Swap-Bot Sunday Stealing

assault weapons, peanut butter, the movie Rollover

Swap-botThe  Sunday Stealing this week came from Swap-Bot. These were dubbed by the moderator, Bev, as silly questions. Some of them are just plain weird.

What mythical creature would improve the world most if it existed?

The phoenix could fly around from town to town, helping them to rise from the ashes of fires and the devastation of droughts. Maybe it could work on wind and water damage too.

What inanimate object do you wish you could eliminate from existence?

Assault weapons, such as AK-47s. BTW, I agree with those who have ever been in conversation about these weapons of massive destruction and are seeking to ban them. You call something an AK-47, but it’s an AR-15. So you are chastised that since you don’t know the difference, your opinions don’t matter. What I do know is how either one affects the human body. There’s a video from 60 Minutes from 2018, unfortunately now housed behind the Paramount + paywall, which explains this quite graphically.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?

It was actually at my grandmother’s house, I think. A tiny picture of “Jesus”was in a frame, and the eyes seemed to follow you around. It was creepy. The technique is mentioned on this site.

What would be the absolute worst name you could give your child?

Jelly Bean Green

What would be the worst thing for the government to make illegal?

Voting. And sometimes they try.

What are some of the nicknames you have for customers or coworkers?

Not a nickname, but when I was a working librarian, we always said, “We don’t know everything, but we know how to find it.”


If peanut butter wasn’t called peanut butter, what would it be called?

Toxic paste. My daughter is allergic. When I was young, I used to eat a lot of peanut butter, specifically Jif. I’m convinced I probably ate too much at some point because now I can’t stand it. This has actually been a boon to our family for a couple of reasons. 1) When we’re somewhere with unlabeled cookies, I can take a bite and tell my daughter instantly not to eat them before I spit them out. 2) My wife got Reese’s Pieces that my daughter would receive for trick-or-treating.

What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical?

I’ve thought about this a lot. While I don’t particularly remember the film well, I thought it was TERRIBLE. (While 7 of 9 Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a positive review, the audience was only 33% positive.) I’m picking Rollover (1981), about which one critic wrote, “Perhaps I might have liked it if I knew what it was all about.”

The plot: “The wife of a murdered petrochemical company chairman and a banker investigating the liquidity of his new bank stumbles upon an international financial scheme that could lead to global economic collapse.” It starred Jane Fonda, during a run of several well-regarded films, and Kris Kristofferson. I believe a scene was filmed at SUNY Albany. Music could only have made it better.

What would be the worst “buy one get one free” sale of all time?

A week in Antarctica in July.

Name game

What is the funniest name you have actually heard used in the real world?

It’s a strange thing. When you hear it over and over again, it’s not so weird. I’m specifically thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who most Hollywood agent types thought he should change. Now, there are so many diverse names, perhaps difficult to pronounce, but people figure it out.

What sport would be the funniest to add a mandatory amount of alcohol to?

People in the stands drinking beer are usually okay. Watching people drinking while performing is not interesting to me.

What would be the coolest animal to scale up to the size of a horse?

All of the examples I thought of were terrifying. A hard PASS.

What set of items could you buy that would make the cashier the most uncomfortable?

I find most cashiers don’t care all that much.

What is something you just recently realized that you are embarrassed you didn’t realize earlier?

Probably the definition or pronunciation of a word, but frankly, I don’t remember (or much care) what it was. And “embarrassed” is a gross exaggeration.

What are some fun and interesting alternatives to war that countries could settle their differences with?

Not necessarily fun, but games of tic-tac-toe with the starter alternating. You succeed when you win ten games in a row. It’d go on forever, so there would be no time to fight.

Swamp bot for Sunday Stealing

early ecology

swamp botThe meme Sunday Stealing has More Swap Bot questions

-If you could witness any event from history, what would it be?

The excitement when World War II ended.

-What do you think about conspiracy theories?

Probably 0.5% of them are actually true.

-Do you like cartoons? Do you have /had a favorite one?

I love cartoons. I’m partial to the Hanna-Barbera ones I grew up with: Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and Quick Draw McGraw. I also like the funny papers.

This reminds me of something I did when I was a kid. I would wrap presents with the pages of the Sunday comic strips. This made sense to me, rather than purchasing wrapping paper to use it once and then throw it away. I did NOT get any support for this idea, which was ecologically sound, before I knew what the word ecology meant.

-What did you most dislike in school times?

Arbitrary dress codes. When I was in high school, girls couldn’t;t wear culottes because they were considered pants, even though I’d think they would have considered them more modest. There was actually an in-school protest over that.

-How do you think the end of the world will look like?

I hope I’m not looking at it now. People have been predicting it for centuries, but with the climate crisis, this might actually be the trigger.

-What sounds are, in your opinion, relaxing? The sound of the sea? Traffic? Vacuum cleaner? Combine harvester on the field? Some kind of music? Birds singing? …

The sea, if it’s rhythmic. Some instrumental music. But when my wife vacuums, it DOES make me sleepy.

Which way?

-Which would you take: The well-worn path or the road less traveled?

Physically, the former. Emotionally/intellectually, I strive for the latter.

-What was the last thing you read?

Mark Evanier’s blog post about the late comedian Gallagher

-What is one thing that has stumped you so hard you won’t ever forget it?

It happens so often that I actually HAVE forgotten. It’s the belief by some people of some easily disproven idea. They hold onto the thought and just can’t let it go.

-What are you interested in that most people aren’t?

Doing square root by hand, keeping score in bowling by hand, multiplying by two to 16,384. Pretty much everything in this post 

-What’s something you really resent paying for?


-What did you think was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now?

Leisure suits

-If you could choose a different time period and place to be born, when and where would it be?

I don’t, actually. Though I’d love to be at gatherings of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, I wouldn’t want to be around that early.

-Do you think cats have any regrets?

No. They’re cats.

-What question do you hate answering?

Pretty much any insecure query. There’s a difference between when someone is interested (“Why did you do that?”) and derisive (“Why did you do THAT?”)

Sunday Stealing: Extraordinary Penpals

Donny Hathaway

extraordinary penpalsHere’s another Sunday Stealing from the League of Extraordinary Penpals

Have you ever written to a celebrity? Did they respond?

I don’t know that I’ve ever written to any celebrity directly except to some comic book creator types who I have gotten to know. I did write to Paul Simon’s label once to complain that the six-minute version of Boy In The Bubble should have been on the expanded version of Graceland, but there’s no reason to think that Paul himself ever read it.

Do you read letters immediately or wait until you are ready to reply?

What are “letters”? Oh yeah, I remember letters. Usually wait, although if I think I’ll let it slip through the cracks, I’ll try to push it up in my queue.

My preferences when it comes to reading

Sufficient light (a growing requirement), probably on the sofa because it’s the only place, other than my office (and I want not even to see the computer, lest I be tempted to check it out), that provides comfort and sufficient illumination. The television must not be on. Music can be, but it should not have words, which is to say mostly classical or jazz.

Invisible pain

What I’m least likely to change my mind about?

Things that are true over time. An example: my wife had some medical issues involving her left leg. She has not been to church in over a month. I recommended that she take her cane to church today. This is because when someone does not appear hurt/injured, others perceive that he or she is better physically than they might be.

I believe this to be true because my wife and I have a friend who has experienced severe pain over time. They have told us that because they don’t LOOK unwell that others believe they are faking or malingering. Having a crutch or sling or wheelchair or visible bandages – and my wife has bandages under her clothes – is a sign that “something is wrong.”

Whether my wife will take the advice, IDK.

 The topics I would get wrong during trivia

Car models, flower varieties, and actors who became famous in the 21st century.

What I’m hopeful about right now?

That my wife will continue to heal

Philosophies I’ve learned/embraced from others

A Unitarian once told me that “we create our own theology,” and I think that’s true. I may believe something uplifting from the Gospel according to Matthew, but I don’t feel obliged to explain some dreadful verses from Leviticus.

What makes home feel like home?

Music and books.

Talents and skills I like to cultivate

Getting around via mass transit, keeping up with political events

More music

What makes my heart race?

Music, for sure. There is music that will make me cry with joy or cry with melancholy. Take one example: Gone Away by Roberta Flack. It really doesn’t get going until the second verse. It’s described here: The late, great Donny Hathaway “lifted that fleeting horn melody from his own ‘I Believe to My Soul’ and used it to anchor the chorus and closing section.” In the right mood, the song can make me weep.

What power means to me

The ability to turn on my computer, my CD player, my cellphone…

One of my comfort hobbies

Playing with my Hess trucks.

Last time I was pleasantly surprised

When my wife started changing her own bandages this week

How was my October 2022?

Busy and exhausted, as noted here and here and here and especially here,  plus another post I haven’t put out yet.

Those who inspire my growth

Almost anyone who has a rational point of view. Of course, I get to define what I think is rational.

Where I live for Sunday Stealing

Nat Geo maps

Albany culturalI didn’t realize the Sunday Stealing questions for Where I Live were only visible if one highlights the page. 

What did you do today?

On Sunday, I went to church, put my wife and her sister-in-law on the prayer list, sang with the choir, attended a Black History Month organizational meeting, changed the dressing on my wife’s leg, and had a ZOOM meeting with my sisters… Is that enough?

5 things about where you live.

1. The #106 CDTA bus goes pretty close to five of the seven branches of the Albany Public Library. 2. Within easy walking distance of my house is a CVS, a movie theater, a grocery store, my bank, a police station, several restaurants, and a branch of my library. 3. It was listed as the best place to live in New York State. 4. Before the Europeans came to Albany, the Mohicans inhabited it. 5. It is the second oldest city and also a state capital in the nation, just after Santa Fe, NM.

What are the must-sees sights around you?

Thatcher Park in Albany County has a great view. We have some nice refurbished vaudeville theaters, notably Proctor’s in Schenectady, which was pretty run down when I worked in the building in 1978, but it is a jewel now. And you should probably see the Egg, which is n the picture.

What’s your favorite restaurant meal?

I like most Indian and Italian. But I like the occasional restaurant (not Mickey D’s) burger.

What was the last thing you cooked or ate?

Lasagna. It was good.

What is something you learned from your grandparents?

Canasta (Grandma Green), gin rummy, and love of Nat Geo maps (Mac Green)

What’s the weather like as you are writing your postcard?

Above freezing, dry.


Share an interesting fact you’ve learned that most people are unaware of.

The 2022 World Series is the first one since 1950 with no black US players.

Are there any local events or festivals in your area?

Live at Five in the summer, the Scottish Games, and quite a few other things, actually.

What was the last concert you attended?

The Albany Symphony in February 2022. The last pop concert was Cheap Trick in February 2020.

What is your favorite charitable organization?

The FOCUS Churches. A food pantry, and much more.

Dare to tell Sunday Stealing

Rebecca Jade

dictionary of american regional englishDare to tell is the current Sunday Stealing meme. Most questions aren’t THAT daring.

What type of day are you having?

It’s very busy. My wife has a foot injury, so I’m bringing the pillows she uses to prop up her leg upstairs as she’s going to bed. Then downstairs as she sits on the sofa.

Other tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry, are fine; I can do those. But the pillows naturally have to be just so. The solution: I ordered more pillows online; they haven’t arrived yet, but it’ll make life easier. …

Was there anyone who “made your day”?

My friend Bruce, who brought my wife to the doctor and then picked her up, always makes my day.

Are you liking how you look today?

A complicated question you’ll have to ask my therapist if I had one.

Have you ever eaten a bug?

Not to my recollection.

Are you vegetarian?

No, I like chicken too much. But I have been eating more fruit.

When was your last paycheck?

July 2019, and it included my unused vacation time. To quote a late local car dealer, it was HUGE.

How many pets do you have?

Two cats, one of whom is neurotic. Yesterday he freaked out when I was carrying the laundry basket, and I picked up a container of Tide. He started growling and hissing for a couple of hours until he meandered to the basement. After the hours-long timeout, he was still skittish. The tambourine is a last resort t keep him at bay.   

What kind of toothpaste do you use?

Pretty much whatever’s on sale. Currently, it’s Crest.

Are you closer to being rich or poor?

As a middle-class American, I’m WAY closer to being rich on a global scale.

Shamelessly plugging my niece at every opportunity

What was the last gift someone gave you?

A compact disc of my niece Rebecca Jade called A Shade of Jade.

Do you appreciate that person?

Yes, I appreciate my sister.

Did you talk to anyone you didn’t like today?

Nah, and I’m no longer in a position having to talk to people I don’t like. Retirement is wonderful.

Do you like picnics?

Sure? But I don’t like ants.

What book are you currently reading?

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

What song did you last listen to?

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Neil Young; sorry, Mary H.

How many tabs are open on your computer?

64. To be fair, I opened three of them to fill out this quiz.

Are you a very stressed-out person?

Less so than I used to be. Still, I was rather stressed out when I started treating my wife’s wounds because I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s like riding somewhere in a car when someone else is driving, then needing to drive the route yourself.

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