Fewer than 5000 questions

Life On Mars

Sunday Stealing links to a site with thousands of questions. From this are culled fewer than 5000.

Who do you take for granted?

At some level, maybe everyone who has died who I expected to be around a lot longer, from my parents to my friend Norm Nissen. Put differently, I don’t take ANYONE for granted.

Short, knee, or ankle skirts?

Haven’t worn skirts in years, but if I did, surely ankle.

Do you wear a hat?

Always. Hat, cap, or in lieu of those, an umbrella to use as a parasol. I’m really susceptible to the sun on my pate; I have a rational fear of skin cancer.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

Popeye, I suppose. He got me to eat spinach. More than that, he had a pretty long fuse. But at some point. “That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more.” I think there’s a bit of me in that.

Does break dancing impress you?

Yes, but I don’t want to do it and have never tried.

Are you a miracle?

Sure, why not? But aren’t we all? Or at least most of us.

Have you ever eaten tofu?

Yes. I think that people processing it have gotten better at it because I used to hate it.

Does the moon have an effect on your mood?

Not so as I [howls at the big thing in the night sky] have noticed.

Many people will say that the Harry Potter books are pure fluff with no literary value. Do you agree?

That’s just silly. If nothing else, it has gotten a ton of people to read enthusiastically.

What are you doing next Wednesday?

Actually, going to my Dad’s group at church.

Elvis won’t leave the building

Why do so many people think Elvis is still alive?

Elvis fulfilled some need for something mythic. I mean, he just COULDN’T die that young, and in such a pedestrian manner, so he’s been willed back to life.

Are your hands cold?

No, but my wife’s hands often are.

Have you ever given blood?

Only about 174 times, as I noted here. There was a stretch of about two decades when I was giving at least five times a year. I give less frequently now because scar tissue has developed on both arms in the locations from which they had traditionally drawn.

What SCI-fi books do you read?

I’ve tried. Asimov, LeGuin, Herbert. I think the only science fiction book I ever finished that wasn’t a children’s book was Stardancer by Kelly Sedinger. Unless you count 11/22/63 by Stephen King. But I did read short story sci-fi when I was younger. And I read comic book adaptations and watch television and movies.

One TV show that oddly came to mind recently was called Life On Mars. It was a 2008 US drama that was based on a 2006 UK series. Apparently, the British version was better, but I’ve never seen it. “A present-day car accident mysteriously sends a detective back to the 1970s.” It starred Jason O’Mara, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, and Harvey Keitel, but only lasted a season.

Have you ever belonged to a sorority or a fraternity?

No, but my wife did.

Sunday Stealing hodgepodge

2 Samuel

Sunday StealingThis Sunday Stealing hodgepodge was so detailed that I could have written whole posts about a few questions. And in fact, that’s why I’ve done it here a few times, link to items previously discussed.

1. Where do you get your news these days?

I’ve thought about this a lot. I get a lot of newsfeeds, “mainstream,” progressive, and what one might call rightwing. About the latest mass casualty event, I receive a dozen notices. Elon Musk dithering about whether to buy Twitter I read about ad nauseum.

Yet the first time I read that Bob Lanier, Hall of Fame basketball player and an apparently really good guy had died, it was in from Kelly’s blog. And the second was from a weekly newsletter that linked to this article. It’s more and more difficult to know everything.

2. Do you like crab meat? What makes you crabby?

It’s OK. People hijacking the Consitution and/or the Bible.

3. Does freedom mean more choices? Have you ever felt there were too many choices? Elaborate.

I think we have a gazillion choices of picking watching TV/movies, e.g. – so many platforms! Sometimes keeping track of the options is essentially impossible.

4. Barbara Millicent Roberts was introduced to the world on March 9, 1959…that’s Barbie to most of us. Did you have Barbies as a kid, or did you let your own children play with Barbies? What well-known Barbara (living or not) would you most like to meet?

I think my sisters may have had a Barbie. I can’t think of a famous living Barbara I’d like to meet, but maybe Barbra Streisand.

5. What are three things you value most in another person?

Integrity, intelligence, and compassion.

THEY are old…

6. How would you define “old.” At what age is a person old?

It’s always been true: 30 years older than I am.

7. A place you’ve been that’s “old.” Tell us something about your visit there.

My Grandma Williams’ house was old and is now non-existent. This is a picture of my parents in the backyard of 13 Maple Street, Binghamton, NY.

8. Something you miss about the “good old days.” When were they?

In the 1960s, there were a bunch of Supreme Court decisions that were making the United States a better place: Mapp v. Ohio, Baker v. Carr, Gideon v. Wainwright, New York Times v. Sullivan, Griswold v. Connecticut, Loving v. Virginia.

9. In what way are you a ‘chip off the old block’? Or if you’d rather, in what way is your child a ‘chip off the old block’?

My daughter understands my motivation in terms of time usage, way better than her mother does.

10. Old fashioned, Old Testament, old-timer, same old same old, old glory, good old boy, old wives tale…choose an ‘old’ phrase that relates to something in your life or the wider world currently and explain.

My Bible study has been slogging through the Old Testament histories, presently in 2 Samuel. While some of the theology is mystifying, it is an interesting reflection of human foibles.

A juicy mango

11. July 5th is National Hawaii Day…have you ever been to Hawaii? Any desire to visit or make a return trip? Pineapple, mango, or guava…what’s your pleasure?

Never been to Hawaii, though I’d like to. There’s a story about that. Pineapple, though I never had mango until the last decade or so.

12. Last time you were ‘thrown in at the deep end’? Explain.

The Gutenberg block editor on WordPress, which I wrote about here. Just this past week, I tried it again, but could not “get” it.

13. Sun, sea, sand, salt…your favorite when it comes to summer?

I’ve NEVER done sun for the sake of it – ixnay on the unbathingsay, and that was before I had the vitiligo.

14. Bury your head in the sand, the sands of time, draw a line in the sand, pound sand, shifting sands…pick one and tell us how the phrase currently relates to your life in some way.

Sands of time. I’m getting older, and achier.

15. On a scale of 1-10 (1 = make your own rules and 10=like a warden), how strict were your parents? If you’re a parent where on the scale do you land?

My dad was a 7.3, and my mom was about 2.3. I’m much closer to my mom’s score than my dad’s.


Sunday stealing: Do you like…?

on the telephone

Doing another Sunday Stealing, Do you like…

1. Do you like your handwriting? No, and if I’m not careful, it is illegible even to me. I think it was in third grade, and for at least one marking period, I received either a D or an F in Handwriting. So this is NOT a recent phenomenon.

2. Do you like roller coasters? I used to. My family would go to Coney Island, or to Eldridge Park in Elmira. I’d sit with my sister Leslie, while my dad would sit with my sister Marcia. Our mom would hold our glasses. But now, it makes me somewhat nauseous.

3. Do you like scary movies? Not really. I’ve not gone to any Nightmare On Elm Street or Friday the 13th films. The first film to freak me out was called Leech Woman.

4. Do you like shopping? I like going into a store, finding the thing I like, then leaving. Did that with a coat my wife bought for me at JC Penney. The first coat I tried on I liked and it fit. “Don’t you want to try on some more?” NO! It took us longer to pay for it than to select it. So I’ve learned to love mail order.

5. Do you like to talk on the phone? Yes, actually. When I was working, I was the one most likely to call a resource on the phone. And, I might add, I was good at it. In 2020, I called dozens of people, rather as an antidote to COVID despair.


6. Do you sleep with the lights on or off? Off. My wife’s aversion to the light at night is primarily the reason.

7. Do you use headphones or earphones? If I’m on a public conveyance (bus, train), yes.

8. Do you have tattoos? Do you want any? No, and no.

9. Do you wear glasses? I have since I was nine or eleven.

10. What is your strangest talent? Making a kazoo sound without a kazoo.

11. Have you ever been in the hospital? Yes. When I was 5 (uncontrollable nosebleed), 19 (car accident), a couple of other times to rule out something more serious.

12. What color mostly dominates your wardrobe? Blue.

13. What’s your most expensive piece of clothing? Probably a suit.

14. Have you ever had braces? No.

15. Have you ever been on TV? Yes. I was on the local kiddie show a few times; I wrote about one experience here. I’ve been interviewed on the local news a handful of times. And, oh, yeah, JEOPARDY twice.

Sunday Stealing: Firsts

Twilight Zone

firstsI’m been feeling blog unfocused. Maybe it’s after hitting my 17th anniversary of blogging, doing it every day another year felt a bit daunting.

I’ve missed doing ABC Wednesday, which I participated in for over a decade. It helped create my weekly blogging structure. So I’m going to do a bit of Sunday Stealing, which I’ve done as early as 2011 and as recently as 2021.

I may do it every week if the prompt strikes my fancy. Perhaps I’ll even do it on a Sunday!

This week are things that are firsts.

First Job: Newspaper delivery of the Evening and Sunday Press (Binghamton, NY) or library page (Binghamton Public Library)

First Favorite Politician: CLean Gene McCarthy

First Record/CD: Beatles VI (US album from Capitol Record Club

First Sport Played: kickball in the backyard, softball at school

First Concert: lots of local concerts that I don’t specifically recall. Seals and Crofts my first year of college

First Foreign Country Visited: Canada (Niagara Falls, ON)

First Favorite TV Show: Twilight Zone

First Favorite Actor: Bill Bixby of My Favorite Martian

First Favorite Actress: Annette Funicello of the Mickey Mouse Club

First Girlfriend/Boyfriend: probably Martha

First Encounter with a Famous Person: Nelson Rockefeller (briefly), or Rod Serling 

First House/Condo Owned: my current one

First Film Seen: 101 Dalmatians

First Favorite Radio Station: WEWNE, Endicott, NY

First Book I Remember Reading: Play The Game, a sports anthology book from the 1930s that I STILL OWN, and in fact, is in the room I’m sitting in

Sunday Stealing, March 2020

Music. Always music.

Banana splitFor the reasons discussed below, I’m taking some questions from Sunday Stealing for March 2020. But only the ones I feel like answering. The first group’s from March 28.

1. If there’s a personal god, what quality would you most like that person to have (and why)?

I suppose I could do worse than the attributes noted in the song Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode: “Someone to hear your prayers. Someone who cares. Someone who’s there.” Why? Because to quote the Rolling Stones, in another context: “Well, we all need someone we can lean on.”

2. What’s your death-row meal?

Steak. Bacon. Banana split.

4. Whom do you find yourself missing more than you would’ve predicted?

Keith Barber.

5. What brings you the most joy? Not happiness, not contentment — JOY.

Music. Always music.

6. Do you find yourself regretting anything you’ve said or done on social media?

Surprisingly infrequently. It’s because I write a blog and then post that. So I’ve thought about it BEFORE I post it. I highly recommend that strategy. Except for news stories, I don’t post anything else.

7. What are your favorite and least favorite things about your body and face?

Least favorite (body): my feet, subject to arthritis, among other ailments, going back to getting frostbite when I was 16
Least favorite (face): the vitiligo, because I don’t want to burn
Favorite (body)): my ears
Favorite (face): my eyes, I suppose

10. Which three places in the physical universe would you most like to visit?

Paris, Tahiti, County Cork in Ireland.

12. How have your religious views changed since you were in high school?

I was pretty rigid then.

March 14

3.Is there a carpet or hardwood floor in your bedroom?

Carpeting, which my wife hates.

10. Have you ever found yourself talking to an inanimate object?

Of course. I mean, is that a BAD thing?

18. Have you ever thrown a surprise party for someone? Who for?

I used to be involved with several surprise parties. Haven’t done one this century, I don’t think.

21. Do you know how to play pool? Are you any good at it?

Yes. No, I’m quite terrible.

22. The most painful medical procedure you’ve ever had?

First root canal.

23. Are you someone who tends to take a whole lot of naps?

Only lately.

March 7

06 What is your least favorite color?

I don’t think I have one. But I do hate poor contrast on signs. So yellow on white is virtually unreadable for me.

08 What is/was your grandfathers’ names?

Maternal grandfather was Clarence Williams. I didn’t know him. He died when I was five, and I THINK I went to his funeral. When went to my maternal grandmother’s funeral in 1982, some folks in the Williams clan came up to me and said, “I bet you don’t remember me.” They were correct.
Paternal grandfather (functional): McKinley Green.
Paternal grandfather (biological): Rev. Raymond Cone.

13 What position do you sleep in at night?


15 Who is your favorite fictional character?


16 What food do you hate most in the world?

Canned beets.

17 When was the last time you were ill?

Right now, actually, which is why I’m doing this meme. I feel like crap, to use a term my wife hates. I can’t focus on much of anything. More on this later this week.

18 If you were transformed into a wild creature, what would it be?

That presupposes I’m not already one.

19 What was your favorite toy as a child, and whatever happened to it?

Teddy bear, left at my grandmother’s house. A neighbor took possession of stuff from the home temporarily for a time. Then the stuff disappeared.


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