December rambling: Tread carefully

new Rebecca Jade music!


Spotlighting The Black And Missing Foundation’s Commitment To Locating Missing Persons Of Color

Hillary Clinton was right about the “deplorables” — and about the end of Roe v. Wade. Still hate Hillary’s guts? Fine. But let’s admit that she saw all this coming — and way before the rise of Trump

The Roe v Wade Death Watch

But the Cancer Was “Indolent” — Doctors: Tread carefully when offering patients an optimistic outlook

What Is a Surgeon ‘Supposed’ to Look Like?

Instead of Travel Bans, Let’s Defeat Omicron Variant With Global Vaccination

Horse-paste enthusiasts are threatening hospital workers.

Dr. Oz Has A Long History Of Promoting Quack Treatments

Alden Global Capital, which has gutted newsrooms, desires to acquire
Lee Enterprises, the owner of the Glens Falls Post-Star as well as the Buffalo News and the Auburn Citizen


Barbados Bids Farewell to British Monarchy as It Becomes a Republic. It is actually the only country I’ve ever been in besides Canada and Mexico.

The End Game (dealing with Stuff)

Louis Vuitton Designer Virgil Abloh Dead From Cancer At Age 41. Abloh “chose to endure his battle privately” and underwent “numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.”

How to Identify What You Enjoy. Arthur C. Brooks and Lori Gottlieb discuss the importance of fun and the cultural distortion of emotions as “good” or “bad”

College Students Write Children’s Book About Their Inclusive Friendship, Raise Awareness for Down Syndrome

Anne Rice, the gothic novelist who wrote ‘Interview with the Vampire,’ dies at age 80

Ken Levine remembers Shari Lewis, interviewing her daughter Mallory

Cara Williams, RIP

The Best of Trevor’s Accents – Between The Scenes | The Daily Show

Why younger people say ‘no problem’ instead of ‘you’re welcome.’

The Automat

The history of the blinking cursor 

Themself or themselves as a singular form? I’m leaning toward the former; cf yourself and yourselves.

A snowflake photo

 The history of paintings of dogs playing poker 


I never voted for the longtime Republican Senate leader. He was elected to the House in 1960 and the Senate in 1974. He became Senate majority leader briefly in 1980s, then in 1994.

Gerald Ford picked him as his Vice-Presidential partner in 1976, but they lost to Carter/Mondale. He was the unsuccessful GOP nominee for president in 1996 against the incumbent Bill Clinton.

But I didn’t find him loathful. His right arm was left permanently paralyzed from World War II, and that gave him some perspective, to help veterans and those with disabilities. He is the first “real” person, as opposed to an actor, to promote pills for erectile dysfunction. (So THAT was what ED was.)

Redlining, continued

In response to a post of mine about redlining, Bankrate wrote to me. “Although housing discrimination is an illegal practice, its impact remains in mortgage and lending practices. Our experts created a guide explaining the lasting effects of housing discrimination, how it impacts the mortgage industry, and how to combat these issues.” Here’s the link

Subsequently, I read this.  To prove lowball appraisal, Black couple ‘white-washes’ home—value rises by nearly $500K. The CBS News story referred to a 2018 Brookings report: The devaluation of assets in Black neighborhoods – The case of residential property.

Also, When a Hyundai is also the family home 

The Racial Gap in Financial Literacy

Now I Know

The Road With a Toad-Away Zone and It’s Better to Be Afraid Than Embarrassed? and The Best Reason for a Delayed Flight? and Giving the Train a Slip and The Horse Hide


What’s It Gonna Be – REBECCA JADE: link and video

Jimmy Fallon, Ariana Grande, and Megan Thee Stallion release pro-booster It Was A Masked Christmas 

November Woods by Arnold Bax 

Mary Of Silence  · Mazzy Star

Batman TV show theme sans the word “bat”

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – Ian Dury and the Blockheads, because
1. Sondheim would love that rhyme that’s spelled differently:
In the wilds of Borneo
And the vineyards of Bordeaux
Eskimo, Arapaho
Move their body to and fro
2. Someone is “in the wild”, but “in the wilds of” a place. Why IS that?

Michael Nesmith — considerably more than a Monkee — dies at 78; a loose salute

 The Sting Interview by Rick Beato

Salon satire: Deleted scenes from “The Beatles: Get Back” we’ll never see

Sting of The Police turns 70


By Raph_PH – QueenbdayRAH210418-34, CC BY 2.0,

As the 40th anniversary of MTV, not to mention mark Knopfler’s 72nd birthday, was being celebrated in early August 2021, I started listening to the intro to Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing. It was only then that I heard the similarities between the vocal of Sting on the “I Want My MTV” segment and the Police song Don’t Stand So Close To Me. It’s SO obvious in retrospect.

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE has been an enormously successful and well-regarded musician and songwriter. As Wikipedia noted, the initial sound [of the Police] was punk-inspired, but they switched to reggae rock and minimalist pop.” He had had a lengthy solo career, influenced by everything from jazz to madrigals over the years. Sting also has a strong activist bent over many years, participating in myriad events.

But I’ve always been amused how much an ex-girlfriend absolutely HATED his voice. I couldn’t play any of his music while she was in the room, and I had/have a lot of his tunes.

The Police were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Solo and with The Police combined, Sting has sold over 100 million records and received 17 Grammy Awards.


All songs by Sting and chart action are the Billboard pop charts unless otherwise indicated.

Murder By Numbers – The Police. This song used to irritate me greatly, but it’s not the tune’s fault. It’s that I bought the LP of Synchronicity and it did not appear, only on that new-fangled compact disc technology the music was trying to force down our throats in the early 1980s. It WAS on the B-side of the massive Police hit Every Breath You Take. Rick Beato notes why this song is fantastic.

King Of Pain – The Police, #3 for two weeks in 1983. Do I love this because Weird Al did a great early parody, with King Of Suede? Maybe.

I Hung My Head. Johnny Cash done stole this song from him, but JR just does that.

Every Breath You Take – The Police, #1 for eight weeks in 1983. Beato spends nearly an hour breaking down the power of this song.

Why STING is Uncopyable

Fortress Around Your Heart, #8 in 1985. Lyrics of love as war. Beato explains the intricacies of the song here, starting at 2:07.

Spirits In The Material World – The Police, #11 in 1982

Gabriel’s Message. From that first A Very Special Christmas collection.

The Bed’s Too Big Without You – The Police. I suppose I related to this in my younger, lonelier days. 

Fields of Gold, #23 in 1993.

Message In A Bottle  – The Police, #74 in 1979.

Can’t Stand Losing You – The Police.

Fragile. I’ve related to this a LOT over the years.

Cueca Solas

They Dance Alone. A heartbreaking song about the survivors of the Disappeared.

If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, #17 in 1993. There’s a modulation here that always knocks me out

Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police, #10 in 1981; ’86 version, #46 in 1986. Someone on Quora suggested that the Police were a band with a happy ending. Maybe a couple of decades later

Roxanne – The Police, #32 in 1979. The first hit.

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police. #3 for two weeks in 1981. Such a joyful song. Beato loves it. Shawn Colvin does a nice cover.

If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free, #3 for two weeks (#17 soul) in 1985. Sting was way ahead of me linguistically with this. Not only did I buy the album this appears, but the 12-inch with three different versions.

Synchronicity II – The Police, #16 in 1983. I have repeated these lyrics to this very angry song more than once. “And every single meeting with his so-called superior Is a humiliating kick in the crotch.” Musically, Beato at 8:13 touts it.

On Show #8359, Thursday, March 18, 2021, Sting was a category on JEOPARDY! And at the end, he recreates the Think music.

Coverville 1373: The Sting and The Police Cover Story IV

Music Throwback: If You Love Somebody…

If You Love Somebody, Set Him or Her Free is TERRIBLE scansion.

After the rock group The Police broke up, Sting put out his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, in mid-1985. The jazz-infused LP was a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic, getting to #3 in the UK, and #2 on the Billboard chart.

The first single was If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free, which was a bigger hit in the US (#3 pop, #17 R&B) than it was in the UK (#26). “Sting said that he wrote the song as an ‘antidote’ to the Police’s 1983 song, ‘Every Breath You Take’, which he also wrote.”

At the time, I was struck by what would have been considered incorrect grammar, but would now be thought of as an an elegant solution. It was certainly better than If You Love Somebody, Set Him or Her Free, which is TERRIBLE scansion.

The video for the song was “directed by Godley and Creme in 1985. It was shot in Paris on a soundstage, with each of the musicians performing separately and the footage then overlaid onto the final version.” I thought it was very cool.

In fact, I liked this tune so much that I bought the 12″ single, which I still have, but have not listened to for quite some time. Besides the single version, it contains two remixes of “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”: the “Jellybean Mix” by John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez and the “Torch Mix” by William Orbit of Torch Song.

The single B-side consists of a studio recording of the song “Another Day”, which also appears on the 12″. That song appeared in 1986 “in a live version on Sting’s live album Bring On the Night.”

Listen to 12″ US single (SP-12132)

“If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” (Extended Remix by John “Jellybean” Benitez) – HERE or HERE

“If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” – single version HERE or HERE

“If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” (Torch Song Mix, Produced by William Orbit) HERE

“Another Day” HERE

March rambling #2: We are never Ivory Coast

Rob Ford died of a more respectable disease.

Stolen: We are all France. We are all Belgium. We are never Ivory Coast or Burkina Faso or Tunisia or Mali.

10 Safest Countries If WW3 Breaks Out
make America grate
There was no wave of compassion when addicts were hooked on crack.

From Scapegoating to Solidarity: 2016 Is the Year to Turn the Immigration Debate Around.

Weekly Sift: My racial blind spots.

An Open Letter to Drumpf Voters from His Top Strategist-Turned-Defector.

What It Means to Be Right-Footed.

I told the truth in my sister’s obituary so that others might choose to live and Amy Biancolli’s The long arms of a story.

The man who turns news into art.

Game Theory for Parents. “Mathematically tested measures to make your kids cooperate—all on their own.”

Something just slammed into Jupiter.

American Bystander is a printed humor magazine that’s about to release its second issue, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.

I generally have good success, but Chuck Miller reports on the UPS epic fail.

Feck ‘n’ Gruntle.

What does superfetation mean?

Evanier – how things are made: Snickers bars and frozen french fries and
Newman-O’s (an Oreo competitor) and balloons and an automated teller machine, plus a nifty magic trick.

Now I Know: The Secret Life of Honey Buns

Pie-lexa as a treatment for RBF

Cookie Monster bakes — with some help from Siri.



Patty Duke, 69: Oscar winner was the youngest at the time to receive the award. She went through so much before becoming a mental health advocate. And yes, I watched The Patty Duke Show – she was the youngest actor to have a TV show named for her in the day, and I even remember the theme.

She even had a hit single. Here’s an anecdote from Ken Levine; I’d forgotten she’d been the Screen Actors Guild president. She was the Mystery Guest on What’s My Line (1972).

Ken Howard, 71: he of The White Shadow, 30 Rock, Crossing Jordan, Adam’s Rib and a bunch of other stuff I’ve watched. He was also SAG/AFTRA union president.

Garry Shandling, 66: comedian’s influential career spanned decades. I watched his eponymously-named show regularly. He also gave us the greatest TV show about television; I didn’t see it often, it being on HBO, but I DID see the finale while I was in Boston taping JEOPARDY! Mark Evanier rewrote for Garry.

Larry Drake, 67: from L.A. Law.

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, 46: died of a more respectable disease and The Honest Liar.


My Window Faces The South – George Morgan with a young Glen Campbell.

I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Rick Moranis.

Son of a Preacher Man – Tom Goss.

Not Given Lightly – Chris Knox, a New Zealand artist (1989).

Fragile – Sting and Stevie Wonder, from the former’s 60th birthday concert.

Green Onions and Sophia Loren. Loren was in Schenectady giving a talk recently; I didn’t see her, alas.

Google searches (me)

Drawing lots of lines.

Jewish View.


37th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

I’m sure I first heard The Police on WQBK-FM, my favorite radio station in 1979.

al greenI’m on the record being a real sucker for the Kennedy Center Honors, an “awards show” like no other. Five legendary performers get to sit with the President and First Lady and watch others honor them by singing their songs, saying their words, and the like, with the performers, kept secret from the honorees until the curtain opens. The event will be recorded Sunday, December 7, 2014, and broadcast on CBS-TV on December 30, 2014, at 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT. This year’s honorees, like most years, features four people I know quite well, and one, I must say, who is unfamiliar to me.

The one is Patricia McBride, “renowned American ballerina.” However, my wife has seen her perform when the New York City Ballet would perform at the Saratoga Performing Art Center.
Barack Obama famously sang Let’s Get Together by Al Green; expect a mention of that fact. The running joke I’ve had is that Al Green is my cousin, “cousin Al,” but I stopped because people actually believed me. He was born Albert Greene, but “corrected” the spelling later. If I were to sing karaoke, I might pick Take Me To the River, but it’d be more like the Talking Heads’ version because I can’t sing like cousin Al. (There, I did it again!)

The back catalog of Hi Records, Al’s label, was distributed for a time by Motown, which explains how an Al Green song ended up on a Motown compilation I own.

Need to LISTEN to:
Tired of Being Alone
Let’s Get Together
Take Me To the River
When I was watching Bosom Buddies, starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, I had no idea that the former was going to become a huge star. What have I seen him in? Splash, Nothing in Common, Dragnet, Big, Punchline, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, That Thing You Do!, You’ve Got Mail, The Green Mile, Cast Away, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Charlie Wilson’s War, and Saving Mr. Banks. I’ve heard him as Woody in three Toy Story movies, plus the TV episode Toy Story of Terror.

I remember watching him on some late-night show talking about the Johnny Seven OMA (One Man Army) toy gun, which I used to have when I was a kid, which oddly endeared him to me.

There’s No Crying in Baseball – from A League of Their Own
Houston, We Have a Problem – from Apollo 13
La Mamma Morta – from Philadelphia
LilyTomlnI have only a vague recollection of Lily Tomlin before her breakthrough appearances on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, starting in 1969, where Ernestine the telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the six-year-old in the massive big rocking chair, came to prominence. But I’ve watched her regularly ever since, from her comedy specials to Nashville, Nine to Five, All of Me, The Player, I Heart Huckabees, and A Prairie Home Companion.

She had supporting roles on TV shows such as Murphy Brown and The West Wing. Go to YouTube and put in “magic school bus full episodes” to listen to her voice as the awesome teacher, Ms. Frizzle

According to the bio, “she is the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2003 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, seven Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Grammy, and two Peabody Awards.”

Violet and the boss in 9 to 5
Edith Ann’s sandwich from Sesame Street
The soul transference scene from ALL OF ME
My Minnesota Home – A Prairie Home Companion
Texas Monthly Talks: Lily Tomlin
I’m sure I first heard The Police on WQBK-FM in the Albany area, which was my favorite radio station in 1979. The bass player, lead singer, and principal songwriter was a guy with the unlikely name of Sting. I bought all their albums, twice, actually, since their CD box set included the albums plus rarities.

I still have his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles from 1985, but I’ve gotten more than a few of his subsequent albums on CD. One of his best songs, I Hung My Head, got covered by Johnny Cash, and that became the definitive version of the song.

Roxanne- the Police
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – the Police
I Hung My Head
We’ll Be Together
When We Dance

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