justice on the Adirondack Frontier by Amy Godine at Cornell Press, input discount promo code 09FLYER at check out for 30% off the list price.

A Big Week in the Trump Trials; He Says Indictments and His Mug Shot Are Helping Him With Black Voters

Parent’s Guide to Fentanyl

Sleeping Pills & Addiction

The myth of men’s full-time employment

I’m a Digital Nomad. It’s Not as Fun As It Looks. Remote workers find that the challenges of globetrotting with a laptop can sometimes outweigh the benefits.

One Swedish zoo, seven escaped chimpanzees

Library staff reunites cat family

Bicentennial Minutes

Richard Lewis, “Neurotic” Comic, Dies at 76

RIP, artist Ramona Fradon, and stories about her

Dan Wilcox, Writer and Producer on ‘M*A*S*H,’ Dies at 82

Sam Waterston on His ‘Law & Order’ Goodbye and Getting to “Kill the Bull” One Last Time

Overtime rules for postseason NFL games

How Actor Kevin Miles Became “Jake from State Farm”

Why Doesn’t ❤️ Look Like a Heart?

Now I Know

The Ghost That Was Too Quiet and The Rules of the Roadkill, Smart Phone-Version and The Problem With Dark Blue and Yellow License Plates, and The Lion King and the Secret (But Not Actually R-Rated) Message

The Russians Are Coming

Alexei Navalny, the Fiercest Foe of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dies at 47. With every story, I become more sad and angry.

Fox Promoted Informant’s Dubious Tale To Bolster Right-Wing Lies About Ukraine

Jon Stewart on Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview & Trip to Russia | The Daily Show

What Is The Deal With Republicans And All These Russian Spies?


FFAPL book reviews/author talks

Tuesdays at 2 pm at 161 Washington Avenue branch of the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Avenue

March 5 | Book Review | The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story by Sam Wasson.  Reviewer:  John McGuire, PhD, attorney. 

March 12 | Author Talk | Author, Spiritual Director,  and Book Coach Diane Cameron will discuss her book, Looking for Signs, and talk about writing memoirs.

March 19 | Book Review | The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science by Kate Zernike.  Reviewer:  Elaine Garrett, BFA, MA, STEM Outreach and Workforce Development, SUNY Research Foundation at NY Creates and the NYS Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology, UAlbany.

March 26 | Author Interview | Ian Ross Singleton, MFA, of the Writing & Critical Inquiry Program, U at Albany, SUNY, is interviewed by Geri Walsh, MS (special education), employment specialist, about his novel The Two Differences.


Gotta Have You –  Peter Sprague, featuring Leonard Patton and Rebecca Jade

boygenius – $20

J. Eric Smith: Yes and Good Rats

Farewell, Seiji Ozawa

Maggie Rose – Underestimate Me

Coverville 1476: Tribute to Melanie and Norah Jones Cover Story and  1477: The Robbie Williams Cover Story II

I Don’t Mind – MonaLisa Twins

Overture to Candide, conducted by composer Leonard Bernstein

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come

Jump – Van Halen

Texas Hold’Em – Beyoncé

A film music suite from the movie Miracle

Toots Thielemans – Bluesette

Sam Mendes will direct four movies about each Beatle, slated for release in 2027 with an “innovative and groundbreaking” release schedule

A Spotify surprise

J. Eric Smith

Has anything like this ever happen to you? I was visiting the site of one J. Eric Smith, as I am wont to do. In the then-current post, he noted: “It has been almost a year since I reluctantly caved to streaming my music.” He discussed the pros and cons of that.

“On the upside: I do like the ability to create playlists quickly, and there seems to be more of the musical arcana that I like available on Spotify than there was/is on iTunes, which I’d used exclusively for the prior 12 years. We’ve sort of defaulted to themed playlists around the house, ranging from 50 to 100 to 150 songs.

“(I’m obsessive about tidiness on such matters, and couldn’t stand to have a 52-song or 147-song list, no sir, that would not do, not at all).” I could definitely create a 52-song list. There are 52 cards in a standard deck of cards, after all.

Eric posted a great Africa playlist, 100 of his “favorite songs from that continent’s myriad musical cultures. ” I decided I didn’t want to listen to 30-second snippets of songs. So I figured I would finally get a free registration to Spotify.


Except, it appears that I had already done so. Of course, I didn’t record the password anywhere.  So I had to get another one. They had the damnedest Captcha methodology I had ever seen. They showed a series of dice, some standard pips, and Arabic numbers, and you had to match the dice with a number three times. 

I discovered that not only did I have an account, but I had made a playlist of my own: 12 Paul Simon songs. I have no recollection of having done so, let alone when or  HOW I did that. 

This falls into the category of a truism about me. Confronted by almost any technology that I don’t use regularly, it is like I’d never seen it before. When I figure it out again, maybe I’ll create more playlists. I have some particular ideas. And heck, I might even take requests.


Or not. I came across this New York Times article. Want to Enjoy Music More? Stop Streaming It. Build a real music collection. Reintroduce intimacy to the songs you care about. Though Denise Lu is much younger than I, she gets me.  “Maybe that’s why I never latched onto streaming services — I didn’t like depending on a third-party platform, or being part of a social experiment that feeds Spotify data that it then sells to advertisers.”

Something that Chuck Rozanski/Bettie Pages, the President of Mile High Comics, Inc. wrote on October 9 resonates with me. “I… drove to Jason St. mid-afternoon each day to sort comics until 8 PM. I don’t know why, but there is something about the Zen of spending hours sorting old comic books into categories that has the capacity to soothe the ache in my heart, and to restore my spirit.

“In many regards, for me, it is like visiting with old friends, as I can look at any given title and/or issue number and remember quite vividly where I was (and who I was…) when that issue was first released.”

About every four months, I have to resort all of the CDs I have played. You’d think it would be boring. Not for me. I, too, experience the joy of remembering how I got that album,  maybe looking at something on the liner notes I forgot. 

Dec. rambling: Guiding Principles

Christine Perfect

From https://xkcd.com/2706/

Forbes’ list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women

Two Glimpses into the Future

Trump fiscal legacy

Final House Covid Panel Report Exposes ‘Reckless’ Trump Pandemic Response

“F*** Biden,” “Don’t Tread on Me,” and a Wisconsin Death Trip for Our Times by Jeff Sharlet

Virginia’s “Guiding Principles” are a Right-Wing Fantasy of History

Sean Spicer Makes Pearl Harbor Blunder Which Will Live In Infamy

Heritage Under Fire: Native Americans fight for culture, history, survival

Bill protecting same-sex, interracial unions clears Congress

I’ve come to the same conclusion. Save Your Brain: Don’t Watch TV on Election Night

‘Our mission is crucial’: meet the warrior librarians of Ukraine

North Korea tells parents to give kids patriotic names like ‘bomb,’ ‘gun’, and ‘satellite’

Bob McGrath, Original, Longtime Resident of ‘Sesame Street,’ Dies at 90

Grant Wahl, American Journalist Covering World Cup in Qatar, Dies at 48

Kirstie Alley, Actress on ‘Cheers’ and ‘Veronica’s Closet,’ Dies at 71

Carl Kleinschmitt, Writer on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ and ‘MAS*H,’ Dies at 85

The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced the release of Census Business Builder version 5.0, which combines the Regional Analyst Edition and the Small Business Edition into a single, convenient tool.

Librarian and author earns a following after venting about a book signing

DeMane Davis on How Ava DuVernay’s Decision to Hire All Female Directors Offered “Life-Transforming Opportunity

Trevor Noah Urges Viewers to Remember the “World Is a Friendlier Place” Than It Seems in Emotional ‘Daily Show’ Farewell

A U.S. Track Star and the 30-Foot Long Jump That Didn’t Count

The State — and Future — of Free Ad-Supported Streaming


On December 11-12, Albany, NY, received about 6.5 inches of snow, the biggest snowfall of the 2022-23 season. It’s only about six feet (1.8 meters) less than what fell in western New York during last month’s storm. 

J. Eric Smith put me on his Best Of My Web 2022 list. I’m fairly blushing.

Arthur answers my questions about Congress


Most of the JEOPARDY “controversies” I see online aren’t all that. But this question in Final Jeopardy, during the Tournament of Champions, no less, did irritate me. In the category The New Testament:
Paul’s letter to them is the New Testament epistle with the most Old Testament quotations

From here: “The internal evidence presented by the book of Hebrews itself indicates an author other than Paul.” So Amy’s answer of Hebrews is suspect, and Sam’s choice of Romans – my first answer upon reading the question – is more likely correct. The question cost Sam the game. If the question read: This letter to them… would have been acceptable.

Now I Know

The Zoo That Made Itself Look Like a Donkey
Why The Government Hid Billion of Dollars Worth of $2 Bills
How an Oddball Saved an Island of Little Penguins
He’s The Type That Likes Numbers?
The Best Medicine is… A Room With A View?


Homeward Bound: Christine McVie (July 12, 1943 — November 30, 2022); 5 Great Fleetwood Mac Songs Written by Christine McVie

Coverville 1422: Joe Walsh Cover Story and Christine McVie Tribute and 1423: Covers, Actually

A suite of Max Steiner’s music from Casablanca

Look at Miss Ohio – Welch, Rawlings, Isbell, and Shires

How Ticketmaster Is Destroying Live Music

2021: ’22? You’d better be better!

J. Eric Smith

Clinical trials, courtesy of https://xkcd.com/2530/

The rest of the annual quiz from Kelly. BTW, ’22? You’d better be better!

Where did most of your money go?

Books, music, medical stuff, takeout food.

What did you get really excited about?

GETTING THE VACCINE. Eating out. Going to the movies, though I didn’t do so often. Being the point person for the Literary Legends, Lydia Davis and Gene Mirabelli. The choir meeting again. Doing research in Binghamton.

Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Clearly sadder.

Thinner or fatter?

Back to where I was a couple of years ago, alas. A function, in part, of being sadder.

Richer or poorer?

A little poorer, but not appreciably problematic.

The rain

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading, singing, sleeping.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Going to ZOOM meetings, figuring out my new insurance coverage

How did you spend Christmas?

Opening presents, watching the church service on Facebook, eating dinner with my MIL, playing a lot of Xmas CDs

Did you fall in love in 2021?


How many one-night stands?

Same as last year. And the year before that. And the year before that…

What was your favorite TV program?

CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, Finding Your Roots. I have an extremely low capacity for watching TV right now, except for, of all things, Law and Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011), which I mostly missed when it originally aired. JEOPARDY I still watch but don’t love it as much.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


What was the best book you read?


The park

What did you want and get?

A COVID shot, or three.

What did you want and not get?

Liberation from the limiting effects of COVID.

What were your favorite films of this year?

Summer of Soul (the ONLY one of these I saw in a theater), Promising Young Woman, Another RoundWolfwalkers, Small Axe: Mangrove (if it’s a movie), One Night in Miami, Sound of Metal,  The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

What did you do on your birthday?

I went to adult education and church online. Talked with my sisters on ZOOM. Had cake. I don’t much remember beyond that.

And other things

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2021?

Wearing shoes as infrequently as possible.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Possibly Isabel Wilkerson whose book Caste I bought but did not read.

What political issue stirred you the most?

The dissipation of truth, not just in government, but online.

Who did you miss?

Other than the deceased, I’ve actually managed to see many people in my neck of the woods (FINALLY!) in recent months, because I missed them all!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021

Writing about it is a pain. Not writing about it is worse.

I was quite touched by what J. Eric Smith kindly wrote about me in his blog, which he’s been writing since before the word blog was created.  I am, I’ve read, “a super-long-time daily blogger of refined tastes and interests, many of which closely align with my own. Roger also brings his formidable librarian skills to organizing his information, and that’s a noticeably great thing in the mostly mucky mire of poorly-curated online experience.”

That sort of helps me when I fear that I absolutely have not a single thing more to say before I finally have a Eureka moment again.

Now, why am I thinking of a song by the Cowsills (#2 for two weeks pop in 1967)? I have no idea. As noted: ’22? You’d better be better!

December rambling: slowest rate

Nell Stokes, Rebecca Jade, Literary Legends, public domain

Photo taken by Wayne
Photo was taken by Wayne

U.S. Population Grew 0.1% in 2021, Slowest Rate Since Founding of the Nation and  Net International Migration at Lowest Levels in Decades

What State of Matter is Fire?

Frequency Illusion? What’s the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?

Black mothers turning to doulas in light of the nation’s horrifying maternal death rates

Two Texas teens dressed as Klansmen tased their Black classmate

Solomon Northup’s “A Slave’s Christmas” 

Wreck of last US slave ship mostly intact on the coast

NEA Guide for Racial Justice in Education

Missouri Cop Pulls Over School Bus Driver For Wearing A Mask

147 New York dams are ‘unsound’ and potentially dangerous Thousands of dams have not been inspected in more than 20 years

The departed

Hidden Pentagon records reveal patterns of failure in deadly airstrikes 

Desmond Tutu, a cleric who campaigned against apartheid in South Africa,  dies at 90. “A moral beacon in a deeply troubled land, Tutu managed to irritate the African National Congress government that took power after South Africa’s first all-race elections, as much as he had riled the apartheid regime that had previously oppressed the country’s Black majority.”

Joan Didion, Literary Titan, Dies at 87;  Jon Avnet on Making ‘Up Close and Personal’ With Her

 TCM Remembrance of performers past

This Year, Hollywood’s China Relationship Finally Unraveled

After his performance in The Music Man, Hugh Jackman touts Broadway understudies, standbys, and swings. The role of Marion Paroo, the female lead, was supposed to be played by Sutton Foster, who tested positive for COVID. The role was covered by a swing named Kathy Voytko, who also covered seven other smaller roles in the production.

Flying from Honolulu to Buffalo just before Christmas

I Stopped Caring About My Kids’ School Grades. You Should, Too.

“She could never love me!” Comic books and disability cliches 

Chuck’s best blog moments of 2021, which includes me!

The Awakening – Albany’s first movie (1914)

See the movie short:  Seasoned Greetings (1933 Vitaphone). Lita Grey Chaplin w/ 7 Yr Old Sammy Davis Jr

Now I Know: A Brick That Broke The Glass Ceiling and The Amazing Spider-Man Coincidence and When It Feels Good to Pay More

Inspiring Quotes: If you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror. – Shane Koyczan

Nominate the next Literary Legend!

Each year, the Friends and Foundation of Albany Public Library select a new outstanding person of letters to be honored as our Literary Legend. The FFAPL invites the public to nominate writers for the selection committee to consider.

Nominations must be received by January 9, 2022, for consideration by this year’s Selection Committee. The Literary Legends Selection Committee includes members of the FFAPL board, past Gala Chairpersons, and APL librarians.

Sound Treasures Enter the Public Domain

On January 1, 2022, 400,000 pre-1923 sound recordings will enter the public domain, thanks to a new U.S. law, the Music Modernization Act. To celebrate, you may attend a virtual event on January 20, “A Celebration of Sound.”

And it’s not just music! On January 1st, children’s classic Winnie the Pooh, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Rudolph Valentino in The Son of the Sheik, in addition to musical recordings such as Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag, and thousands more will all be free for creative reuse and sharing.

Hendrix.Nesmith.Tork found on Facebook

Am I Enough. Words: Nell Stokes. Vocals: CJay Philip, Nell’s daughter. Musical arrangement: Gail Sparlin. Piano: Larry Finke.

You Should Be Dancing – Dee Gees, who look a little like the Foo Fighters

Coverville 1382: Cover Stories for Patti Smith, Dido, and Britney Spears

New York State of Mind – NYCNext

Losing My Mind -Imelda Staunton, in a 2017 production of Follies by the National Theater

Tainted Love – Broken Peach 

Songbird -MonaLisa Twins

Dream On – Ann Wilson, live 

Stand By Me – Playing For Change

Mary, Mary, written by Michael Nesmith (30 Dec 1942-10 Dec 2021): Butterfield Blues Band Band, The Monkees 

It’s still Christmastide

Dave Koz and Friends // The Greatest Hits of Christmas – LIVESTREAM VIRTUAL CONCERT Recorded 12/12/20. With Jonathan Butler, Peter White, Kenny Lattimore, Michael Lington, Brian Simpson, and REBECCA JADE!

Have a sultry, soulful Christmas!

River – Joni Mitchell, Her first official video

J. Eric Smith –  Ten Songs You Need to Hear: Crimbo Version

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