From Pine View Farm

Personal Musings category archive

The Two Oaths 0

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).

The Hypocritical Oath is sworn by Republican politicians. If you come to them complaining of a non-existent condition, they’ll treat the bejesus out of it.


Stray Thought 0

Some would have you believe that intolerance of intolerance is intolerance.


Recommended Viewing 0

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, episodes S3 E11 and S3 E12.

They’re not science fiction. They’re prophecy.

You can view them on Netflix, and likely other services also.


Civic Duty 0

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.”


The Anachronism 0

Image of Grittu. the mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, and of Queen Elizabeth II with her Corgis.  Caption:  One of these is a mascot that exists essentially to promote a brand and has no governing power.  The other is Gritty.

Click to view the original image.

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.


“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.