From Pine View Farm

Personal Musings category archive

Vaccine Nation 0

We got our Pfizer COVID boosters today at our local drug store of choice.

We trust science. And scientists. And people who have whaddyacallem “qualifications.”

We don’t trust randos on Facebook.


A Crowded Highway 0

I’ve driven in Atlanta.

This doesn’t surprise me at all.


Stray Thought 0

One of the things I like about my new(er) car is that it has no touch screen! The instrument panel is all computerized, natch, but the controls are all knobs and buttons and levers, as should be.

Automobile touch screens are perhaps the best example that “just because you can” is not in and of itself a sufficient reason to use a technology.

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Stray Thought 0

I don’t care what anyone else says, “alright” is not a word.

It is a grammatical error.


It Was Too Car Gone To Keep 0

I recently purchased a new(er) car. After 18 years and 150k+ miles, including some miles pulling a 2,600 pound boat back in my boating days, my little pick-up truck had had enough. Given that an 18-year old vehicle has minimal (to put it mildly) resale or trade-in value (the new tires I got a year ago were probably worth more than the vehicle that wore them), I decided to donate my truck to my local NPR station. (The process went very smoothly, I must say.)

I found out that the donated vehicles go to auction. The donation center, which is apparently an organization that contracts with the radio stations, passes the information to a local auction house, which in turn arranges for picking up the vehicle.

I signed over the title to the picker-up of my pick-up a couple of days ago.


Kale Fail 0

The traditional Southern way of cooking greens (spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, kale) is to put them in a pot of boiling water with a hunk of fat meat and simmer them until every nutrient has fled for its life.

I read once that the legendary restaurant critic and cookbook author Craig Claiborne*, who grew up in Mississippi, once said that, of all the greens, kale is the only one deserving of such treatment. (Unfortunately, these years later, I cannot track down an attribution.)

Me, I would rather eat dock weed.

I never have figured out a sensible reason for the recent lionization of kale. Neither, for that matter, has Charlotte Markey.


*I have worn out three copies of his New York Times Cookbook and my copy of his New York Times International Cookbook continues to exist solely because of library tape.


The Silence 2

Perhaps what I remember most about this date 20 years ago is the silence.

Someone heard the news of the bombing in New York and a number of persons watched bits and pieces of the coverage on the lunch room television if their duties allowed. My workplace at the time was in New Jersey across the river from Philadelphia International Airport.

The main runway at Philadelphia International Airport runs generally in a west-south-west/east-north-east orientation. In easterly winds, airliners from the west would commonly fly by Philly to the north, turn right, fly south over New Jersey, then make a sweeping U-turn back across the Delaware river for their final approach to the main runway; otherwise, airliners headed north would take the reverse course, taking off in a generally WSW direction, then swinging back over New Jersey to head north or to take the great circle route to Europe. They didn’t fly right over my work place, but we could hear them and see them in the east, especially if we were outside in the smoking area.

We heard no airliners that day.

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Mystery Buff Stuff 0

Now that I’ve read Caroline Graham’s Inspector Barnaby novels, I’m watching the first season of Midsomer Murders, which was based on those novels, one more time. (Later episodes were not based on the novels, but they were true to their spirit.)

I’ll probably watch all the other episodes also, because there is no such thing as too much Midsomer.

As an aside, the novels are excellent and well worth a read, especially if you are a mystery buff like me.

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Routine Maintenance 0

I recently had all the water cutoffs in my residence replaced because none of them cut off the water any more. But hey! they were all over 30 years old, and stuff wears out. (I had the primary cutoff replaced about a year ago with a nice ball valve for the same reason.)

This applies to blogs and bloggers, also. I just removed “Margaret and Helen” from my blogroll because there’s not been a new post there for over six months (which, by the way, is a darned shame–it was fun to read).

Bloggers, maintain your blogrolls and remove defunct blogs. I can’t count how many times I’ve clicked on a link in a blogroll only to get a 404 or to find that the latest post was in aught-something or other.

Grumble, grumble, grumble.


Stray Thought 0

Looking at posts on “social” media and videos on Youtube does not constitute in any way “research.”


History Matters 0

Americans seem to have short memory spans.

Joe Biden is not to blame for what’s happening in Afghanistan today, regardless of what you might be hearing on your telly vision.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney started this folly, and theirs is the responsibility and the blame.

They opened the can.

They own the worms.

Jim Wright has more.


Stray Thought 0

I don’t like this new-fangled algebraic chess notation.

Give me the kind I grew up with, darnit.

Grumble grumble grumble.

(I’m trying to get my chess legs back and enjoying playing with someone on a whole nother continent via PMs at LQ. Fortunately for me, he also favors the old style.)

Chess Set


Phoning It In 0

I received a call from a telephone solicitor yestoday on behalf of an organization which I wholeheartedly support and to which I contribute when I can. Because I support said organization, I answered the phone.

When the caller started her spiel, I interrupted and told her that I preferred to do my supporting by mail. She informed me that she could mark my file “Do Not Call” and I asked her to please do so. Then she said, “Please understand, I’m just doing my job.”

I said, “I know, and I’m not upset with you at all. At least you did not tell me that the warranty on my 18-year-old pick-up truck is about to expire.”

That’s when she laughed.


It was rather a treat to answer a call and find that a real live human being was on the other end.


If You Want Your Pet Cats To Annoy You Feign Affection . . . 0

. . . try putting the overweight beasts little darlings on a diet.


Trickle-On Economics 0

It’s been a long time since I studied economics in college, though I’ve never abandoned my interest in the topic, and, I must say, I’ve seen no better explanation of Reaganomics than the one offered by the character Quark as he refuses the post of Grand Nagus of Feringinar in the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


“Produce an Heir” 0

I have encountered this phrase many times in fiction and literature, but, until I heard it in an episode of an OTR Sherlock Holmes radio show last night, I had not twigged to how coldly sexist, how manipulative, how dehumanizing to women it is.

(My eyes may open slowly, but they can sometimes open.)


One Thing Is Not Like the Other Thing 0

I recently watched an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in which Odo, played by Rene Auberjonois, mentioned Philip Marlowe and Mike Hammer in the same sentence.

I found this deeply offensive.

Raymond Chandler, creator of Philip Marlowe, was a writer.

Mickey Spillane, creator of Mike Hammer, was a hack.

I read a Mike Hammer novel once. Nothing made any sense, then Mike got drunk and knew whodunnit. I’ve read all of the Philip Marlowe novels, and they all made sense.

On the other hand, the Mike Hammer TV shows starring Stacy Keach (who has his own problems) are quite well done, much better than the books.

Stacy Keach is a jerk and a predator, but the television series (there were two of them; the earlier one was the better of the two) were quite well done.

And, yes, I think we can appreciate the work while disdaining the worker.


I did not watch DS9 when it was new; there were too many kids in my house for me to be spending lots of time staring at a box.

DS9 is an excellent show; you can watch it on Netflix, and likely on other services.


Stray Thought 0

CPAC is not a “political action committee.”

It’s a society of sociopaths.


Stray Thought, Entrapped in the Algorithm Dept. 0

As I walked across the parking lot with my bag of groceries, my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a Youtube coming from the “smart” phone held by a–er–mature woman heading for the grocery store.

It occurs to me that one of the side effects of always being connected has been to train us that we have a right always to be passively entertained.

And we are forgetting how to entertain ourselves, let alone how to actively engage with reality.


Abominable 0

Who the hell comes up with these ideas?