From Pine View Farm

Personal Musings category archive

“Pluck Me, I’m a Chicken” 0

I sometimes watch streaming video on, which is free. (It’s free because it has commercials; in fairness, it has far fewer ads than commercial television and the volume of the commercials is lower than that of the shows. All-in-all, I find it a fair trade-off.)

Last night, as I watched an episode of the 1960s ITV series, The Saint, new commercials appeared for a cell phone app called “Stash” for stock trading (no link–look it up yourself). In the ad, clueless 20-somethings confess that they don’t know anything about the stock market, but then decide that they’ll give the app a whirl and make their fortunes. My guess is that the recent Game Stop kerfuffle inspired this.

Brooklyn Bridge at nightI’m old enough to remember day trading and the dot-com bubble.

So I have one question for novice investors who think an app can turn them into financial wizards.

Wanna buy a bridge?


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

At the Las Vegas Sun, a self-confessed “gun nut” confesses that he doesn’t get today’s gun nuts. A snippet; do please read the rest.

This new group of men and women who wear guns as political statements apparently no longer experience weapons as tools for hunting or for sport. Even claims of defense are suspect. What type of threat necessitates military firepower?

A bit of clarification: This self-confessed “gun nut” is a “gun nut” in the same way that my cousin, a hunter, was a “gun nut.” My cousin had several rifles and shotguns for hunting, as well as some collectors’ items, because they were, well, collectors’ items. When he and my aunt and uncle would come to Pine View Farm for Thanksgiving dinner (a family tradition when I was a young ‘un), an afternoon hunting expedition was part of the deal. Sometimes, my brother and I would walk along on the hunt.

To the best of my knowledge, though, he never craved a bazooka.


It might be worthwhile to create a new taxonomy of gunnuttery to separate “gun fetishists” (or maybe “gun fondlers”?) from “gun hobbyists.”

I get “gun hobbyists.” It’s been a long time since I lived in a place where I could trot a gun out into the back yard and take potshots at tin cans, but, if I could, I would. Because it’s fun.

But I’ve never had any desire to pack heat at the local supermarket for fear of a confrontation over canned coffee.


Recommended Listening 0

The Film Mystery, by Arthur B. Reeve.

In addition to being a decent mystery read quite competently, it was written in the age of the silents and is an interesting journey back in time. It will recall you to the film-making techniques of an earlier era.


Stray Thought 0

It is worthy of note that the two greatest threats to have faced this country have come, not from external enemies, but from homegrown bigotry, greed, and hate.


Stray Thought 0

Thanks to Donald Trump, we now know what happens when you try to run the government like a business.

(Misplet wrod correxed.)


Immunity Impunity 0

Get out of Jail free cardI’m almost–not quite–as old as the man who filed this suit.

I don’t think police would have treated me as they did the plaintiff in said action, but, then, I’m Not Black.


Words Fail Me 0

This tells you all you need to know about Regent University.


Stray Thought, Do Us a Favor Though Dept. 0

I think it’s legitimate to theorize that Donald Trump expects some judges to do him a favor though because he did them a favor by appointing them.


A Glimpse into a Void 0

Buried in a column about Donald’s being “the sorest loser ever,” John Huey asks a question which I suspect no one, not even Donald Trump, can answer.

Who knows what Donald Trump really believes?


Stray Thought 0

I’m watching an episode of Midsomer Murders which includes scenes of a steam excursion railroad. (I can always find time to watch an episode of Midsomer Murders, even it I’ve seen it [mumble] times before.)

I know that none the actors playing railroaders know squat about railroads.

It’s quite easy, really. The actors keep stepping on the rails.

No true railroader would ever step on a rail. Rails are slippery. It’s too easy to slip, fall, and twist your ankle; and God help you if there’s an oncoming train.

By the way, I’ve got my Amtrak 20 year pin somewhere, if you want to see it.


Thanksgiving 0

I know it may be difficult in these viral times, but I hope you can find at least one thing to be thankful for.

And stay safe.


Stray Question 0

You do realize, do you not, that 2001: A Space Odyssey, was set nearly two decades ago?

Where is my jet pack?


All That Was Old Is New Again 0

From time to time, I listen to old radio shows from a website devoted to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater (and you should too).

The audio often includes bits of news reports preceding the actual mystery broadcast, and much of that news from the early years of the show includes stories about the Great and Glorious Patriotic War for a Lie in Vietnam.

The same war from which I can remember my draft lottery number 50 years later.

The same war I marched against many times.

The same war for which I journeyed to Washington for the march and listened to Pete Seeger sing “Give Peace a Chance” in front of the Washington Monument.

It is eerie how those bits of news take me back in time.

Even more eerie is how little we have learned from our mistakes.


Phonetics 0

In Republican world, it’s spelled “buy-partisan.”


The Climates They Are a-Changing 0

It’s November and we’re running the bleepin’ air conditioning for Pete’s sake.


Interregnum 0

What Donald Trump doesn’t get is that most people are worn out by all the shenanigans.


A Policy Statement 0

I find myself bemused when I see letters and columns in my local rag extolling Donald Trump’s “policies.”

The concept of policy implies concerted, rational actions towards achieving a specific purpose.

I have seen no “Trump policies” in the four years of the Trumpling.

I have seen only bigotry, blather, and blame.


A Bananas Republic 0

I have a nagging bad feeling that I just can’t shake.

I find it hard to see this as anything other than a clumsy attempt at a coup d’etat by a weakling who’s a wannabe strong man.

Read more »


Stray Thought 0

The telly-phone has been mercifully quiet today.


Stray Thought 0

I’m not going to waste my time–or my nerves–sitting up to listen to returns. I’ll read about them tomorrow.

I’m upset enough already.

Instead, I shall watch an episode of Midsomer Murders and pretend that I live in a civilized society.