Get It Before Estate Sale Pricing Takes Effect

Overheard at Nogglestead:

“Is that Jordan Binnington?” my twelve-year-old asked.
“It’s a signed limited edition print by an artist I know in a series of 200. How much do you think it’s worth?”
“$1000,” the twelve-year-old said.
“$200,” the eleven-year-old said.

It’s only 20 bucks at his Web site, and you’ll want to get one before they’re gone, because if you wait until my estate sale, the price will have gone up dramatically.

It’s funny; “an artist I know” means “a guy who worked for a guy who sublet from a place where I worked thirteen years ago.” Matt is also second cousin once removed from Al Hirschfeld, the celebrated caricaturist from New York (according to this piece in the New York Times, but Matt’s Web site doesn’t mention the familial relationship.

So I “know” Matt less than I do the comic book artist in St. Louis; I met them both long ago and am friends with them on Facebook, but that’s what I’ve got as the equivalent of knowing everyone on the block like a noir detective since I live in the country and the other houses are far, far away.

The Various Clubs I Have Attended

So I’m watching the video for Herb Alpert’s 1987 hit, “Diamonds”, from his album Keep Your Eye On Me which is the only Herb Alpert album I own on cassette (which is okay, because I have a cassette player in my new-to-me truck and get to listen to the album all the time).

At any rate, the track not only features Janet Jackson, but the story of it is set at a dance club of the 1980s:

So I got to thinking, “How prevalent was the dance club culture, actually?” I mean, if you watch the movies and whatnot, a lot of scenes take place at clubs, but I didn’t go to clubs a whole lot when I was young. I am pretty sure I can count them on one hand:

  • By George in Columbia, Missouri, when I was dating this hot chick in the area who loved to go there and dance.
  • Excalibur in Collinsville, Illinois, where I took said hot chick because it was the only dance club I really knew because they advertised heavily on the radio.
  • Fallout, a gay dance club that a friend (not that kind of friend) took me to in college, perhaps to make me uncomfortable. But I didn’t get hit on; everyone could see by my lack of dancing prowess that I was straight.

I was always more of a music festival kind of guy, being a native son of Milwaukee.

So I really cannot judge based on my experience how prevalent clubs were. In my coffee house days, whenever I hung out late at the Grind coffee shop in the fashionable Central West End, a lot of the people there would decide to go to Velvet, a club down on Washington. I never did though, as it had a dress code, and I attired myself pretty much in dark jeans and sneakers in my pre-going Grant days. But the people hanging around at the Grind included a lot of college students, many of foreign birth, and au pairs. So I don’t know how that segment of the population counts.

It’s just as well; I’m not very good at dancing. Most likely because I’m very self-conscious.

I have, however, been to music clubs, with seating to enjoy music.

Heavy metal clubs include:

  • The Thirsty Whale in Chicago to see Lillian Axe.
  • The Haven in Milwaukee, where I saw Ript.

I’ve also been to a couple jazz clubs:

  • Finale in St. Louis to see Erin Bode.
  • Yoshi’s San Francisco which I went to because it was Yoshi’s, and we saw the Gospel Gators, a local college’s gospel choir.
  • The Blue Note in Columbia, MO, to see one or more folk acts favored by that hot chick who became my beautiful wife even though I cannot dance.

There are probably a couple more if I really plumb the depths of my memory.

Of all of the ones I listed, only the Blue Note and, apparently, Excalibur are still around. Coupled with yesterday’s post about poetry slam in St. Louis, and suddenly I realize how old I’m getting.

It also doesn’t answer a question I often have about how different the depictions of life and youth in culture, even that of the time or the new retro nostalgia costume dramas, vary simply from my life or do they vary from the experience of the majority of my generation? I suppose I could ask someone my age if I get to talking to them.

Book Report: Selected Poems from Midnight Galleries by Jennifer Silvey (2016)

Book coverI picked this book up for free at ABC Books last Saturday, and I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of reading a little poetry every morning, a habit that had fallen by the wayside with the onset of summer and less structured mornings here at Nogglestead. So I picked this book up instead of jumping right back into the Keats.

It has a dinosaur on the cover, and a number of the poems have fantastic collections of words centering on dinosaurs. To be honest, many of the poems are rather collections of images and words, and I didn’t get a real sense of what they were about. But a couple of the samples were more cohesive, especially when they didn’t involve dinosaurs.

It looks like the author funded the full book with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $1775. Clearly I’m not doing something right here; I self-funded Coffee House Memories and am not yet in the black on it (and probably never will be).

At any rate, Kickstarter campaign materials seem to indicate that poetry is not her main form of creative expression and that she’s just having fun with it perhaps rather than trying to write Serious Literature. Which makes me feel a little better.

Book Report: Retraining Your Mind by D. Dyneska (2019?)

Book coverI bought this book just last Saturday, and after I read Ice Wolf, I needed something to read, and I certainly couldn’t read another Executioner novel as the default right after an Executioner novel (there are rules, arbitrary as they are). So I picked this one up since it was on the top of one of the stacks.

When I was talking with the author, she asked if I read a lot of books in this line. I said I read more Buddhist thought than self-help books, and she said this wasn’t really self-help. I don’t mean to demean the genre when I call it that–I don’t tend to think of self-help as exclusively concerned with battling addictions or abusive relationships or whatnot. I think it also includes the sort of thing my wife likes to read about building good habits, making your bed in the mornings, and thinking right. Books concerned with the practical things. Which, to be honest, is what I read Buddhist thought, Stoics, philosophy, and literature for–to figure out how to live the best possible life. So maybe I do read books like this a lot. Amongst the innumerable men’s adventure books.

At any rate, the book has the feel of a journal more than a denser, dare I say it, self-help book. It contains a number of inspirational quotes and chapters on defeating excuses, getting to know yourself, allowing positive distractions, setting priorities, and whatnot. It’s a short book, weighing in at 130-some pages including some lined pages for your own notes and featuring generous margins. So it’s not a heavy read.

As I mentioned, the book reads more like a journal–it’s written matter-of-factly, and mostly in the second person (you can do this, you can do this) and with few examples or stories from her own life and mind retraining. She alludes to recovering from a devestating house fire, but it’s only mentioned in passing; this would have been a pretty gripping example of keeping a positive mindset.

This book certainly is from Springfield, though: When discussing things that can make you smile, such as jamming to music, painting, taking a walk, taking a bubble bath and massaging your own feet, she lists shooting guns. You won’t get that out of an author writing this kind of book in Connecticut or California, werd.

He’s No Jack Palance

Although every generation gets the Bruce Campbell hero it needs, he will have some big shoes to fill when he hosts Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Best known for the “Evil Dead” franchise and USA’s “Burn Notice” — not to mention his bestselling autobiography, “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor” — he is now hosting the latest installment of “Ripley’s” (Sundays at 9 p.m. on the Travel Channel).

“I thought ‘Ripley’s’ was a good fit for me because the people who follow what I do, they like stuff on the edge, and that’s what ‘Ripley’s’ is,” says Campbell, 60, on the phone from his home in the self-proclaimed “wilds of Oregon.”

. . . .

“They’ve been around for 100 years, so everyone’s heard of them,” says Campbell. “In my formative years, there was always some form of Ripley’s book or publication [in the house]. I still have the red, cloth-bound Ripley’s book that I had in my living room. It had all these crazy illustrations of people doing amazing things.”

I mean, I can still hear Jack Palance from the 1980s ABC version of the show saying, “Believe it…or not.” Where the “or not” sounded like a threat, and you’d better believe it if you know what’s good for you.

Book Report: Ice Wolf the Executioner #131 (1989)

Book coverI picked this up right after Creature; the Executioner series is the default for “I’ve just finished a book and need to pick up another, but I don’t want to spend much time picking it.” And it will be for some time to come as I still have 30 on the shelf (not counting the spin-off series like Stony Man or Able Team).

In this book, Bolan is on a security team for a summit between the President and Mikhail Gorbachev in Washington when Leo Turrin tips him to a hit team that is eliminating people in the witness protection program. Bolan prevents this team of trained pros from killing one target and reaches out in his own particular way to a local mob boss who hired the hit team–who reached out to him with the offer. Bolan eventually discovers that the hit team is killing the witnesses as a red herring to distract law enforcement from their real target: the President and Gorbachev. Like so many other fictional antagonists from the 1980s (and, sadly, to this day), they’re Nazis who emerged from a deeply hidden program to take over the world again.

The book weighs in at about 250 pages, a little longer than the pulp entries from early in the series, and they have the makings of an interesting modern (well, 80s) thriller. The big bad Nazi, trained to be a killing machine by his father, might be jeopardizing his mission by hunting for a woman who escaped from his clutches that he must possess; the aforementioned red herring subplot; and infiltration of the security teams by the long-planning Nazis. But ultimately, it’s a couple of set pieces and then the author gets to about page 220 and has to wrap it up with sudden revelations (the woman is his twin sister!) and a climax that is abrupt and we’re done.

So I’m comparing this book to Creature, and I have to say that I’ll remember the plot of Creature better than Ice Wolf in the days to come. I suppose that series books lend themselves to a little bit of this confusion–what plot happened with which title (especially since series titles tend to fit a pattern to increase salability rather than describe elements of the plot). However, I’m sure authors of these series are happy to accept this trade off with profitablity on our behalves.

Which is why I need these posts–so I can keep the plots of books and my thoughts of them clear as the years pass. Although, to be honest, I rarely go back to Executioner titles to see what I had to say about them.

What I Made Yesterday

Well, first off, after church, I made a trip to Lowe’s. The 18 volt DeWalt cordless drill I have came with two battery packs, but only one of them continues to work, so I hoped to pick up a couple of spares and another drill that fits them. However, a new standard, 20 Volt, has taken over, so the shop did not offer an 18 volt drill. Instead of buying a couple spare 18 volt packs and a new 20 volt cordless drill, I opted for the spare packs and a cheap corded drill.

Because on Saturday, I’d started working on a project, and I spent a lot of time changing between a drill bit and a screwdriver bit, and I wanted to be able to just switch drills instead of bits.

Which worked out all right.

I’ve built a rudimentary set of shelving for my records:

They’re rough and probably high school shop D-level work, but with a paint job and a bunch of records on them, they’ll do. Given that they’re constructed from (inexpensive) two by fours, this shouldn’t happen again. The fact that they all said STUD while I was working on them was very affirming. And they’re modular, so I can move them around and stack them up and add another tier when it becomes necessary (probably after the next Friends of the Springfield-Greene County book sale in the autumn).

They impressed my beautiful wife, anyway, but she’s not the son of a carpenter.

In addition, when we stopped at the grocery store after Lowe’s, I got it in my head to make a chocolate pudding pie. However, my wife does not like chocolate pudding pie. So I got the fixings for a cherry pie as well.

So I’m not sure if I’m operating my masculinity at a deficit here; there are two pies, but does the record shelving count as two or as one? Also, the record shelves are not yet done. I’m going to have to let the Internet judge here.

Also, I did not actually have any pie; my wife prepared pasta for dinner, and I had so much of her delicious Italian cooking that I did not have room for pie. I might make up for it by eating one or the other pie remainders today.

Good Book Hunting, June 15, 2019: ABC Books

ABC Books had an author in to sign her book yesterday, so I headed up after a martial arts class. As is my wont, I acknowledged the author, headed to the martial arts section, then the artist monographs, then the philosophy and poetry shelves, all of which are getting more and more sparse as I pick them over. Only then do I go to the author’s table to see what the author has to offer.

Here’s what I got:

You cannot see them, but they include:

  • Selected Poems from Midnight Galleries by Jennifer Silvey, a free giveaway promoting a collection of poems.
  • Zen and the Art of Stickfighting by Stephen F. Kaufman. We’ve been working with sticks at my martial arts school for six or eight months now; certainly this book will be more useful to me than Zen and the Art of Knitting.
  • The Book of Goodbyes, a collection of poems by Jillian Weise.
  • The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson.
  • Retraining Your Mind by D. Dyneska, the author who was in shop. It’s a little more practically minded, so to speak, than the Buddhist and Stoic thought that I read to try to get my mind right. It’s more in line with what my beautiful wife reads. Perhaps I should have had it inscribed to her and gave it to her for her birthday.

Not depicted: A monograph on Antoine Watteau and a five hundred page biography of Vince Lombardi. I had to save something for the next time there’s an author signing.

The proprietrix also related a story: The author who appeared on May 19 was a little saddened to learn that I attend the same church as the owner of ABC Books; she thought it meant I would not like her work. The owner of ABC Books reassured her that I read a lot of different things, that I’m well educated, and that I’m a poet myself, which seemed to make the author feel better.

Of course, the owner does know that I not only buy a vast variety of books, many from her, but she also catches me from time to time sitting on a bench at church with a book in my hands. I’ve explained to her the code–if I’m holding the book so its cover is visible, it probably has an ABC Books sticker on the back. If I have the book in my lap, it’s from some other book store. Or, more likely, a garage sale or a book sale.

But enough about that–I have to get back to reading.

Not Mentioned: The Other

Kim du Toit links to a story on SFGate with the provocative title Sex is disappearing from the big screen, and it’s making movies less pleasurable.

And it poses an interesting theory:

We know why. With the onset of internet porn, viewers looking for vicarious thrills had instant access to a cheap, private universe of polymorphous gratification. While Hollywood embraced a business model centered around wholesome baby-boomer nostalgia and PG-13 franchises, cable television and streaming services found their own niche, engaging in “Game of Thrones”-like one-up-manship in violence, profanity – and sex.

I’m pretty sure I’ve posited my theory before, but in case I haven’t: You know why Hollywood doesn’t put sex scenes in movies any more or even the formerly obligatory woman’s bare chest in comedies?

Overseas markets.

The cultures or gatekeepers of culture in other parts of the world don’t want that. So nobody gets it.

Like Kim, I’m not really mourning the loss.

I wonder if the gloss over the other cultures’ censors was intentional or thoughtless.

Book Report: Creature by John Saul (1989)

Book coverAfter reading Cabal, I thought maybe I’d knock out a couple of the 80s-era horror books I have around. I have a couple from John Saul, so I picked up this one. Who knew that it might actually be the next in alphabetical order?

At any rate, the plot is that a nuclear family moves to a small company town in the Rockies when the father gets a promotion at the tech company he works for. They find the town idyllic, but it’s controlled almost top-down by the tech company. The local football team has boys that are bigger and meaner than other nearby schools, and it’s because the local “sports” clinic, funded by the tech company, is conducting experimental treatments on the boys. It makes them bigger and stronger, but sometimes makes them feral. Of course, the gentle son of our nuclear family decides abruptly that he wants to become stronger and so he falls under the influence of the doctor running the clinic. When some of the mothers of the affected children start wondering if their children are in danger, the tech company and the fathers align to protect the program and the company.

So it’s got a children in danger theme to it that seems fairly common to the genre, and it has helpless wives who lack the power to get their children out of danger. It reminded me a lot of The Stepford Wives in that regard. It got under my skin a bit–I cannot imagine any of my mother’s sisters or my mother dealing with the issues as the mothers in this book do. And they all lack a support network outside the town, so nobody calls a sister or friend for a sanity check. Stephen King’s books often featured isolated locations, but it doesn’t seem forced. Here, it is.

The book ends very quickly with a burst of violence; it was sudden that I thought right before it that it was leading up to a cliffhanger or a sequel. But no, a little bloodshed and not a complete set of revenge which might have left room for a sequel.

I did flag a bunch of things in this book:

  • Some anachronisms. Or the opposite of anachronisms: things that would seem to belong to a future era, more like the present, than 1989.

    They’d gone first to the software section, where a group of top programmers, all of them casually dressed, were working at computer terminals or whispering quickly to each other in strange programming language that Blake had never been able to comprehend. “We have an Artificial Intelligence unit working here,” Jerry said in reply to Blake’s inquisitive glance. “We’re far ahead of the guys in Palo Alto and Berkeley, but of course they don’t know it. In fact, as far as they know, we’re only working on a new operating system to compete with Microsoft.

    Aside from the locations or writing an operating system, that could be cut from a novel from today.

  • The family moves to a house on Telluride Drive. One story behind the name of Telluride, Colorado, is that it’s from To Hell you ride. Or at least that’s what Michelle Malkin told me.
  • Observe this barbarity, the worst in the book:

    “In a few minutes, honey,” she told the little girl. “How’d you like to take care of the steaks for me?”

    Kelly’s eyes glittered with pleasure, and she instantly picked up the large fork from the counter by the grill and stabbed experimentally at one of the thick T-bones that were just barely beginning to brown. “Is it time to turn them?”

    “Every four minutes,” Sharon replied, glancing at the meat and deciding she had at least fifteen minutes in which to talk with her son.

    Oh, the humanity!

  • Recovering from a beating at the hands of a nearly feral football player, the undersized lad says:

    Mark winced with almost every motion, but when he finally made it, he forced himself to grin at the nurse. “See? Nothing to it. I could run a ten-K if I had to.”

    It’s presented 10K these days, and it’s about an hour of running at a six-mile-per-hour pace. Which is easier for kids.

  • It must have seemed quite cutting edge at the time:

    “May I help you, Mrs. Tanner?”

    Sharon frowned, then glanced instinctively at the girl’s lapel, searching for the identification badge that all TarrenTech employees wore.

    The girl wore none.

    The girl’s smile broadened as she realized Sharon’s dilemma. “I’m Sandy Davis,” she said. “And you don’t know me. The security system did a photo comparison on you, so I knew who you were even before you came into the building.”

    But now we just assume it, ainna?

  • Marty Ames opened the bottom drawer of his desk and pulled out the .38-caliber pistol he’d started keeping there when he first realized that some of the boys might become dangerous.

    You know, I would have gone with a larger caliber.

  • Speaking of isolated:

    For the first time that morning she was able to think about the funeral without crying. She didn’t know whether it had been like other funerals, because she’d never been to one before. There hadn’t been very many people there, and it hadn’t taken very long, and as she sat in the front pew of the little church, listening to a man she’d never seen before talking about her family–and she knew he’d never even met her family, so how could he talk about them?–she tried to convince herself that it really was her father and mother and brother in the three coffins lined up in front of the altar.

    Notice there’s no other family members nor a church support network. Artificial isolation that really sticks out.

So ultimately, the book really didn’t work for me. I’m not a great fan of the genre, and this book hasn’t made me want to read another any time soon.

In thinking about this book and John Saul’s sort-of ubiquity–you could see his books available back in the day, and they were prevalent at book sales a couple years ago–made me wonder how the collapse of book clubs altered book buying. Book club editions were a staple of the book sales for a long time. I think we might have seen that bubble burst as members of my parents’ generation have downsized their libraries. What am I talking about? Even I don’t know.

My Lucky Day

Yesterday was the latest in my series of lucky days.

So I packed my bags for a martial arts class, and I hoped to attend one or more while my children did Vacation Bible School (I would have just said VBS, but I’m not sure how well an increasingly secular society would understand just the abbreviation). As we were driving to church, I heard a ticking from my car echoed as we passed other cars. As I changed a directional signal earlier in the day, a strange procedure that had me lying under the truck and groping with one hand into the bowels of the vehicle, I wondered if I’d moved something that was now rhythmically striking something.

I got the kids to VBS and made it to the martial arts school with five minutes to change before the early class. I pulled into a spot with a car on the left and an empty space on the right. I got my bags and went around to the passenger side of the car so I could navigate more easily with the duffel bags.

Wherein I spotted a nail and a bracket in the right front tire with an attendant hissing sound of escaping air.

I ran down the scenario in my head: I could change the tire now, or I could change the tire after class, and get the boys. Of course, this is the newer truck, so I’m not even sure where the jack and doughnut are.

It’s a most inconvenient time to be down a vehicle; my beautiful wife is traveling for work this week, so the family’s second car is sitting in the airport parking lot.

So I got into the bathroom to change into my gi, and it occurred to me that it was 5:45, and the tire shop around the corner was still open. And the tire probably had enough air in it to make it to the tire shop.

So I left the martial arts school and made it to the tire shop ten minutes before their closing. I made arrangements for the boys’ grandmother to pick up the boys if I had to leave the car overnight, but the tire shop accommodated me and replaced the tire after their official closing time.

So it really was my lucky day: if I hadn’t gone around to the passenger side of the car, I wouldn’t have seen the problem, and I might well have tried to drive off with a flat tire and might not have had time to pick the kids up. If I hadn’t discovered it and gotten to the tire shop before it closed, I might be down a vehicle and have had to figure out how to get it to a shop and to chauffeur the kids around until my wife returns.

Whenever I have a car issue that could leave me stranded, and I handle it correctly, I feel delightfully competent as an adult. The feeling doesn’t last–I’m soon back to the general “What am I doing?”

The Random Bulls of Nogglestead

As we live in the country, you might not be surprised when the random bull shows up at Nogglestead.

But sometimes, I have to explain.

My children have been home this summer instead of going to various camps to occupy them whilst their parents work (working from home can be especially challenging during the summer time). They’ve had a lot of time playing video games, and apparently all the video games these days have integrated audio with them, so my youngest has spent a lot of time saying loudly, “Do you have a mike?”

When they had a friend over one Sunday afternoon, they all spent time playing individual games on their individual devices instead of playing with their friend. So I printed out a picture of Michael Jordan and waited until my youngest was playing on a gaming system that did not have a microphone.

“Do you have a Mike?” I asked him.

“No,” he said. At eleven, he knows the proper inflection for how can you even ask that?

“Here,” I handed him the color picture.

It’s floated around our lower level since. Being it’s a color print out, nobody wants to dispose of it willy-nilly, without enough time elapsing and reflection.

You know I had children specifically so I could make Dad jokes, ainna?

In My Defense, I Pronounced It Correctly

So the martial arts school where I study has replaced a water wall, which really was more of a water on the floor by the wall in the brief period where it was operational, with a fish tank to which they’re slowly adding fish, and I mentioned that I knew a guy who had a saltwater tank and was raising anemone. Sea anemone, that is, not the terrestrial flower after which it is named.

One of the listeners made mock of my pronunciation of the word, which immediately made me self-conscious of my pronunciation.


As you know, gentle reader, I have learned a vast quantity of my vocabulary from books, so I’m especially self-conscious of pronouncing things incorrectly. Recently, I’m pretty sure I’ve stumbled over perfidy and have ruled out of using opprobium in conversation.

Which is just as well; the Internet tells me I missed an R in it.

Perhaps I should start making use of that little “Say it” button so I know how to pronounce things. Unfortunately, when I’m about to drop an exotic word in conversation, that button isn’t handy, and looking it up on my phone fails to make me look smart in the moment.

Oh, and back to anemone. The question was whether I was throwing an extra N in it. In my defense, I might have said “an anemone.”

But the problem wouldn’t have occurred in the first place if I’d said sea anemone, which is what I was talking about. But I know aquaria less than I know exotic words and how to use them.

Good Album Hunting, Saturday, June 8, 2019: SEAS Sale and Relics Antique Mall

So yesterday, I found myself at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton annual sale, and they had a couple of boxes of records. I found a couple that looked interesting and bought them along with a couple of glass vases to etch.

Then, I found myself at Relics Antique Mall as my wife is looking for some wall decorations for the guest room that we painted three years ago and have had bare walls since. While she looked for something to match her tastes, I flipped through some bins of records. Some of the bins are getting nuts as far as pricing goes–one of my go-to end caps had some priced at $14 or $24 dollars (although the sign said half off of everything, that’s still a little much for my taste). However, another stalwart end cap still had records for $3 each, and I’m getting more comfortable with buying records at that price.

So here’s what I got:

  • The capstone is Blow Your Own Horn by Herb Alpert. After the 1970s, his music was selling more on cassettes, I guess, so it’s rare to find something of his from the 1980s. Unfortunately, it skips a bit on the first song.
  • Knock on Wood by Amii Stewart.
  • Stephanie by Stephanie Mills, best known around these parts for singing “Bit by Bit” on the Fletch soundtrack.
  • Uptown by the Neville Brothers. I just got an Isley Brothers album, and I sometimes confuse the two acts. By building my collection, I’ll get them straight.
  • Welcome Back by John Sebastian. I’ve seen this on this end cap before and thought I’d buy it someday for his rendition of the Welcome Back, Kotter theme song. Today was that day. I also noted some albums that I’ll buy later, someday, but I’d better make it sooner rather than when the prices go up to $5 each and I won’t be so inclined to explore.
  • Fred Astaire’s Greatest Hits. I’m not sure what his greatest musical hits are, actually, and the album cover itself does not say (and, like a fool, I did not look at the album itself, so I hope it’s in there).
  • Today’s Romantic Hits / For Lovers Only vol. 2 by Jackie Gleason. Someday, I might have a pretty comprehensive collection of these.
  • Jackie Gleason Plays The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. Ditto.
  • I’m Looking For A Four Leaf Clover by Jo Ann Castle. It features a comely lass on the cover, so I expected a songbird from the middle 1960s. Apparently, the artist is the ragtime piano player from the Lawrence Welk show and is not the young lady on the cover.

So it was about $20 total.

I also bought a new circular saw so I can continue on my construction of the new record shelves today. Unless I spend the whole day blogging, I guess.

A Downside of Nogglestead

If I still lived in Old Trees, I could walk to two jazz festivals this year.

There’s the Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival, which I visited a long time ago and saw a set of Erin Bode’s show. She’s not there this year, for some reason, but trumpeter Jim Manley is.

And due to a dispute with the local parks, the U[niversity] City Jazz Festival has moved to Old Orchard this year.

You know, sometimes I wonder if moving to the country really was best.

In Case You Have To Round Kick Zdeno Chara

An ad for a smoothie shows a woman throwing a round kick (or a whip/hook kick, depending upon the way she swung her leg) way above her head:

I don’t know who she would kick that would be that tall. Zdeno Chara, the 6′ 9″ defenseman for the Boston Bruins?

One of the knocks on tae kwon do is that its focus on forms and pretty kicks doesn’t have real-world applications. However, kicks like this do demonstrate flexibility and body control which come in handy when you kick like that a little lower.

Full disclosure: The school where I study martial arts blends tae kwon do kicking in with other martial arts. And although I can round kick head high, I cannot round kick (or whip/hook kick) Zdeno Chara in the head.

Pretty Good On This Quiz

Millennial dads have pathetic DIY skills compared to baby boomers:

Are dads’ essential DIY skills in decline? According to new research, millennial dads are less capable than their own dads when it comes to everyday DIY fixes, preferring to rely on professional help instead.

A new poll of 1,000 millennial dads and 1,000 baby boomer dads found that when a DIY task needs to be done at home, more than half of millennials prefer to call a professional.

Tools owned:

  • Cordless drill (although I don’t have enough batteries).
  • Stepladder (One and a convertible step ladder).
  • Set of screwdrivers (a bunch of screwdrivers, not a matched set).
  • Hammer (More than one).


  • Change a car tire on the side of the road (last performed last winter, in the dark, on ice).
  • Unblock a toilet or sink (well, I can do it sometimes; I had trouble with my mother-in-law’s toilet this spring).
  • Reset a tripped circuit breaker (well, it took me a long time to reset the GFCI in my garage because the outlet was behind a pile of things on the built-in shelves, and it took me years to find it.
  • Open a stuck pickle jar with their hands (Come on, I lift weights for a reason).
  • Repair a flat tire on your child’s bike (to be fair, my beautiful wife certainly could as she is a serious cyclist).
  • Restart a stopped furnace (I probably ought to learn it).

I tend to run self-analysis on this front as my father was very toxicly masculine and was steeped in the knowledge of the outdoors (a former Boy Scout and lifelong hunter), car repair (when we lived in the projects, he had a second 1967 Chevy Impala that he kept for parts), and household repair (in Noggle and Son Remodeling, he was the third generation).

I’m not as bad as a millenial dad who answers polls on the Internet, but I’m not near my father or even my brother (or, perhaps, my sainted mother) in basic competence. But I’m getting better about it.

(He said as he was taking bids to replace his gutters).

The actual Alarm blog post presents this in a light more flattering to millenial dads, who are replacing DIY skills with knowing to buy quality tech products like whatever offers. Hey, I can’t knock the blog post too badly. I’m contracted to write blog posts like it from time to time.