The random 2023 post


This is the random 2023 post. I randomly pick the blog post date for each month, and then, within that post, randomly select a sentence. I’m sure I purloined the idea from near twin Gordon.

A serious blogger like Kelly would pour through his output and highlight his favorite work from last year. That is a great idea, but that would involve actual work.

January: “Tell everyone about how #nylibraries have been important to your communities on social media!” Oops – I got caught advocating for libraries again!

February: “I explained this phenomenon here.” The “here” is a 2021 blog post about why sometimes people call me George; it has something to do with common consonants. This was a Sunday Stealing post.

March:He wrote in a New York Times Magazine piece about catching a girl who was screaming.” The “he” was writer Armin Brott talking about how men’s involvement in parenting is often discouraged.

April: “If you know the history of the Census, you may realize that the current decennial census asks very few questions.” I was in full data geek mode.

May: “’Am I selfless, ever trusting in my supposed maternal instinct, and willing to fully sacrifice without complaining?'”  Katy Huie Harrison, Ph.D. writes about the idealized mother. Her answer was, “Hell no!” But she adds, “And I think I’m a great mom.” This was my Mother’s Day post.

June: “Visit another church congregation for a shared picnic.” My plans for a very busy June. It was a lovely picnic, BTW. A Sunday Stealing.

Side 2

July: “My daughter started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race in the Best Reality Competition area, and I saw a few episodes.” I used to watch so much more TV in the 20th Century.

August: “It was written by Adrian Tomine, who also adapted the screenplay.” My review of the movie Shortcomings, which my wife liked far more than I did. 

September: “I noted here that my sister Marcia and I used to play The Man from U.N.C.L.E. together.” A linkage post mentioned the passing of actor David McCallum.

October: “Answers from some Nerdfighters: ‘The Anthropocene Reviewed attempts to capture what it means to be human.'” My attempt to review the John Green book.  

November: “I began to doubt my cognitive abilities.” The wallet is REALLY gone this time. What a PITA. 

December: “I won’t do this for 1954 because I was born in 1953.” Celebrating the folks who are roughly nine months younger than I. 

And the photo was randomly chosen from the photos used on this blog. 

Sunday Stealing: Swap Bot


This Sunday Stealing is from Swap Bot, which I misread as Swamp Bot.

Have you tried anything new this year?
I went to a corner grocery store that was six blocks away. I had not been there in decades, if at all,  and I’m unsure why. It’s nicer than the store a block closer to me.
Oh, yeah, I also went to France last month. I’d never been anywhere except North America before. The picture is of the bride and the groom’s father at the wedding rehearsal in Erdevan.

What would you do if you didn’t have wifi for a week?
Read books and magazines a lot. Play board games. Talk on the telephone.

Do you like summer? Why or why not?
I don’t mind it unless the sun is scorching. That said, I tend towards the shade because of my vitiligo.

What’s one restaurant that you like in your city? What food do they sell?
Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen serves soul food.

Do you prefer a digital book or a real paper book?
I really can’t concentrate while reading digital books, and have tried. Also, I’m on the computer a lot, so I like paper books.

What’s one thing that you want to buy, but it’s a bit expensive, so you haven’t bought it yet?
A new office chair. It’s a bit shaky. It’s not terribly expensive, but I’m a bit low on funds after going to France.

What tea brands do you like?
I don’t know about brands. I tend to like most teas by most brands. When in doubt, get me English Breakfast.

What’s one food that you can binge eat a lot?
Ritz crackers and cheese together.
Small amounts of money
Write one random thing that happened to you this month.
On June 7, I received an email telling me: “Between June 14th and June 19th, 2023, you will be sent a settlement payment from the class action settlement in In re EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, Civil Case No. 2:17-md-02785-DDC-TJJ, pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.”
On June 9, I received an email: “New York Attorney General Letitia James has reached an agreement with Family Energy, Inc. The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York (“NYAG”) has determined that you are eligible to receive a payment of $57.13 as compensation for money you have lost due to this company’s deceptive business practices.”
Also, on June 9, “Yahoo Data Breach Settlement sent you USD 61.08. Your Yahoo Data Breach settlement payment is now available in PayPal.”
These minor payments to me are undoubtedly a massive pain for the payees.

How many long-term penpals do you have right now? (people who pen pal with you for more than 3 years)
Define penpal. If by that, you mean regular communication, then nobody, and there hasn’t been any since about five years after I got email. Before email, I probably had a couple of dozen folks regularly.

What food do you want to sell if you own a small food trailer?
Not really in my skill set or my interest. Still, I’ll pick eggs because I DO know how to make them scrambled, fried, poached, et al.—some real and faux sausage and toast.
What’s one handmade gift that you received and really liked?
Messages from my daughter. But I’ve kept several things my daughter has created.

What’s your ideal Saturday like?
Unscheduled, which has not happened nearly often enough. I’d catch up on reading newspapers, watching Finding Your Roots on TV, and finally clean my office.

What things do you like to buy on Etsy?
Not much. My daughter bought rolling pins from Ukraine for her mother, which I paid for. We have ordered delicious bundt cakes from Great Exbaketations Bakery in the past. I bought two obscure CDs in 2022.

What kind of Asian food do you like?
Indian, specifically lamb saag, chicken tikka masala, and others. I also like Chinese food. I’ve enjoyed Thai food the few times I had it.

The random 2022 post

Carnegie Hall

ice tireThis is the random 2022 post. I think I stole the idea from near twin Gordon. Some folks, such as Kelly, will highlight particular posts. “If you have a blog or other online writing forum, share some of your favorite work from this year.” That sounds like an intriguing idea, but too much work when I can just punt

January 21: What ordinal number is your favorite band’s best album? “Conversely, there isn’t a major Motown artist whose first few albums I would peg as their best, except one.” This was lots of fun. Thanks, Greg.  

February 27: Documentary review: Ascension. “Perhaps more unsettling than the lynchings of over 4,000 African Americans by white mobs were the public, festive occasions these murders became.” I watched the Chinese documentary, then Paramount Plus rolled me to Lynching Postcards, a chilling documentary short.  

March 23:  The follow-up post: ice, COVID, more. “I’ve been trying to access the records of the court case involving my grandmother, Agatha Walker (later Green), and my biological grandfather Raymond Cone from October 1926.” The next sentences: “Alas, I got word that they can’t find the records. They may have been misfiled or destroyed.” Sigh, big time.  The photo above is from this post. 

April 28: Not running for office. “At some level, when I was much younger, I suppose I thought I would someday consider running for public office.” Nope.

May 17:  1972: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” “The link has a number of resources.” This was about my “criminal” past and “Ban The Box.”

June 7: – a “quality hyperlink product”. “Lydia Davis was one of the FFAPL Literary Legends in 2021.” A rabbit hole I fell into. 

The second half

July 26: The Lydster at Carnegie Hall. “We took a taxi to the venue and got there by 7:30.” This was probably the most fun I had with my daughter this year. 

August 6: 1972 #1 hits: Watergate break-in. “American Pie, Parts I and II – Don McLean, four weeks at #1.” A Saturday music post.

September 15: September rambling: perfect Yiddish word. “In Memorium Video from this year’s Emmys and going about a decade back.” A linkage post.

October 25: Plan B, when you’re tired. “We have since canceled three hotel reservations.” About the fact that nothing was going according to plan because of COVID, my wife’s leg infection, et al.  

November 18: Me in the autumn of 1979. “In many ways, I remember 1972 better than 1979.” Things in my 1979 diary are totally foreign to me.  Weird.

December 2: From politics to library science. “He blinded me with science!” My life choices.  

Not incidentally, I was weirded out about the passing of Armen Boyajian on December 5. He’s a guy I’ve known since high school who’d been commenting on my blog recently. I answered the question specifically for him, which he may not have seen.  

Random posts, or the illusion of same

MLK, blogging, music, movies, race, anger…

randomHere is my annual compilation of random posts from the previous year by month. Or maybe it’s an illusion. “Humans tend to see patterns when, in fact, the results are completely random.”

Speaking of which, Kelly “randomly” selected the Concerto No. 1 in F minor for piano and orchestra, by Alexander Glazunov. You should listen. 

January. MLK: When Peace Becomes Obnoxious. “I come to declare war over injustice.” This is from a 1956 sermon. This was a catch-his-breath bit because the sentences before and after are much longer and detailed. Still relevant, and possibly more so.

February: Death of the Times Union community blogs “’Nothing urgent, but please give me a ring if you have a few minutes — cell is…'” Casey Seiler, the editor of the Times Union newspaper, was the caller. I was surprised to discover that, although I was not dependent on the TU blog – I have this one, after all – I was still sad to see it go.

Looking into the future

March: Paul Whiteman and the hits of 1921
“’After all is said and done, there is really only one.'” The lyrics are to a tune called Margie by Eddie Cantor. I have a version of the song by Ray Charles. The nice thing about the series is that, if I’m still blogging, I know that in October 2029, I will be writing about the #1 songs from 1999. Hint: one of them is Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas. I have the album from which that song was pulled.

April. Review: Judas and the Black Messiah. “FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) considered Hampton a threat to decency in America and wanted him surveilled from the inside.” It was one of my favorite films of the year.

May. Critical Race Theory. “Much of the recent discussion seems to center around the response by Senator Tim Scott to President Biden’s ‘Can’t Be Called the State of the Union’ address.” I don’t know why I wrote about CRT. Almost no one was talking about it in 2021.

June. Musician Nils Lofgren is turning 70. “He was a two-time member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.” A friend of mine told me this fall they never read my music pieces because they don’t care about music. OK.

Side Two

July: Anger, a national disease “But living near a hotheaded neighbor who thinks we’re always calling the cops on her -I did once, because of the dog – unexplained noises at night are unsettling.” I BELIEVE that my neighbor moved in December, thank Allah.

August: Sunday Stealing, March 2020. “But only the ones I feel like answering.” When I get stuck or busy or tired, the quiz is the way to go.

September: The SCOTUS abortion ballet. “In a state that leads the country and much of the developed world in the rate of maternal mortality, women in Texas will now have to travel to another state to secure an abortion or resort to life-threatening back-alley coat-hanger abortions.” And SCOTUS has taken up the Mississippi law. I fear this will not end well.

October: Rhymin’ Paul Simon turns 80. “I got Stranger to Stranger in 2016, when it came out.” Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder were my favorite musical artists in the 1970s.

November: The way-too-detailed diaries. “I wrote or received letters from people A, B, and C.” My disappointment was that the diaries so far hadn’t gleaned much useful bloggable information.

December: Six Legends of Baseball. “Minoso lead the American League in being hit by a pitch for 10 seasons.” That would be Minnie Minoso, who played primarily for the Chicago White Sox.

Random post and ABC Wednesday

My best to Melody

random numberOne of my annual rituals is to select a post for each month of the previous year. I use a random number generator, which may actually be random, or not. It’s adequate for this exercise. I like to see how well it reflected that year just passed, or did not.

Statistically, I had been writing one ABC Wednesday post a week. I hadn’t mentioned this, but after 25 rounds, the meme has come to an end. Not having it in 2020 is a mixed bag. On one hand, I have to come up with one more post per week.

On the other, HAVING to come with some abecedarian post has become more difficult. Also, that weekly post has postponed other items I wanted to share. Best to Melody, the third and last moderator after Denise Nesbitt and myself, who is recovering from a heart attack last fall.

For my blog, I also create one music piece each week, link summaries twice a month, maybe a couple dozen folks turning 70, pieces about my daughter once a month. So the frequency should be related to that, theoretically.

I’m fairly sure I got this meme from Gordon, who lives in Chicago and still remains the only non-local blogger I’ve ever met. I love it because it’s quasi-mathematical.

The graphic came from typing into Google random It’s attached to the 2018 article, “NIST’s New Quantum Method Generates Really Random Numbers.

The links

January: “This man is doing so much damage to the country I love and causing so much anxiety and pain among the poor and the non-white that I can’t make fun of his hair anymore.” Mark Evanier on how unfunny a certain person is.
February: “I’ve asked for the soundtrack for my birthday.” This is from my review of the Oscar-nominated Polish-French film Cold War (Zimna Wojna). Eventually, I downloaded three songs.
March: “Green Book: History vs. Hollywood.” A link.

April: “I know about balancing a checkbook, applying for a business loan, trying to get a better rate on a credit card.” Me giving advice to the son of my friend Deborah. I cited my experience at FantaCo as being useful as a librarian.
May: “Someone I was unfamiliar with responded, ‘What is [the infection rate] in the countries from which most of the persons who enter this country illegally?” Someone asked me about the measles outbreak. Two out of three people bringing the disease into the US from overseas are American citizens.
June: “FantaCo, 05/1980-11/1988 – the comic book store/publisher/mail order place.” The difficulty I have had leaving some jobs.

And more links

July: “On Saturday, October 5th, the event will be at the Broome County Forum Theatre, and on Sunday, October 6th, go to the Helen Foley Theatre at Binghamton High School.” I had thought to go to Serling Fest: Twilight Zone at 60. It didn’t happen.
August: “Andrew Yang (89%) may have ideas other than his one-note giveaway.” My disdain, even then, of so many debates.
September: “We Need to Rethink Our Ideas About Aging”. Linkage.

October: “At this moment, a case making its way through the court system is garnering an unusual amount of attention.” About double jeopardy v. dual sovereignty.
November: “Becky, the black waitress (Melody A. Betts), reminded me of the white, wisecracking Flo on the TV show.” My review of the musical Waitress.
December: “While I’ve seen Jeff in a few films, I’ve NOT seen most of his iconic roles.” Jeff Bridges’ birthday.

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