Sunday Stealing: Pinterest


I do not know why this week’s Sunday Stealing is called Pinterest, but I stole the graphic from Alice’s Pinterest.

1. What is your favorite book?

I’m a sucker for a series of music charts books by the late Joel Whitburn re: singles and albums in the pop, soul, and country genres. As for actual books with sentences, it’s usually one of the ones I read most recently, such as How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

2. Are you afraid of the dark?

I don’t see well in the dark. For that reason, I like to get to my seat at the movies before the lights go down. Also, I fear tripping hazards that I don’t see well or at all.

3. Are you mean?

I understand that the mean in math is “the average of a data set, found by adding all numbers together and then dividing the sum of the numbers by the number of numbers.” My age is above the mean. My intelligence? Who knows.

4. Is cheating ever OK?

I was contemplating whether lying, for example, could be justified. Possibly yes, but I’m not finding the same gray area with cheating.

5. Can you keep white shoes white?

Goodness no. Grass stains, mud, et al.

6. Are you currently bored?

Never. I find bored people boring, which sounds snobbish, but there it is.

7. Would you change your name?

I considered it for a time, but the circumstances changed.

Mass transit

8. Do you like the subway?

I love the subway. And I’m pretty adept at the NYC subway, the light rail of San Diego, and other major city systems.

9. Who’s the last person you had a deep conversation with?

My sister Leslie.

10. Dumbest lie you’ve ever told?

I can’t even remember.

11. Do you sleep with your door open or closed?

Closed, in order to keep the cats out. Okay, really one particular feline.

12. Favorite month?

March, which not only signifies spring in the Northern Hemisphere but the real harbinger of spring, my birthday.

13. Dark, milk, or white chocolate?

Milk chocolate.

14. Tea or coffee?

I don’t like coffee. I realize this is a cardinal sin. And I do like several varieties of tea.

15. Night or day?

Summer nights, winter days.

Sunday Stealing: Storyworth


The Sunday Stealing this week is by Storyworth.


1. Did you ever have a commercial you really liked?

I used to watch the Super Bowl ads fairly religiously. Someone put together the 25 best ones, and I remember liking 1, 2, and 7.


    2. How did you learn to ride a bicycle?

I have no idea. When I was 16, I rode someone else’s bicycle from Binghamton’s First Ward to the South Side. I was crossing the bridge from Riverside Drive, gaining on my friend Carol, but I couldn’t stop. So I put my foot down, tumbled, and severely scraped my left arm, a wound I had for another three and a half decades.  I had never had a bicycle with hand brakes, having always stopped by essentially trying to pedal backward.


    3. How did you celebrate your 21st birthday?
It was a Thursday, and I was a political science major in college. Six days earlier, a “grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted several former aides of President Richard Nixon, who became known as the “Watergate Seven”—H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, John N. Mitchell, Charles Colson, Gordon C. Strachan, Robert Mardian, and Kenneth Parkinson—for conspiring to hinder the Watergate investigation. The grand jury secretly named Nixon as an unindicted co-conspirator.”

There is no doubt that Watergate was the source of gleeful conversation since the first three in particular were contemptible sorts.


    4. What fascinated you as a child?

The World Almanac. I received it every year from when I was 10 to 60. The longest rivers, the most significant cities, and the sheer number of Canadians in the list of Famous Personalities, folks like Lorne Greene of Bonanza.


    5. What was one of your favorite playground games?

I always liked slides and still do.


    6. What things matter most to you in life?
Survival of the species, justice, equality.
Time travel?
    7. If you had to go back in time and start a brand new career, what would it be?

I’m not sure that I would. Maybe I would have become a librarian sooner. Conversely, my experience working at FantaCo, a small business, was extremely useful in being a small business librarian.


    8. What do people get wrong about you?

They think I’m an extrovert. I have written about this a lot, most recently here.


    9. Do you believe that people can change? Why or why not?

Most people can change because the species would not have survived this long.


    10. What is some of the best advice your mother ever gave you?

My mother was not great with useful advice. It tended to be a lot of platitudes. To be fair, she might have agreed with that assessment if asked.


    11. If you could see into the future, what would you want to find out?



    12. How has your life turned out differently than you imagined it would?

Occasionally, I was directed to make a plan in work and non-employment situations. What do you see yourself doing in five years? Except for retiring, this has never been at all useful or correct.


    13. What is the longest project you have ever worked on?

Quite possibly, this blog. 18 years, four months. Unless you consider owning a house a “project.”


    14. What have been some of your favorite restaurants through the years?

Little Caesar’s in Binghamton, NY. Lombardo’s in Albany. The former is still operating.


    15. What is one of the best shows you’ve ever been to?
The reunion show of The Temptations and the Stop Making Sense tour of Talking Heads.

Sunday Stealing: Name your favorite

“You have the right to live better.”

This week’s Sunday Stealing is from Ned the Duck and is Name your favorite

Name your favorite:

Place: it’s probably Niagara Falls. I’ve not tired of it. When I was a kid, I went there more than once. My wife and I traveled there for an anniversary (and a work meeting, which helped subsidize the trip), pre-daughter. Then my wife, daughter, and I stopped there in 2011 during a massive trip to Ontario.

 Color: It waffles between green (of course) and blue. I suppose it depends on the particular iteration.

Smell: Bacon. The smell of bacon is better than the taste of bacon.

Magazine: I used to LOVE magazines: Life, Time, Newsweek, Ebony, Jet, Psychology Today, Billboard… Now, I receive The Week, which has GREAT covers. But I stopped getting a lot of magazines, notably The New Yorker because I wasn’t reading them. I AM still getting Vanity Fair, but I don’t read that either, though I’m more likely to view it online. I am consuming The Hollywood Reporter online; my current favorite article: For the first time, Disney is seeking damages in the [Florida] state court case initiated by [Governor Ron DeSantis’] handpicked oversight board.

Texture: Satin sheets, I suppose.

What’s “bored”?

Thing to do when bored:   I’m seldom bored. But I’ll play Backgammon on my phone when I need a brain cleanser.

Precious stone: Ruby. It’s the stone of my wife and one of my sisters. My wife’s wedding ring has some ruby in it.

Animal: The peacock. I took a picture of one at the Catskill Game Farm (RIP), and I liked it. It also reminds me of the song My Conviction from the musical Hair.

Time in history: 1978. It’s when all of the good things from the Warren Supreme Court were in place, and it was before Reaganomics started actively taking from the poor and giving to the rich. Also, the earth wasn’t yet on fire.

Font: I haven’t given it much thought, but I’ll say Helvetica.

Sound: The inverse pedal point in music, which I wrote about here. Honorable mention goes to three women singing together in harmony. Example: the chorus of Telling Me Lies by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris.

Fruit: Strawberry.

 Vegetable: Spinach. Popeye indoctrination. But canned spinach is an abomination.

Store/shop: Probably Stewart’s, the convenience store all over the Albany area. I like their ice cream. And the larger stores in the burbs are some of the few places you can find a public bathroom that has a chance to be relatively clean.

The late Archie

Quote: “You have the right to live better. You have the right to a better life. You have the right to live in a society without the systems put in that keep us fighting against each other. There’s a better way.” – Archie, a legendary guy in the Albany area who died unexpectedly this week. Here’s his Stand Against Racism website.

Historical figure: Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), who was alive when I was born. Her death was the first of a Very Important Person I can remember, though I didn’t know WHY, other than she was FDR’s widow; I later learned she was SO much more than that. My family visited her residence at Val-Kill in 2013.

Letter: the cursive letter G, which I wrote a lot in my life, of course, because the capitalized form was SO different than the lower-case letter.

Memory: the time I spent with my father in Savannah, GA, 1998. He loved the city, and it was time for us, without my mom or sisters. Two years later, he died.

Dessert: fruit pie (apple, cherry, blueberry) a la mode, with a good vanilla ice cream.

 Candy: either a Mounds bar or a York Pettermint Patty to consume. But to play with, M&Ms because I would separate them by color and then eat them in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, brown).

Fine dining

Restaurant: It’s difficult to say. They’re either defunct (Lombardo’s) or have declined. I’ll pick Kismet, the Mediterranean place at the corner of Madison Avenue and S. Allen Street in Albany in my neighborhood, partly because my wife and I stopped by the day it opened. We didn’t dine there then because we had already eaten, but a few days later, my wife and I ate there for our anniversary.

Language: on one level, I love the sound of some Romance languages, notably French and Italian. On the other hand, German has wonderfully descriptive and lengthy words such as treppenwitz.

The thing to learn about: I’m still a Census Bureau nerd –  or is it a geek? -especially when it comes to demographic designations.  There’s a webinar scheduled for August 30 at 3:00 pm EDT on the potential removal of the Ancestry question from the American Community Survey. The webinar is a chance to provide feedback on removing this question and its impact on data users. I’ll attend this if I don’t have a conflict.

The thing about yourself: I remain curious. No way do I think I know all of the answers. And I still learn something new almost daily.

Sunday Stealing: if I won a billion dollars


The Sunday Stealing from WTIT starts with What if I won a billion dollars? A million does not go as far as it used to.


1. Things I would do first if I won a billion-dollar lottery

I have thought about this far more than the topic warrants. In some states in the US, winners can remain anonymous. But the winners have to reveal themselves in others, such as New York. UNLESS they set up a Limited Liability Corporation and the LLC turns in the ticket. Well, I would do that. I’d pay off some family mortgages and donate a fistful to an organization paying down people’s medical debts. Then I’d donate money to various charities involved with libraries, arts, music, immigration, justice, and literacy, but also to some individuals.


Listen to If I Had A Million Dollars – Barenaked Ladies


2. Something I probably spend too much money on

With the caveat that there’s never too much: books and music.


3. How I feel about the dentist
My primary dentist, who I liked, retired. I’ve had a series of dentists at the practice and have no feel for their personae.
Picky eater
4. Foods I am most picky about

I don’t like cucumbers or most canned vegetables. What did George H W Bush say about broccoli? “I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid. And my mother made me eat it. Now I’m president of the United States. And I’m not gonna eat any more broccoli!” I’m not President, but I still don’t eat cukes; I usually give them to my wife when they are in my salad.


5. Internet friends/penpals I want to visit in person

I’d probably go to the farthest points first. That’d be Arthur in New Zealand, Leslie in British Columbia, Canada, and Mrs. Nesbitt in England.


6. My healthiest habits

I’m on Noom, so I weigh myself daily and track my food consumption.


7. Easiest, low-effort foods and snacks for busy days

I like hard-boiled eggs, grapes, and Mac apples.


8. Where do I go in summer to unwind

I’m not sure that’s a thing for me, a particular place. I don’t go to the mountains and definitely NOT to the beach. I like to go to the movies in the summer because it’s air-conditioned. Ultimately, the things that relax involve going to an event (Old Songs festival, county fair) in which time is not an issue.


9. My comfort books, tv shows, and movies
I tend not to revisit books or movies. And there are so many TV shows I’ve never seen that watching old ones doesn’t often make it into my schedule.
These are a few of my favorite things.
10. A list of good things

Old friends, music, a massage, free time.


11. Favorite places to take photos

I don’t tend to take many pictures anymore, except when I went to France in May 2023. I used to take LOTS of pictures last century. Also, I took them when my daughter was younger.


12. The routines and habits I stick to most

If I am home, I eat oatmeal with fresh fruit for breakfast. I play Wordle early in the day, sometimes just after midnight. First thing in the morning, I post my blog on Facebook.


13. Topics I’d love to learn more about

Too many things and too little time. That said my Irish and Nigerian heritage.


14. This time last year …

My wife and I were seeing plays at Mac-Hadyn Theatre in Chatham, NY, and getting our daughter ready to go to her first year of college, which would be interrupted by her, and eventually, her parents, coming down with COVID.


15. Favorite memories of someone I’ve lost
I suppose it’s an odd recollection, but it recently came to mind. In the early 1980s, I was in Washington Park with Gladys. We sat on a park bench when a squirrel ran over her foot. She was wearing boots, but she HATED that bushy-tailed critter; she had a very low tolerance for the order Rodentia. Not incidentally, her funeral is Saturday, August 19, at 10:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Albany, NY.

Sunday Stealing: FB PCs

necessary for our Nation to function

Sunday Stealing this week is FB PCs, which stands for, much to my surprise, Facebook Postcards USA.


1.  What do you have hanging on your walls?

Not nearly enough stuff. My wife said we could put artwork and photos on our living room walls once they were painted. That was over a decade ago! And if you ask why I don’t put them up myself, I’m seeking her better sense of design.


2.  Have you used an outrageous excuse to get out of jury duty?

NEVER! I wouldn’t ever do so. ‘

A good friend wrote this recently: “I’ve received a summons for Federal Grand Jury duty, and I find it disheartening how many people IMMEDIATELY start giving me advice on how to get OUT of serving. I am being given an opportunity to help determine whether a criminal should be charged, or an innocent exonerated. It may be inconvenient, but it’s a service that is necessary for our Nation to function, and all too few seem willing to participate. I think that’s sad.”

I’ve written about my two experiences with jury duty here and here  A friend I ran into leaving a grand jury session this spring reminded me that I’m overdue for another opportunity.
3. Where do you like to go shopping (not for groceries)

I hate shopping. When I go, I finish as quickly as possible. I used to run the mail order department when I worked at FantaCo in the 1980s, which may explain why I embrace it so readily. 

That said, if I shop, it’s mostly at Lodge’s in downtown Albany, founded in 1867.

4. What was the last movie you saw in a movie theater?

Barbenheimer, NOT on the same day.


5. If you wrote a note and put it in a bottle to throw out to sea, what would the note say?

Be of good cheer.


6. What decision have you made in your life that you regret?

Too many and too personal. Okay, here’s one: wearing hard-soled shoes when I was on JEOPARDY in 1998.


7. What is in your junk drawer?

It’s next to my dresser, with coins, pens, cough drops, and goodness knows what else.


8. Have you ever gone to a high school reunion?

My 10th, 35th, and 50th. Also, my sister’s 45th and 50th.


9. Would you rather receive the GOOD news or the BAD news first?

BAD, for sure.


10. What are your top 3 pet peeves?
Self-important folks who block crosswalks, sidewalks, et al. with their cars. Cruel bullies. People who don’t take responsibility for their actions; from here: ” I frankly don’t understand the argument that Trump can’t be found guilty of trying to overturn the election if he really and truly thought he’d won it. Does that mean that you couldn’t convict that North Carolina man who fired an AR-15 rifle inside a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. because he really and truly believed it was the home of a Satanic child sex abuse ring involving top Democrats?”
11. Are there famous people from where you live?

William Kennedy, Gregory Maguire, Rachael Ray. Mike Tyson trained and fought in the area; I saw him once with Jack Nicholson backstage after an Anita Baker concert at the Palace Theatre in ALB. Here’s a Wikipedia page.


12. What kitchen gadgets do you use most?

Stove, can opener, microwave.


13. Who was your elementary school best friend?

Probably Ray, whose mom was the den mother of our Cub Scout troop.


14. Choose an animal and tell us four things about that animal.

Cat: mysterious, unpredictable, furry, hungry.


15. What is your favorite pizza topping?  What do you never want on a pizza?
I’ve grown partial to white broccoli but I’ll try anything if it doesn’t have anchovies.
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