November Rambling: Legacy of fools, and Facebook rejection

I have a friend who actually is in great pain much of the time. But she doesn’t “look” sick, or injured, and people dismiss her level of discomfort. So this graphic is for her.

Troy, who participates in ABC Wednesday, and has designed the last several logos for the rounds, and his wife Diann, have undergone a terrible family ordeal, which they describe in painful detail. Then Troy explains that injustice runs in the judge’s family.

The Unmitigated Disaster Known As Project ORCA, which was “a massive undertaking – the Republican Party’s newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 presidential election.”

Letter to a future Republican strategist regarding white people. “My name is Eric Arnold Garland and I am a White Man.”

Marriage equality legal precedents.

Paul Rapp believes we’re missing the most important story in the David Petraus case. Also, An interesting letter, which may or may not relate to Petraeus affair; the second letter.

I could list Amy Barlow Liberatore’s Sharp Little Pencil just about every month. Her poem Interview With Sgt. Davis, Kabul, 2012 addresses what we are fighting for, while Bitter Silence is a more personal reflection.

Ken Levine wrote about Social Network Rejection Continue reading

The New TV Season


After careful consideration, here is the list of new shows I’m watching this fall TV season:








Not a very long list; in fact, nada. Fact is that, while there were shows that have interested me, I have developed a higher standard for actually committing to a new show. I’m very suspicious of dramatic serials, because if the network decides to cancel it before it’s over, as ABC did with The Nine a few seasons back, it’s terribly frustrating.

I look at the ads for a program such as ABC’s Last Resort, about an an apparently rogue military operation, and it stars Andre Braugher, who I LOVED in Homicide: Life on the Streets. Yet Continue reading

The Zen of raking

It’s practically a tradition; I rake leaves on Veterans Day, or shortly thereafter. Usually, some ill wind blows the bulk of the leaves off the huge oak in the back, and the maple tree, not to mention the Japanese maple, in the front.

It’s one of those activities that allows for creative thought. Musing about raking, or the alternatives to it, such as leaf blowers, for instance.

So I don’t mind raking, though my wife is much more thorough than I. She’ll leave one leaf per square meter, and I might leave a dozen. My law of diminishing returns cuts in sooner I guess. I DON’T LIKE stepping into a hidden pile of dog manure, though, since we don’t own a dog.

When I’m out there, I like to play music. I don’t want to get some headphones, though; I do that every day at work. I want to hear music blasting out of my boom box. Continue reading

T is for the Trip Through Time, and Teachers

I grew up in Binghamton, NY, and when it was time for me to go to kindergarten, I was supposed to go to Oak Street Elementary School, based on where I lived. But both of my parents worked outside the home, and there would be no one home at lunchtime.

It was determined that we would instead go to Daniel S. Dickinson School, so that we could go to my maternal grandmother’s house at lunchtime. She was only a half dozen blocks from my home. Incidentally, I don’t think Oak Street was any closer to MY house than Dickinson. The school was named for a 19th Century US Senator, as well as the first president of the city of Binghamton in 1834.

One of the peculiar things about schools in Binghamton at the time Continue reading

MOVIE REVIEW: Lincoln

On Black Friday, my wife and I went to the Spectrum Theatre in Albany to see the 1:50 showing of the new Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln. It was sold out! That hasn’t happened to me since the original Star Wars. We bought tickets for the 3:15 show, and were advised to be back by 2:45.

We bought some hot chocolate, then went to a charming little toy store/food emporium. By the time we got back to the theater, there was this long line. I assumed it was to buy tickets; no, the 3:15 was SOLD OUT, and the line was for the ticket holders Continue reading

Wicked, the book versus Wicked, the musical

Reprinted from my Times Union blog.

My wife and I went to see the musical Wicked at the Thursday afternoon matinee on November 8, right after it opened, at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady. We had not seen it before in any iteration, not at Proctors a couple years before, or on Broadway. I wasn’t particularly familiar with the music, aside from Defying Gravity.

All in all, it was WONDERFUL. The performers were great, and the element that really impressed me was lighting. Michael Eck’s review is about right, though I obviously can’t speak to how much it may become dated.

My wife met me at the theater. She was driving from work with little time to spare, Continue reading

Reacting badly to “door busters”

Apparently, I have an almost irrational loathing to the phrase “door busters.” I’ve heard it before, but this season, it is so pervasive, even though I rarely watch live TV. Just talking about it with someone at work, I’m told I spoke of the word VERY LOUDLY.

It’s the idea that, in order to be a good consumer, one needs to aggressively bash in the store’s entryway. Having to fight the crowd to buy “stuff” that may be on sale seems, well, unseemly.

I have gone to Black Friday sales but once Continue reading

JFK and Thanksgiving Day

I went out with this woman in the late 1970s who was old enough to have voted for John Kennedy the first time she had the opportunity to vote for President. I can only imagine how devastated she was, along with the rest of the country, when he was killed. Every Thanksgiving I spent with her, when she or someone else said grace, she always added, “And bless the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.”

That thought ran through my mind when I realized that Thanksgiving and the assassination of JFK coincided this year Continue reading

Book Review: 11/22/63, a novel by Stephen King

I had never read a Stephen King novel, but due to boredom, I ended up taking out from the library 11/22/63, an 800+ page tome. OK, it wasn’t JUST boredom, but also a near-obsession I have long had with the tragic events of that day, crystallized in my mind; my own long-running curiosity about the various conspiracy theories surrounding John F. Kennedy’s assassination; and what would happen if, somehow, the President had survived the attack. (I’m sure I’ll write more about that next year.)

When I checked out the book – allowed for only 14 days, instead of the usual 28, because it’s a recent purchase – the library clerk, who had read it, assured me that it wasn’t one of those King horror books.

Well, no and yes. This is a pretty straightforward narrative about a man and a portal to a very specific time and place in 1958. What I always disliked somewhat in some going-back-in-time stories is Continue reading