On the Radio

Gentle reader, I have accepted the opportunity to be part of the Nielsen’s radio survey.

As you might know, gentle reader, I am one of the few people left in the world (and no longer perhaps the only person under 50) who listens to broadcast radio (as well as streaming, as we will see).

I have been tasked to log time in a radio diary that lists radio stations I’ve listened to during the day.

Strangely, and sadly, this is a bit of an underrepresented radio listening period for me. As you might recall, I just bought a stack of audiobooks and audio courses at the Friends of the Library Book Sale two weeks ago, so most of my listening time in the car, maybe an hour a day or more on those days when I get into the car, are given over to listening to the lectures. Which is just as well, as I tend to flip amongst 3 radio stations during morning drive time (avoiding zoo radio) and 6 stations in the afternoons/evenings, which would be a bear to track.

So far, WSIE streaming from Edwardsville, Illinois, is the clear winner, as I listen to that whilst I’m at my desk many days when I’m not testing file uploads, which eat up the bandwidth at Nogglestead, in which case I listen to Tokyo Groove Jyoshi over and over (some of the YouTube videos are 30 minute or 60 minute live videos, so they eat up desk time). Strangely, YouTube plays better than online streams while I’m doing the uploading. At any rate, I have logged something like 16 hours a week for WSIE and 1 for KQRA, the hard rock station, so far.

The survey runs Thursday through Wednesday, one single week. It just missed my listening to KOMG, the country station I can pick up in my lawnmowing hearing protection that I wore whilst mowing the lawn last Wednesday.

Also, as I was not at my desk in the evening hours on Sunday, I did not switch over to KCSM, the Bay Area’s Jazz Station, for streaming jazz when WSIE plays the Conversation on Race (Spoiler Alert: It’s Whitey’s Fault) program. Sometimes, when I switch over to KCSM on Sunday nights, I’ll end up listening to it on Monday as well.

I’ve got two days left, and it looks like a couple more hours of WSIE to log. They’ve provided log books for the entire family, but aside from entering an hour of KQRA for the youngest, trapped in the car with me for an hour, it’s I did not listen to the radio today checkmarks for everyone.

Which further makes me feel like an anachronism in my own time.

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Albert Pujols did something Sunday that he hadn’t done in his previous 2,987 regular season career games – he took the mound.

With the Cardinals safely ahead of San Francisco 15-2 and looking to save the arms of the pitching staff, Pujols was called on to toe the rubber in the top of the ninth. It marked the first time in his 22-year MLB career that he’d pitched in a game.

His stats were memed as follows:

As I like to point out, and did on Facebook, he’s worse than José Oquendo, whose ERA was 12.00 with six innings pitched in three games.

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Good Book Hunting, Saturday, May 14, 2022: ABC Books

ABC Books had another book signing, which certainly must make it the destination for authors looking to promote their work in Springfield. As my beautiful wife convinced me that I need not buy Wendy’s or Starbucks gift cards for the Republic High School teacher thank-you cards and that ABC Books is not that far from Republic (no farther than it is from Nogglestead), so I had gift cards to buy as well as a signed book.

I did not get that much, but I was just there two weeks ago.

I got:

  • Official Targuek Poomse Series. This looks to be a set of forms which are required for becoming a black belt in the U.S. West Coast Taekwondo Association. Our school did forms for a couple of cycles a couple years ago, but the students did not take to it, so we dropped it. Which is just as well–I was one of the students who did not grok it. To get good at forms, you have to practice them a lot.
  • Volume III of The Westminster Tanner-McMurrin Lectures on the History and Philosophy of Religion. This has two lectures by Jaroslav Pelikan, “Jesus, Not Caesar: The Religious World View of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk” and “The Spiritual Foundations of Czech and Slovak Culture”. As you know, gentle reader, I read some individual lecture books from time to time to feel smart. They’re short and they’re heady, but not generally more than you would find in the New Oxford Review or First Things.
  • The Grieving Light: Finding the Light in your Darkness of Grief by the signing author Randi Knight. It’s a thin volume which I expect I will compare to Stephanie Dalla Rosa’s Love’s Legacy when I read it between children’s books, men’s adventure books, and science fiction short stories this summer.

As I brought my oldest along, bribed with the promise of lunch, he, too, sought some books. He has become interested in politics and sought copies of Common Sense and Second Treatise on Government by Locke, but these are hard to come by in used book stores. So he bought a collection of tales called The Shore Ghosts and Other Stories of New Jersey by Larona Homer and Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. A couple of weeks ago, I bought the lad a copy of Confess, Fletch because he liked the film enough to re-watch it, but he has not picked up that book. But he wants to try a Russian novel? We will see how far he gets. I mean, I need a real running start at the thick ones. Given my recent reading discipline, you should not expect to see The Brothers Karamazov reviewed here any time soon.

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The Unspoken Profession

Katie Berry of Housewife How-Tos posted this meme on Facebook:

Which may be true, but one profession is not represented on the meme: Produce clerk.

I frustrate my beautiful wife because I can always open produce bags on the first try because I have lots of experience.

As I have probably mentioned, working as a produce clerk in college is also where I learned to juggle using the bruised fruits, from apples to cantaloupes, that we’d culled from the shelf and were planning to sell in marked down packages. I’ve noticed that produce departments don’t tend to have the little cello-wrapped trays with marked down produce any more. Perhaps I’m shopping in higher-end stores than I worked in. Come to think of it, that is likely the case.

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How to mix books into your home décor.

As you might guess, gentle reader, we don’t have much room at Nogglestead for décor because of all the books.

You might also assume that, when shopping for a home as we have done from time to time over the past couple of decades, we give series consideration to interior wall space where we can put our bookshelves. An open floor plan is not for us.

But if you’re a bibliophile, do not click the link and read about interior designers talking about books as mere objects of color and texture and not, you know, books.

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On Lara Croft Tomb Raider (2001) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Book coverBook coverI picked up Cradle of Life spending a gift certificate at Relics a couple months ago; I knew it was the second, so I was pleased to see that the library book sale had the first one so that I could watch them in order. Not that it’s required; they’re episodic and the second does not have anything to do with the first.

So. The first comes the year after Jolie’s Oscar-winning performance in Girl, Interrupted which I had mentally placed smack in the middle of the 1990s, but not exactly. Lara Croft, if you’re too young to know, was a video game character in a couple of dungeon crawl video games. There was some controversy amongst the controversy crowd because she was well endowed. To be honest, I never played the games.

In Tomb Raider, Lara has to finish her father’s last quest, to find a triangle that controls time to prevent it from falling into the hands of bad guys who will use it in a ritual that they can only try once every five thousand years. Croft has to trot the globe to prevent them and raid various tombs.

In The Cradle of Life, Lara has to find and locate the mystical place where life arrived on earth before a bio-weapons developer can find it to open Pandora’s box, unleashing an incurable plague to wipe out humanity to rebuild it in his image. Croft has to trot the globe, including the Mediterranean, the mountains of China, and eventually the savannah in Africa. She scuba dives, she flies in a wing suit, and she navigates a cave with weird gravity. Although I read the novelization of the film in 2008, I did not remember the plot, although now I again know what character might have been overdeveloped for a stunning reversal.

As the game was a scrolling platformer, the movies recreate a little bit of that with climbing and jumping from thing-to-thing sequences. However, the plots and set pieces all seem kind of derivative of other things. I mean, a triangle that controls time? That’s from several Nintendo games. The crazy cave? I saw that in Labyrinth. So part of the enjoyment of it, perhaps intentionally, is figuring out what it’s mashing up.

But 2000 or so is the time when the action movies started to look really cartoony or video gamy, ainna? As I explained to my beautiful wife, this film pales compared to late 20th century films like the early Indiana Jones films, Firewalker, or Romancing the Stone. Those were shot with real sets with real people in them. Around 2000, the CGI got good enough and cheap enough that films started looking flat. I guess it won’t bother kids these days who spend most of their lives tethered to a screen somewhere; they might just expect movies to look like video games. Especially, one reckons, movies based on video games.

So there are worse video game movies out there–I mean, I did make my friends see Wing Commander in the theatres specifically because it received the lowest rating I’d ever seen on Mr. Showbiz–but this is not a pair I will watch over and over. Given my extensive and growing media library, I don’t have much time to revisit films these days anyway. I’m not in a trailer park with only Showtime for my daily amusement any more.

So, about Angelina Jolie.

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I saw this, what, tweet? at Knuckledraggin:

And I had to correct the Internet, again.

  • The Geo Metro was first available in 1989.
  • By the middle 1980s, the 8-Track player was no longer the thing in cars. All of my cars from the era had cassette players.
  • I was finta say that “Smooth Jazz” is a recent coinage for what we called “easy listening” in the 1980s, but I might be anachronistic here myself as I only heard the term applied to a radio station in St. Louis in the early part of this century. Wikipedia and All Music put its origins earlier, but I’m not sure if the term was applied and I just didn’t know it. Although the All Music entry looks like a snapshot of my record shelves.
  • Although I did not have a Geo Metro (I did, however, have a Geo Storm for a couple of years), I did have a 1984 Mustang with a balky carb that was hard to start, especially in the cold (and it was only my daily driver from like January to May in 1997). My friend Walter, who that spring painted my face up for Mardi Gras, said, “Give it seven and pray to Heaven.” Because I would pump the gas roughly seven times to prime it; any fewer would be too little, and any more might flood it.

Sorry, I think we wandered a bit from correcting the Internet into personal reminiscences. But that is the way of the blog, ainna?

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Book Report: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (1877, 1954)

Book coverThis volume is part of the mid-20th-century Nelson Doubleday Children’s Classics series (as were Hans Brinker and Heidi). As I have previously mentioned, I bought these books before I had kids and missed the chance to read them to my boys when they were young enough to be interested in children’s books. So I’m working through the volumes in the set since I read Hans Brinker for the 2022 Winter Reading Challenge.

I could have read this book for the Winter Reading Challenge as well as it had a category of non-human main character. I thought this book would be one of boy or girl and his or her horse books that were quite the rage for a while. Also on television–I remember Fury in syndication, and My Friend Flicka somewhere. I know when my aunt gave us her kids’ books that we got a couple of entries in mystery series along with kid and dog or kid and horse books. I never got into the genre when I was younger. I lived in the city, man; I could not imagine having a horse of my own.

But this book is told from the horse’s point of view. Black Beauty, the horse, although he later becomes known by different names, starts out with his mother romping in a pasture. He’s sold to nice aristocrats and enjoys his younger years, but when the wife takes ill, he’s sold to another set of aristocrats who favor a bit that pulls the horse’s head up (the book rails on this bit a lot), and then he ends up getting sold into different sets of circumstances and manual, or equine, labor, from pulling a cab to pulling freight and finally ending up an older horse sold at a down-market horse fair to a farm looking for a cheap horse, and he’s reunited with a groom from the olden days and lives happily ever after.

So it’s got a bit of a be-kind-to-your-horses message to it that must have been ahead of its time. But for its brevity–it’s 124 pages–it took me a while to get through it because I’m not much of a horse person, and the novelty of it being nominally from the horse’s perspective was not enough to draw me along when the prose really didn’t.

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Of Course, I Don’t Have To Tell Friar….

He has already read this John Kass column: What Would Royko Do?

Kass points out that today’s news media would not support Royko’s style, and I agree.

But the media landscape has changed, too. When Royko was working, the metropolitan daily was a big deal, giving one a chance at a mass audience. Syndication would net a bigger national audience. Television appearances might follow.

But now, the printed (or written word, more to the point) landscape has fragmented. Newspapers have faded in circulation and reach, but they’ve fired their old and grizzled and expensive columnists, replacing them with the same twenty-year-old know-nothings that write the news. Columnists like John Kass and Steve Pokin have gone independent or work for smaller outfits now.

So many different conditions have changed that mean we won’t see the likes of Royko, or Kass for that matter, again.

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Book Report: In the Valley of Yesterday by Jeane K. Harvey (2020)

Book coverWhen blog and Internet friend Blogodidact mentioned his mother wrote a book, of course I rushed right in and ordered it. Thankfully, his mother was not in a touring production of a Broadway musical or local revival. As I have mentioned, I buy my friends’ (and, apparently, their parents’) books and music, which is about ten bucks a pop. I once supported someone I knew in musical theatre, and tickets for the four of us were $120 or so. So thank goodness for the greater ambition of original works. Of course, I would not say this in real life to the fellow who starred in Jesus Christ Superstar, as his “a pop” has been known to sideline me from martial arts classes for months. But, where was I?

Oh, yes: This book falls right into my wheelhouse of small-town personal and historical memoirs, except that instead of some unknown person writing about growing up in Missouri or the Ozarks, we get stories of growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the 1930s and 1940s (and beyond a bit). The author’s father is a studio art director, but when Great Depression I hits (I’m numbering them, as I expect Great Depression II: Candlelight Bugaloo to come any day now), he buys some property in the valley, and the family sets up a ranch with small animals to tide them over. So you’ve got stories about managing animals and construction interspersed with celebrities popping in (Alberto Vargas pops over for an artist group paint session, for example). Eventually, the father gets another job with the studios and works on a number of known films with Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, and others. In most of those anecdotes, the celebrities don’t drop by, but we get the stories related from the father’s perspective, sort of.

So I really liked the book because, as I mentioned, it has the flavor of a rural memoir with the injection of the old-time movie business. Which is not to say that I did not tag a couple quibbles, which I did, but I will tuck them under the fold so that only Van and his family have to see them.
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On Old Email Addresses

On LinkedIn, I posted:

So what’s the oldest email you can open up right now?

Something not necessarily in your inbox, but rather in a folder somewhere in your email clients but not in an archive or backup somewhere?

My oldest is apparently December 16, 2002, a response to a query pitching a play to a theatre company in St. Louis.

Which is weird, because I am pretty sure I had the email account before the turn of the century; although an Older label appears, I can’t click it to see emails from before then.

Related: When did you send your first email on the Internet?

It was probably a query for The Courtship of Barbara Holt, and the theatre (in Florissant, not St. Louis proper) was ultimately rejected, of course.

But it got me to thinking of the email addresses I’ve had over the years.

My first “Internet” email address would have been an AOL account. I just tried to log into it, and it fails with an error on AOL’s part, so no digging up emails from the early 1990s. Although I guess I had a Prodigy account in 1990, so perhaps that would count. But I don’t remember sending a lot of emails to that account. And when I was a kid with a modem, the Color Graphics 64 Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) offered messages between users of the board, but not really the Internet–although I think a plug-in came along later that helped with that. Boards hosted on IBM compatible computers, such as WWIV (World War IV), had the ability to read newsgroups and send email over the Internet, but I don’t know if I ever did. So my first email on the Internet could have come as early as the 1980s, but I can really only pinpoint sending emails in the mid-to-late 1990s, including the ones starting in 1997 I sent to the woman whom I would marry. Via the aforementioned AOL account.

Somewhere around 1998 or 1999, I got a Hotmail account, and it’s in that account that one finds the 2002 email. I am pretty sure I got a Hotmail account because it was more sophisticated than an AOL account at the time. But it has been useful over the decades as an email address to use when ordering things and whatnot where marketing emails are going to come.

When I moved into my first apartment, I switched to a real Internet Service Provider, in this case the one run by the local newspaper, and I had that email address for a couple of years, including the first years in the house at Casinoport. But when I formed my consulting company in 2004, I bought the domain name, set up a Web site, and set up email for the company, and it has been my primary email address since. The archives only go back to summer of 2007, though, as a Thunderbird update or computer change cut off the emails from before.

I dunno what got me to thinking about this last night. But it’s kind of funny. Emails have been a fixture for most of my adult life, and if you count the BBS messages, it goes back to most of my life indeed. And judging from comments on the LinkedIn, some other adults have emails going back decades. Our kids will likely not have that continuity; they have email addresses for school, but their peer communication goes through Discord, WhatsApp, and other ephemeral conduits.

So much informal, and formal, communication is getting lost. One wonders if this will be referred to as a Dark Ages sometime in the future.

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Springfield Three in The Sun

Today, The Sun has a story about the women who disappeared in Springfield thirty years ago: NEVER FOUND Creepy mystery of how two pals & mum vanished without a trace – with only cue being disturbing answer phone message.

As I mentioned in the book review for the recent novel Gone in the Night, this case continues to resonate vividly in Springfield.

Probably because it’s a smaller city, with less crime than other places, because it’s unresolved, and because it’s in living memory.

I mean, I cannot think of a comparable case in either St. Louis or Milwaukee, but I have been out of their stadtgeists for a while now.

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Good Book Hunting, Saturday, April 30, 2022: The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale and ABC Books

As I mentioned Friday, I stopped at the Friends of the Springfield Greene-County Library book sale to pick through records and dollar poetry books and at ABC Books for gift cards for teachers. I held you in suspense as to whether I would return on Saturday to go through the Better Books section when the Better Books and whatnot would be half price and ABC Books would hold a book signing.

To be honest, I stopped at ABC Books on Friday because I was unsure whether I would return to the north side of Springfield on Saturday, as many things could preclude my return trip. But after a rare appearance on a Saturday morning at the dojo, I went home, cleaned myself up, and pointed my little truck northward. I actually took the highway route all the way around Springfield; I think it saved a couple of minutes, but the view was less interesting.

So, yes, I did get some books.

I got a single record from the Better Books section which was down to two partially full crates: Lady Godiva by Peter and Gordon because PWOC (Pretty Woman on Cover). First, I thought it might be some musical sound recording. Then, I thought it was that one song you hear on the radio. Oh, but no, that’s “Lady Madonna” by the Beatles:

Apparently Peter and Gordon’s song has a sixties folk flavor:

You know, the genre I don’t actually like. Ah, well, it was a dollar.

I got some audio books/audio courses just in time for a long drive to Wisconsin this summer:

  • Mathematical Decision Making
  • Critical Business Skills for Success
  • Behavioral Economics
  • A History of European Art
  • Reagan: The Life by H.W. Brands

I shall probably pack Reagan, Critical Business Skills for Success, and A History of European Art for the ride as the look as though they’ll be the least likely to put me to sleep. And I’m glad that I got to reload the audio content a bit since the John Dewey entry in the Giants of Philosophy series has been riding unheeded in the truck for a while, replaced in the cassette player by a warped Iron Maiden cassette from the 1980s. Property of my beautiful wife, but by the laws of the state of Missouri, it’s half mine now.

And the books include:

  • Childe Harold’s Pilgramage by Lord Byron, an 1847 edition, for $2.50. The spine is a bit banged up, but I’ve got it wrapped in mylar to protect it. Clearly not a reading copy.
  • The Pillars of Society, a play in four acts, in an 1890 paper cover edition. Not too bad of shape considering it’s a paperback. For $2.50.
  • Mine The Harvest by Edna St. Vincent Millay, a stated first edition from 1954, a posthumous collection. With a dust jacket. For $1. As you know, gentle reader, Millay is my favorite poet, and this is a steal.
  • Blood Relatives by Ed McBain. Apparently, I already own this book–I wrote a book report on it in 2006, so I will have to see if this is a better copy. It’s so rare to find mid-career McBain in the wild, even in used bookstores, these days so I snapped it up for $1.
  • Three books from Lloyd C. Douglas, Doctor Hudson’s Secret Journal, White Banners, and Disputed Passage. They’re matching Colliers editions, and I paid $1.50 each for them. I liked his Home for Christmas when I read it as my Christmas novel in 2011. The fact that he had a set of matched Colliers books meant that he was quite something in the 1930s–I mean, I have some Steinbeck in similar editions. But Douglas would seem to be mostly forgotten now. Maybe not by people who read Karen Kingsbury novels, though.
  • Options by O. Henry, a 1909 edition of short stories. For $1, for crying out loud.
  • The Saint Meets His Match by Leslie Charteris. I recognized the logo on the front of the book, the mark of the Saint. I have only read a couple in the series. Fun fact: The Saint has been portrayed in visual media by Roger Moore and by Van Kilmer. Also $1.
  • The Sky Is The Limit, the autobiography of Ralph K. Manley as told to and written by Susie Knust. The story of a paratrooper in World War II. Signed by Manley. $1.50!
  • Fish Tales and Scales by Jean Elizabeth Ford. A signed copy of small reminiscences and tales from the 1940s–probably as told by relatives to the author. Local interest, and $1.
  • Girlfriends and Wives, a collection of poetry by Robert Wallace. $1. Signed by the author.
  • Two books by local author Todd Parnell, The Buffalo, Ben, and Me and Privilege and Privation. Apparently, I bought a copy of Privilege and Privation at the May 2021 Friends of the Library Book Sale. Man, I really should get all of my books into a database, not just the books I have read. But my current database is wheezing under its load already–it’s got an Access DB back-end, so it’s not designed for big data sets. Also, it is 22 years old. But modern, Web-based databases have subscription pricing, and I’m kind of cheap and would prefer to have my own data in my own hands. So perhaps I will have to write something of my own. And I’ll have to find which copy of Privilege and Privation to keep. This one is signed, but the other is also probably signed. These were $1.50 each.
  • The Lego Power Functions Idea Book: Machines and Mechanisms by Yoshihito Isogawa. I bought this for my youngest son, but who knows what he will do with it. He has a phone now.
  • Fine Books: Pleasures and Treasures by Alan G. Thomas. Kind of a history and picture book of, well, books. $1.50.
  • Electricity for All: The Story of Ozark Electric Cooperative, 1937-2012 by Jim McCarty. Ozark is my electric coop, and this will be a fascinating look at electricity getting rolled out to this area in living memory.
  • Fantin-Latour by Michelle Verrier, a monograph of an artist who looks like he focused a lot on still lifes with flowers. It looks to be mostly images after a little introduction, perfect for browsing during football games, although I am not sure we will watch much football in the autumn.
  • Style in MotionL Munkacsi Photographs of the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s by Nancy White and Jogn Esten. C’mon, man, it’s got Fred Astaire on the cover. Everything else is gravy. It looks to be mostly actual photographs of the era and little text. Good for browsing during a football game, but, well. I paid a whopping $2.50 for it.

So, all told, I spent less than fifty dollars at the book sale, and the biggest bunch of that was on the audio courses.

Then, I stopped by ABC Books for the book signing. When I approached the table, S.V. Farnsworth asked if I’d come to see her, and I said I had, and that I’d missed her last time. “Oh, you’re that guy,” she said. Apparently, she’s got an alert set up that notifies her of mentions of her name on the Internet, and she was alerted with the post from last November when I said I’d missed her book signing or my post on Friday talking about maybe going to see her today. So when I said I’d take one of each, she pointed out that I already own Hard Start: Mars Intrigue. Ah, but not a signed copy, I responded.

So I got her six available books:

  • Hard Start: Mars Intrigue. Now that I have two copies, I will be twice as likely to read it soon.
  • Woman of the Stone, first book in the Modutan Empire series. Fantasy, it would seem.
  • Monarch in the Flames, the second book of the series. One presumes at least four books if the elements in the title indicate.
  • A Rare Connection, an Inspirational Romantic Suspense book.
  • Tucked Away in a Discolored Scrapbook, a collection of creative nonfiction and poetry.
  • Seasons of the Four States, an anthology she edited.

Odds are that I will read either Hard Start or Tucked Away in a Distant Corner first amongst them.

I also asked Mrs. E. if they wrapped books in Mylar as a service, and she said they did for $1.50 a book. So I immediately had them wrap the Edna St. Vincent Millay book and the Ed McBain book to protect the dust jackets. They have rolls of special Mylar with paper designed to brace and protect dust jackets and not clear Mylar, so she made a little sleeve for the Lord Byron book; however, when I got home, I cut the paper from it and had enough to make one of my sloppy wrappers for a book.

So, overall, I spent under a hundred dollars at the book sale both days. Believe it or not, this is actually responsible behavior on my part.

Which is good, as I am again back to stacks of books atop the stacks of books on my to-read shelves. I mean, I once wrote an article talking about hiding the halberd on my office wall on business video calls, but I don’t have to worry about that any more as books are stacked in front of it. And I have not yet built more record shelving to hold recent acquisitions, where recent = in the last two years.

So, I am fortunate that it is about six months until the next book sale. My next trip to ABC Books, not so much.

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Good Album Hunting, April 29, 2022: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

As I mentioned, I made it out to the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library’s book sale yesterday and hit the dollar record bins. The selection was smaller than the last sale’s–I guess everyone is realizing the value of old records, or perhaps the old, old records in the genres that I like have worked their way through the resale markets already.

At any rate, I found a few things.

This includes:

  • Al Jolson Volume 3, a 10″ record (Discogs minimum price: $1.55).
  • Mexicali Brass South of the Border. Man, Herb Alpert really spawned a genre, ainna? I am constantly finding new examples of it. ($6.00).
  • When You Come to the End of the Day by Perry Como. I don’t think I have this one, but I have so many now that the odds of me buying a duplicate are getting higher. On the other hand, Perry Como put out a lot of records. I saw his Christmas album with another variant cover. ($0.98).
  • Ready for the World, self-titled debut. Probably more pop than soul/funk. ($1.08).
  • Natalie by Natalie Cole from 1976. ($.40).
  • Warm and Willing by Norrie Paramor and His Orchestra. The first entry today with the Pretty Woman on the Cover (PWOC). ($3.99).
  • Emotion by Samantha Sang. 1978 Funk/soul/pop, or so Discogs says. PWOC. ($.25).
  • Sound Ideas by Les and Larry Elgart. I have a couple by Les and/or Larry, including one I bought last weekend. I would have had another today, but it was only an Elgart cover with another record in it. ($1.00).
  • Night Rider! by Tim Weisberg. Not my favorite flutist, to be honest (top three are my beautiful wife, Herbie Mann, and Amber Underwood). ($.79).
  • This Land Is Your Land by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Philadelphia Orchestra. Pops renditions of American folk songs. What was I thinking? ($.25).
  • Burnished Brass by the George Shearing Quintet with Brass Choir. PWOC. And I like the George Shearing groups, to which I was exposed because the records often have PWOC. ($1.50).
  • Four Rococo Quartets. Classical, but a bit obscure. ($2.50).
  • Highlights from Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. ($10.32).
  • Holy, Holy, Holy: Hymns We Know And Love. Some hymns, but some pop hymns. This record is not on Discogs, so it must be really collectible.
  • The Music of the Caribbean by the [WIRL] Steel Band. ($1.69).
  • Lightly Latin by Perry Como. Pretty sure I didn’t have it. Everyone released a Spanish-language album in the 1960s, ainna? ($.98)
  • Holidays in Portugal by Lídia Ribeiro. The cover for this record is actually a brochure for a hotel and casinos in Lisbon, with photos and amenities of each. ($5.26)
  • Country Boots by Boots Randolph. Apparently, everyone also put out a country album. So it’s not too different from today. ($1.00)
  • Della on Stage by Della Reese. ($1.25)
  • Tijuana Voices Sing Merry Christmas. I own more mariachi Christmas music than you do. This is not my first. ($1.90)
  • The Holly and the Ivy by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We already have a MTC Christmas record, and my wife really likes it. So now we have another, which means our record player or receiver is scheduled to flame-out around the holidays again. However, thanks to my mother-in-law’s recent move and downsizing, we have spares.
  • Today by Perry Como. This is a 1987 record, so in my lifetime. ($1.00)
  • The Way of Today by Vikki Carr. Of course, as with the previous listing, Today in the title is now The old days; this record is sixties hits. ($.63).

So that’s 23 records; according to the Discogs marketplace, I paid just about what they’re worth from collectors, although the covers on many of them are in rough shape. But I’m not doing this to make money: I am doing this to see how much weight the floor of my parlor can take before collapse.

So we will see whether I get back up north today or spend my time on something productive.

So far, though, my purchases at the book sale have been fairly responsible. Which is unlike me.

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Good Book Hunting, Friday, April 29, 2022: The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library and ABC Books

Today, I took a trip to the north side of Springfield for the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County library book sale, ostensibly to look at the dollar records, but I also picked up a few books and videos from the dollar books section. As I was already up in that area, I also stopped at ABC Books to pick up gift cards for thank-you notes for teachers, but I picked up a couple books there–and told an employee, the son of friends, that he should go door-to-door looking for books for the martial arts section.

Although I hope to return tomorrow to visit the Better Books section and prowl amidst the art monographs and audio courses, I might not make it back–consider this a cliffhanger! And if I do, ABC Books is hosting another book signing with S.V. Farnsworth, so I might swing by there again–as you might remember, gentle reader, I missed Farnsworth when she was at ABC Books last December.

At any rate, today, I got:

  • The 4-Hour Body, an audiobook from Timothy Ferris, author of several books my beautiful wife has liked. I think I have The Tools of Titans in book form around here somewhere.
  • A Night at the Opera, a Marx Brothers movie. As you might recall, gentle reader, I watched Horse Feathers and Duck Soup last November.
  • The Caine Mutiny with Bogart, where he is not the protagonist but is Captain Queeg. I saw this in high school and not since.
  • Swing Shift with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. The film that started it all for them? I haven’t seen it.
  • Twelve O’Clock High, a war picture with Gregory Peck.
  • Where Water Comes Together With Other Water, poems by Raymond Carver. I was just telling someone, probably my wife, that Carver, known more for his short stories, taught my university fiction professor and advisor. Mid-to-late century modern short stories, which explains why she and you have not heard of them.
  • The Loser’s End by William Heyliger, a young adult novel from 1937 about a young man who goes into steel construction and becomes good at it and a successful businessman. Kind of like The Fountainhead without, one would assume, the rough sex.
  • Two volumes from a Mark Twain set that includes The Gilded Age, The American Claimant, and Pudd’nhead Wilson.
  • Pensées, by Blaise Pascal, which I have not read. This one has a Used sticker on it, marking it as a textbook–one wonders if it’s highlighted inside. Yes.
  • Lifetime Collection of Poetry by Lucille Christiansen, a chapbook.
  • Within This Center: Poems and Images by Robert C. Jones, also a chapbook.
  • Thin Ice and Other Poems by Marcia Muth, ibid chapbook.
  • Pioneer Proverbs: Wit and Wisdom from Early America, a saddle-stitched little book.
  • Unspoken: Feelings of a Gentleman, poems by Pierre Alex Jeanty. He has three or four such volumes at ABC Books. Hopefully, they’re good.
  • Road Atlas: Prose & Other Poems by Campbell McGrath.

The Friends book sale did not bundle several chapbooks for a dollar as in years past; I had to pay full price for each. Still, I only spent a combined $35 on all media at the book sale along with $20-something at ABC Books. Almost frugal.

Although tomorrow is half-price day. I might be able to convince my wife to come along to help me carry, and it might be in the Better Book section where I go nuts.

It was strange, too–so many times, I have dragged my boys up there with the promise of a Five Guys burger after, and I have had to hustle before they went into full boredom revolt. Today, though, I did not have them, and I was in and out in under an hour. Part of that, I suspect, is the paucity of records to paw through–less than a third of what it has been some years–and that I really only look at the media and the poetry sections in the dollar book section. Also, I wanted to hurry home as I have other things to do. Like this blog post.

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Something I Noticed

C’mon, man, I can’t be the only one who noticed this, but Google Meet displays you a mirror image of yourself, as though you were looking in the mirror:

While Zoom and most other video call/recording systems show you a true image, which is what you look like to someone else:

I imagine that Google does that because one tends to think one looks weird or off when viewing one’s self true instead of what one sees in the mirror all the time.

Maybe I’m the only one to notice, since I have had to use so many of the meeting technologies in short order–sometimes two or more per contact (I had a Zoom meeting cut off at the free limit, so we had to switch to Google Meets to finish up recently).

It’s also why you tend to think you look different in photographs. Perhaps Google is trying to help avert video meeting fatigue/stress by making ourselves look more familiar.

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Brian J.’s Recycler Tour, Arkham Edition

From this date in 2010:

Brian J. Noggle is so vain, he thinks this song is about him and is sending him coded messages from The Messiah Team detailing the secret conspiracy of grocery store bread vendors against him. So maybe “vain” isn’t the operative word.

Facebook, and Twitter, used to be good for a quip, before the algorithms got too sophisticated and stopped showing them to people I know.

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