The Lydster, Part 129: I Don’t Like Reggae

dreadlockholidayThis will surely shock some of you, but one day, I was singing a tune while sitting at the computer that just popped into my head. I couldn’t even really remember it, except for a chorus: “I don’t like reggae (oh, no), I love it (ooo yeah.)” Don’t own the recording, couldn’t even remember who performed it, and I may have misremembered the lyrics.

As it turns out, the song was called Continue reading

X is for Xylopolist

christmas_treeA xylopolist is someone who sells wood. Or, from Encyclo: 1. One who sells timber; a timber-merchant. 2. A dealer in wooden objects or one who sells various kinds of wood or wooden objects. I assume this includes someone who sells Christmas trees.

X is always tricky for ABC Wednesday participants. There are two common prefixes in English that start with X that folks have used quite often. Continue reading

40 Years Ago: Giving Up (for the nonce)

never-give-upAlmost a year ago, I read this in Mark Evanier’s blog:

One of those folks who didn’t want me to post their name wrote…

Your comment intrigued me. Don’t you think there’s a value in not giving up? My folks taught me there was no such thing as a lost cause. My father used to say, “A man who won’t be defeated can’t be defeated.” If you believe in something enough, whether it’s a political cause or a dream you have, shouldn’t you pursue it with every breath you have left in you? If you give up on something, doesn’t that mean you never really believed in it in the first place?

Sounds like Man of La Mancha.
Continue reading

U is for Underground Railroad History Project

Stephen A. Myers

Stephen A. Myers

This being the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, I figure I should note one of the treasures of the Albany, NY area: the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region. In case you are unaware, the Underground Railroad was the “effort–sometimes spontaneous, sometimes highly organized–to assist persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery.” See also information from the PBS site and History.com.

The UGRR History Project started when Mary Liz, an elementary school teacher was interested to see if there was any UGRR history in the Albany area. Most of the experts told her no. Yet she and her husband Paul , who works for a community loan fund, were dissatisfied with the answer, and kept digging for more.

Eventually, they found enough historically significant sites to give walking tours in Albany. The non-profit organization they helped form has held a well-regarded conference on the topic for a dozen years.

Most significantly, they discovered a residence of Stephen and Harriet Myers, “point people in Albany regarding the Underground Railroad in the 1850s, which their organization has helped rebuild. Here’s the Wikipedia page about the structure.

In October, Paul and Mary Liz Stewart bicycled 730 miles across New York State on the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Trail. They brought attention to the important role the Erie Canal played in the Underground Railroad movement and raised funds for Underground Railroad History Project.
abc15

ABC Wednesday, Round 15

The Lydster, Part 128: Weird Al

weirdalThe Daughter was introduced to Weird Al Yankovic on the release of his July 2014 album, Mandatory Fun, which opened at #1 on the Billboard charts, the first comedy album since 1963 to top the charts. She went away for about a week to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in mid-August, spending time with her 13 y.o. twin cousins, and she comes home a Weird Al maven.

This is not a bad thing, mind you. I’ve been following the musician’s career for about three and a half decades, back when it was primarily him playing the accordion on songs such as My Bologna (parody of the Knack’s My Sharona) and Another One Rides the Bus (take on Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust) Continue reading

Q is for Qualtagh

good-morning-this-morning (1)The Wiktionary defines qualtagh (Manx English) as “The first person one encounters, either after leaving one’s home or (sometimes) outside one’s home, especially on New Year’s Day.” Unused Words describes the word as “the first person one meets (either leaving or entering their house) after the start of the New Year.”

But the first reference I saw did not specify the New Year. So I started thinking about this Continue reading