Personal Musings category archive
When I was a young ‘un, my mother would patronize a local fabric shop run by a lady named Gin Walker, who also was a milliner. Mrs. Walker, being no dummy, had several boxes of comic books for her customers’ kids to read while their mothers browsed.
As my mother selected fabrics for sewing, my brother and I would sit under the display tables which held the fabrics and read the comic books.
That’s where I first met Batman.
Many years ago, I played chess. Then I discovered contract bridge, and my days of chess playing ended.
Recently, as I realized that the likelihood that I will ever again sit around a card table with three other persons had become remote, I decided to take up chess again. Plus chess is something that you don’t need an opponent to enjoy; there are puzzles and collections of classic games that you can work through on your own.
I found a couple of books on chess at Project Gutenberg (one by Lasker and one one by Capablanca, two legendary Master), got purchased a boot of simple puzzles, and started to try to get my hand in again. In fact, I’m even playing a game with someone on another continent via DMs at a geeky forum that I frequent.
That’s all in the way of a rambling lead in to this: we found the chess set in a Crusades style in house and neither of us knows where it came from. It is quite eye-catching.
The Hippocratic Oath is sworn by doctors. If you come to a doctor complaining of a non-existent condition, the doctor will not treat you for it. Rather, he will accept the medical evidence that you have no such condition (and perhaps refer you counseling).
I mailed my state and federal tax payments today, certified return receipt because I want to know that they got there.
The clerk at the post office was most affable. Indeed, I had to admonish her, “Why are you having so much fun on the job? Don’t you think there is a reason they call it ‘work’?”
As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., once said, “I like paying taxes. They buy me civilization.”
I find Prince Harry and Meghan Markel’s stories of how they were treated credible. After all, it was English settlers who fostered America’s original sin of chattel slavery and created the myth of white racial superiority so as to ease their consciences (and line their wallets).
What most strikes me, though, is the downright petty nastiness of the treatment they received. Even bigots are capable of being polite.
I’m a Southern Boy. I have known in my lifetime many bigots who are capable of politeness. It doesn’t make them any less bigoted, but at least they were able to dress up their bigotry in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.
Also, I don’t get Americans’ fascination with the British royal family. Nor that of PBS viewers with soap operas set in Edwardian England. Grump, grump, grump.
I sometimes watch streaming video on Tubitv.com, 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.
So I have one question for novice investors who think an app can turn them into financial wizards.
Wanna buy a bridge?
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Donald Trump, we now know what happens when you try to run the government like a business.
(Misplet wrod correxed.)
I’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You do realize, do you not, that 2001: A Space Odyssey, was set nearly two decades ago?
Where is my jet pack?
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.