From Pine View Farm

Personal Musings category archive

Decoding De Code 0

When Republicans say the country “can’t afford” something, what they mean is, “our rich backers don’t want to contribute to the society that made them rich.”


Stray Thought 0

If the behavior of the cats is a gauge, mopping the kitchen floor is easily the most interesting thing I have ever done.


The Intruder 0

Title:  While You Were Sleeping.  Image:  Judge's bench labeled

Click for the original image.

A Quibble:

I would argue that it’s not Democrats who were caught unawares; Democrats are aware.

That’s why they are Democrats.

It’s the purists, the “both sides do it,” the “both sides are equally bad,” the “my vote doesn’t count,” the “they’re all alike” crowds and their dupes, symps, and fellow travelers who left the back door open while they were busily uploading selfies to Infantgram and posting screeds at the Zuckerborg.


Stray Thought 0

Some suggested alternative names for “Grey’s Anatomy.”

  • The Bold and the Sutured Bootied.
  • The Young and the Residents.
  • The Edge of Knife.
  • As the World Sedates.
  • All My Interns.
  • Search for Tracheotomy.
  • One Life to Give.


Someone in this household has become addicted to that show. I concede that it is quite well-written, but, honest to Pete and Betsy both, I’ve worked in some dysfunctional workplaces, but this one tops them all real or imagined.

And it’s survived for 16 seasons.



Stray Thought 0

An “affectionate cat” is a cat that willingly accepts affection.


Meta: KCEA 0

In case you wonder why I link to KCEA so often, I offer two reasons.

It plays swing, my Daddy’s music, of which I have become very fond (though he preferred Glen Miller and I prefer Benny Goodman), and–this is the primary reason, as there are other swing music sites on the internet but only a few as good as KCEA and I know because I’ve explored them–listening to KCEA as I drifted off to sleep helped me through one of the worst times of my life a couple of years before I started this blog. I guess you can say I’ve been listening to KCEA for a long time.

I’ve even kicked in a donation, and you can too.


Meta: Statistics 0

I do not obsess over how many visitors I have, because, as I have said, this is an avocation that started as method for learning more about Linux. I have nothing to sell and I’m not trying to “monetize” anything (to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever clicked on my “Donate” button and I really don’t care, but feel free to be the first:)).

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Stray Thought, Potboiler Dept. 0

After being in a room where someone was watching Gray’s Anatomy:

If there were that much drama amongst the staff of a real hospital, no patient would leave alive.


Ding-Dong 1

A few days ago, I had two dental implants–er–mplanted. When the dentist was done with all the drilling, I told him that “now I know how an oilfield feels.” (I must say, he is quite skilled. If you are looking for an implant guy, I can recommend him whole-heartedly.)

On my way home, I stopped by my local drug store to drop off two scripts and pick up a snack, as it was snack time. As my mouth was wounded, I needed soft snacks (normally, I go for crackers and cheese, but I had been enjoined to avoid crunchy for two or three days).

I looked in vain for Tastycakes, because once you Tastycake, you will never Hostess again, but could not find any. As I looked at the display by the cash registers, I asked the clerk whether or not the store carried Tastycakes. She allowed as how she wasn’t sure (I’ve been using this store for years and know that she was new), and, if they weren’t on the rack before me, they probably weren’t in inventory.

I perused the rack, then said, “Oh, well, I’ll buy something named after our President,” and tossed a pack of Hostess Ding-Dongs on the counter.

She broke out laughing.

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Stray Thought 0

ESPN’s turning the Little League World Series into a television spectacle is a vile and despicable act of exploitation.

Ask me nicely, and I’ll tell you what I really think.


Stray Question 0

Where is it written that aging actors should get gigs doing commercials directed at old persons urging them to buy dodgy products?


Twits on Twitter 0

Bob Molinaro, sportswriter extraordinaire:

Sign of the times: In the wake of three big-leaguers expressing regrets for homophobic and racists tweets written as teenagers, it’s past time pro franchises – and perhaps colleges – hired somebody to do nothing but comb through every player’s social media and delete old, embarrassing messages. Wait and see: Tweet hunters will be the newest sports growth industry.

I have mixed feelings about this stuff. On the one hand, dammit, my parents taught me how to behave in public, and these kids should have known how to behave in public. On the other hand, social media outfits aggressively try to convince their users that said outlets are somehow intimate spaces where they can betray all their most intimate secrets to marketeers express themselves freely.

And teen-aged boys do stupid things.

I know.

I was a teen-aged boy.

As I said, mixed feelings.


Facebook Frolics 0

Facebook Frolics, meet Tales of the Trumpling.

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Are You Going to Scarborough Fair? 0

While thankful that they have awakened from their willful slumbers, I can feel little sympathy for the sycophantic pundits who rode to fame and fortune on the Republican pony, but who are now realizing what the rest of us knew all along, that, throughout the ride, they were clutching an asp to their bosoms.

For example.


A Book from My Past Comes to Life 0

One of my favorite books when I was a kid was produced by that same potboiler mill that produced the Tom Swift series. My father had several of their output, old books from the 1920s and 1930s that my father had read and that my grandparents had stuffed in boxes in the attic. There were a few Tom Swifts, a couple of Bobbsey Twins, a Destroyer Boys (set in WWI), and maybe a few others.

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There Is No Right Turn for NASCAR 0

Today, yet another article appeared in my local rag wondering where, amid declining attendance and TV ratings,* NASCAR is heading.

Some persons blame the younger drivers for not having “star quality” (whatever that is), while those younger drivers charge the tracks with being outmoded and old-fashioned (whatever that means for an asphalt oval). Others argue that NASCAR should reach out to minorities, somehow not grasping that the sea of Confederate flags in a typical NASCAR track’s parking lot renders that notion somewhat beyond ludicrous. This particular article focused on the Commissioner, the grandson of NASCAR’s founder, and his seeming lack of interest in proselytizing for the sport.

No one, of course, mentions that NASCAR race cars long ceased to be “stock cars” in any sense of the word. And no one has mentioned the underlying cause.

Young folks these days are just not into cars. They don’t customize cars or models of cars; they don’t take them apart and repair them; they don’t buy broken down old heaps with a gleam in their eye to make them run and soup them up. I got a dollar to a doughnut that they don’t subscribe to Motor Trend or Sports Car Graphic (which I think is no longer with us), as I did when I was a teen.

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Adventures in Literacy 0

One of the technicians who repaired our air conditioner earlier this week used the word “inferred” in casual conversation.

And he used it correctly!


A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight 0

Our household air conditioner broke on Sunday.

A new one is scheduled to be installed tomorrow. Natch, this happened just in time for the hottest hot spell of the year so far. That’s just how stuff works.

At the ABC Store today, I mentioned this to the clerk. He wanted to know who I called for service. When I told him, he was most gratified that I had not called [some other outfit]. He was most emphatic about it.

I filed his remarks away and will not call [some other outfit] in the future.


Recommended Reading 0

The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An), as translated by Robert van Gulik.

The Chinese invented the mystery story fully two centuries before westerners did; this is van Gulik’s translation of a Chinese mystery story. Van Gulik went on to write a series of Judge Dee mysteries based on the characters in Dee Goong An which does indeed absolutely rock.

I first encountered van Gulik’s novels in a little bookstore on 33rd Street across from Madison Square Garden (which, ironically, is round) when I was on a long-term assignment in New York City many years ago.

I’ve read them all. Now I’m reading them again. They are better the second time around.


No Place To Hide 0

I normally keep the GPS on my Android phone turned off, unless I have a positive need to use it. For example, I turn it on when I am using Move! Bike Computer to record a bicycle ride. Also, I don’t use the phone for navigation. I use maps.

Remember maps? They are big and colorful and easy to read and don’t talk back.

Yesterday, I turned the GPS on to perform a function and neglected to turn it off when I was done.

After going out for Sunday morning breakfast at our favorite breakfast place (it’s not fancy, but the food is good, the prices reasonable, the people nice, and the country ham to die for), we stopped at a local commercial emporium to purchase some items. Shortly thereafter, I received a message from Google asking me to provide a review of [name of commercial emporium].

I won’t make that mistake again.

It’s not Google’s business, or anyone else’s business, where the hell I choose to shop. Or where you choose to shop.

And people worry about the NSA and surveillance, for Pete’s sake, while they run nekkid through Silicon Valley without consciousness of their nekkidness, as Adam and Eve in Eden before eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

We are doomed.