From Pine View Farm

Personal Musings category archive

Stray Question 0

Who would have thought that, if you conspire to overthrow the government, you could be found guilty in court of conspiring to overthrow the government?

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Some Musings 0

I’ve been amused and I’ve been bemused.

I’ve certainly been demused. Most of the news these days is demusing.

I’ve even been emused by ejokes.

Why can’t I be cmused?

I’ll have to muse on that.

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Stray Thought 0

It’s the persons who don’t vote who should sport stickers.

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Devolution 0

I like to listen to Old Time Radio (OTR for short).

“Old Time” is really not an accurate label, as it actually refers to a very short period in the 1940s and 1950s, when radio shows were syndicated on vinyl “syndication” disks or, later, on tape and, fortunately, were not copyrighted, as they were considered ephemeral (a few shows from the 1930s survive–a very few). (Maybe I’m showing my age, but when I hear “old time,” I think “centuries ago.”)

Fortunately, there are folks who have worked to make OTR available to us today. You can see my favorite OTR sites over there —-> on the sidebar.

Right now, I’m listening to a dramatization of Penrod by Booth Tarkington, a novel that I read several times when I was a young ‘un, back in the olden days, from the NBC University of the Air at The Old Time Radio Theatre.

And it led me to realize that there was a time when commercial AM radio actually contributed positively to the discourse, a time when it was not merely a vehicle for right-wing haters and 24-hour sports talkers.

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And Now for a Musical Interlude 0

This is a relatively new genre of music called “lofi” (or maybe “Lo-Fi” or “Lofi”).

We first encountered it this week when we visited a local coffee shop for the first time; it was playing as background music, and we found it quite appealing. The proprietor told me, when I asked him what the music he was playing was called, that you can find lots of it on Youtube, so I did. When I searched for it, many of the links also referred to “hip-hop,” but it seems to me much more related to smooth jazz than to hip-hop.

I have been a jazz fan for many years, since I first stumbled upon Cannonball Adderley (and also a fan of jazz’s distant cousin, swing, as my two or three regular readers already know), though of course I was already aware of jazz, because how could you grow up in the Disunited States and not be? But Adderley made me a fan.

I can’t say that I’m knowledgeable about jazz. All I can say is that I like it, especially smooth jazz and blues.

Oh. And we also liked the coffee shop and will likely visit it again.

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Stray Thought 0

I suspect that, meny times, when persons complain about “cancel culture,” what they are actually complaining about is consequences.

(I doubt that I’m the first person who’s thought this, because, in retrospect, it’s pretty honking obvious.)

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Stray Thought 0

Reading BS posts from randos on “social” media is in no way research.

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Game Changed 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, sociology professor Thomas Henricks explores why football has for all practical purposes supplanted baseball as America’s “national pastime.” It’s interesting and, in some ways, rather depressing read.

Me, I’ve pretty much lost interest in both: football because of the moral bankruptcy of the NCAA ruling body and and the odious behavior of too many of the NFL owners; baseball because the games have gotten just too darned long to be worth my time.

(But I still read Bob Molinaro’s column every week, because he is fine writer with a wicked sense of humor.)

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Stray Thought 0

I did not know that Cardinal Richelieu invented the table knife.

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When the Stream Becomes a Flood 0

Thanks to the internet, we now have a vaster wasteland.

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Non-Sequitur 0

I’ve been watching a British show called Boon from the closing years of the last century. (It’s a off-beat situation comedy/drama/oddball mystery show that’s quite amusing.)

The lead character rides a BSA motorcycle. BSA’s were popular in the States back when I was a young ‘un. On a whim, I went looking to find out what BSA stands for. The answer was mildly surprising.

The “BSA” acronym has nothing whatsoever to do with motorized transport.

Read more »

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All the News that Gives Us Fits 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Polly Campbell suggests that excessive news consumption is–er–less than desirable.

A snippet (emphasis added):

I rarely watch television news because once I turn it on, it’s harder to turn off the television. And the nature of television news is that the stories are shorter. Sometimes this leaves me with a lot of emotion and few of the facts I need to understand it. So, I read a national and local newspaper. It’s easier to put down when I’m done.

I think she is onto something.

I gave up on broadcast news years ago. I find it superficial, sensational, and simplistic. Heck, I can read more in 10 minutes than a news announcer can read to me in 30.

And, when broadcasters have the choice, they will opt for sensational over sensible and superficial over solid, because these days it’s all about keeping eyeballs glued to the screen.

So I read.

Newspapers, newspaper websites, magazines, some blogs I have found reliable, sometimes even books–material for persons who read.

Also, in the “twenty-four hour news cycle,” there is not twenty-four hours worth of news, so broadcast news fills the gap with drivel talking heads spouting opinions. Opinions may or may not be valid, but they are not news.

(Of course, I fill this blog with my opinions, but I don’t pretend that they are anything more than opinions. Always right and never wrong, of course, but, still, just my opinions.)

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Oxymoron of the Day 0

I just heard an ad that, were I to fall for buy their product, I would have more time to

binge good reality TV.

An impossibility, for such a thing does not exist.

Aside:

No, I shall not identify the product. But if you are driven to listen to the ad, you can find it in this podcast. The occasional ad may be questionable, but the podcast is excellent.

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Stray Thought 0

What I remember most about this date is not so much what happened 21 years ago. I was at work and, well, though we got some updates and the television stayed on in the break room, I had work to do.

No, what I remember most is the silence of the following days, when we stepped out in the smoking area and no longer heard airplanes, either approaching Philadelphia International right across the river from us or making their way to other destinations as higher altitudes.

That silence stays with me.

Read more »

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Blast from the Past 0

We have been watching the old NBC show Emergency on Cozi TV, which is available on our cable.

I remember watching the show when I was a grad student at UVa in Charlottesville and could get only one station, the Richmond NBC affiliate, on my television in my basement apartment in a student slum.

It is hardly the best-acted or best-written show, but I liked it then and I like it now.

I think one reason I like it is that almost all the characters are good guys, who are either trying to help the victims of misfortunes or are, indeed, the victims themselves. And it has frequent doses of humor.

Sure, there is the occasional character who is a jerk, but never a character who is truly a villain.

I’m enjoying seeing it again.

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Echoes of Sexism 0

I was listening to a mystery novel and the reader read

The stenographer was busy with his papers . . . .

I must confess, I was mildly surprised that the stenographer was a he, because, when I was a young ‘un, stenographers were assumed to be shes.

We may not be able to shed the prejudices with which we grew up, but we can certainly make ourselves aware of them and thereby liberate ourselves from their blinders.

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Doing It the Old Fashioned Way 0

I have learned that, as phone companies have increasingly yielded to customer pressure to become more vigilant in blocking car warranty scammers, the scammers have taken to the mails.

Yesterday, I received a letter from a company I’ve never heard of (“Endurance”) warning me that the “extended service plan” that I never purchased was about to expire . . . .

Be forewarned.

(Gramatikal error correxted.)

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Culture 0

Stuart N. Brotman argues that there’s nothing new about “cancel culture.” Here’s a little bit from his article:

But cancel culture is just a symptom of a larger social disease that has been with us since Victorian times, then amped up in the United States as it became incorporated into our American value system. Put simply, the root of cancel culture is an individual’s or group’s need to censor.

I think that an important distinction is often missing from the discussion of “cancel culture” and those who defend themselves by claiming that (any) criticism of their actions is an attempt to “cancel” them.

It is one thing to defend oneself by claiming that one is being “canceled” if one is being criticized for something that some faction finds in bad taste or offensive, as was the case with many of the examples cited by Brotman.

It’s quite another to defend oneself by claiming that one is being “canceled” if one is being criticized for fomenting antisocial or criminal behavior, such as, for example, just to pick one, storming the Capitol and overthrowing the results of a lawful election.

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Morons in the Marketplace 0

At the Tampa Bay Times, Stephanie Hayes comments on the lazy, inconsiderate, self-centered jerks who leave shopping carts scattered willy-nilly about parking lots and sidewalks. Honest to Pete, no other place I’ve lived has been so plagued with shopping cart scofflaws, but it sounds as if Tampa Bay area has it bad tool.

She suggests that persons who fail to do such a simple task as return a shopping cart may also be likely to fail at larger duties to the polity. Here’s a bit from her piece:

That relative ease (of returning shopping carts–ed.) is at the core of the Shopping Cart Theory, a viral meme that posits: “The shopping cart is the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing. To return the shopping cart is an easy, convenient task and one which we all recognize as the correct, appropriate thing to do.”

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Stray Question 0

Why do restaurants keep coming up with sandwiches that you couldn’t possibly wrap your mouth around?

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