On Aristotle read by Charlton Heston (1990)

Book coverI actually started listening to this pair of audiocassettes pretty soon after listening to Socrates at the end of June, but I got a little bogged down because unlike Socrates which was heavy on the biography and only broadly spoke of his philosophical leanings as filtered through Plato.

I had to listen to this book a little more closely, though, as it went into greater detail into Aristotle’s work, which was probably lecture notes transcribed and arranged by his students after the fact. Still, it required more attention than I could give it on family drives in the summer, and I really didn’t go anywhere much without the family in the summer. At some point in post-trip car-cleaning, the cassettes disappeared from the console, and they only made their way back to my office but recently.

So what can I say briefly about Aristotle? The man started, well, not from the very beginning–there were philosophers before him–but his systematic approach to natural science and then onto thought, ontology, metaphysics, and ethics really marked a starting point of sorts. Well, I suppose you could say he offered a counterpoint to Plato, but, c’mon, man, we’re not idealists here, are we? So the audiobook hits the highlights, but it still quotes Aristotle at length, and that’s where you really need to pay attention.

Charlton Heston reads the book, but other vocal talent performs quoted texts, so whenever Aristotle speaks, we get someone doing Aristotle. However, the interpretation of Aristotle is a bit to learnéd, a bit to pompous, to do anything but distract. I mean, you have Charlton Heston reading the book. Why not let him read the quotes, too?

At any rate, it’s a good intro or a good refresher. In my case, it’s a good reminder that I have read too little Aristotle.

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Good Album Hunting, Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

Gentle reader, the week was shaping up to be too busy for me to sneak off to the book sale this week on the north side of town. However, I rearranged some things on the sked so I could pop up for a brief visit on Wednesday afternoon.

I promised the boys I’d be in and out in an hour, and I really only focused on audio/visual materials. The number of records has dwindled from years past, now just a single table, but I managed to find something.

I got:

  • He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Tuba by the New York Brass Quintet.
  • Casino by Al Di Meola. I think Al Di Meola will be an excellent name for a cat.
  • Jackie Gleason presents Music To Remember Her. I think I already have it, but I spent a buck just in case not.
  • Zither South of the Border by Ruth Welcome. I am surprised combining the zither with the mariachi lite music of the 1960s did not end the universe as we know it.
  • Disguise by Chuck Mangione. You know, that guy from that one animated series. I’ve already forgotten which one he appeared in.
  • The Magic Flute of Herbie Mann. Hey, I might have made light of Super Mann when I got it, but I like Herbie Mann.
  • Carmina Buruna performed by the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and Chorus.
  • Love’s Lines, Angles and Rhymes by the Fifth Dimension.
  • No Other Love by Perry Como.
  • Dreamer’s Holiday by Perry Como.
  • Get Here by Brenda Russell.
  • Snowflakes Are Dancing by Tomita, apparently a Japanese composer and synth player, so this is likely to sound like some fusion jazz.
  • Pictures At An Exhibition by Tomita.
  • Firebird by Tomita. I bought all they had in case I like him.
  • Baroque Christmas Cantatas. To add more religious music to the mix come Christmastime.
  • Ballads of the Green Berets by SSgt. Barry Sadler. This was a big deal when it came out.
  • A Couple of Song & Dance Men by Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Some show tunes that they made, but not anything from Holiday Inn.
  • High Fidelity by Lena Horne and Phil Moore and Orchestra. I only mention Phil Moore and Orchestra because they also back Crosby and Astaire on the previous record.
  • Virtuoso by Liona Boyd, whose Persona I already own. This is classical guitar music, so David Gilmour is unlikely to appear.
  • Champagne Jam by Atlanta Rhythm Section.
  • The 20th Century Bassoon because I need to update my bassoon music.
  • Three Bassoon Concerti: Works by Vivaldi, J.C. Bach, and Graupner. Which does not update my bassoon music.
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal Plays Johann Sebastian Bach. He’s no Herbie Mann, but he plays classical flute.
  • Born on a Friday by Cleo Laine.
  • Baroque Brass by the Eastern Brass Quartet.
  • Arabesque: Music from the Film Score by Henry Mancini. I saw this a couple years ago because it had Sophia Loren in it, and Gregory Peck, I guess.
  • Billy Holiday: The Original Authentic Recordings/”Piano Man” Bobby Tucker Tells The Lady Day Story. Purportedly collection of live Billie Holiday recordings. How did this one slip through last night? And the Lena Horne? Don’t kids know who these women are?
  • The Illinois Brass Quartet.
  • Poet’s Gold, a collection of poems read by Helen Hayes, Raymond Massey, and Thomas Mitchell. Produced by Raymond Massey. The guy who played Gail Wynand in The Fountainhead and John Brown in The Santa Fe Trail?
  • Cocktail Time with Frankie Carle. I might have this one, too, but it was only a buck, so why not take it to make sure?
  • Reaching for the World by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
  • The One and Only Jimmy Durante. a 1949 10″ LP.
  • Music for Horns by the Horn Club of Los Angeles.
  • Look To Your Heart by Perry Como.
  • Little Jazz Duets.
  • The Springfield Symphony Presents a collection of movements.
  • A Song For You by The Carpenters. Okay, I’m really, really not into the 70s folk sound, but Karen Carpenter’s voice has hooked me.
  • Antonio Soler: Six Concerti for Two Keyboards.
  • Your Guy Lombardo Medley Vol. 2.
  • A Very Merry Christmas Volume IV. I picked it up because it has a song by Aretha Franklin on it (she does “Winter Wonderland”).
  • The Hits of Benny Goldman.
  • At the Candlelight Cafe by the Three Suns. I have quite the collection of their work these days.
  • Jazz Meets The Folk Song by the Paul Winter Sextet. Again, as with the south of the border zither, this should have annihilated life as we know it. Scientists are still working to understand why it did not. Or did it?
  • A Portrait of Melba by Melba Moore. I think I passed over another one of her records for some reason. Probably because I did now know I picked this one up already in my berserker buying frenzy.
  • Seasons by Bing Crosby. As with the Crosby and Astaire album, it’s an older Bing Crosby. According to the back, this is the last Bing Crosby record.
  • Najee’s Theme by Najee.

All told, that’s 46 records. On Saturday, it would have only cost $23, but I’m busy Saturday.

My major scores, by my lights, are the Liona Boyd, Lena Horne, and Chuck Mangione albums. I hope I like the Tomita and some of the other things I took fliers on, including the unknown to me soul/R&B titles.

After picking through the records, I hit the videocassette collection. Videocassettes were fifty cents each. On Saturday, they would only be a quarter. I might be tempted to go up there on Sunday and throw what remains into a couple of bags.

But I got the following:

  • Three tapes/six episodes of Route 66. Considering how close I am to it, I should probably familiarize myself with the program, ainna?
  • Two Marx Brothers films, Duck Soup and Horse Feathers.
  • Bachelor Party. I have not seen this in forever.
  • Farewell, My Lovely with Robert Mitchum as Marlowe. I’ve got The Big Sleep with Mitchum, I’m think, but I am not sure I have seen this.
  • Casino Royale, the James Bond spoofish film from the 1960s. Did they have a copy of the Jimmy Bond Casino Royale? Yes!
  • Zulu with Michael Caine.
  • Gladiator with Russell Crowe. I saw that in the theaters when I was working my second technical writing position back in the 20th century. I don’t think I’ve seen it since.
  • Frantic, which was Harrison Ford doing Taken before Liam Neeson did.

I didn’t even look at the DVDs as my boys’ patience was running short, as was my promise to them to be in and out in an hour.

I did pick up a single audio book, Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World by Jeff Madrick. It’s from 2014, and boy howdee I expect it to have predicted some things from 2021. Probably things I disagreed with when listening to On Thinking Like An Economist: A Guide To Rational Decision Making. I also picked up four bundles of chapbooks that I have yet to unbind to see what I’ve got.

So I was sad to not find any Barbara McNair; I thought surely I would trip over some now that I knew to look for it, but no. Also, no Fluegel Knights. All of the Herb Alpert I already own. No new-to-me Eydie Gorme (only one album, Don’t Go To Stranger, in the boxes).

Still, a good hunt, especially if two conditions are met: I like one of the new-to-me artists, and my beautiful wife is pleased with the brass selections.

Likelihood of my return on Sunday, bag day: 33%. Which is higher than it was a when I started the post.

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Do I Read Old Books?

Cedar Sanderson has a post called The Old Books which has numerous quotes from C.S. Lewis in it, including this one:

Which led me to wonder: I have many, many fine old books from the 19th century and a bunch from the early 20th century, but how many of them do I actually read?

So I reeled back through the last year and nine months to see what the oldest printed works I have read since the beginning of 2020.

Although not ancient, I have read the following:

Additionally, I started reading an 1886 copy of Mary D. Brine’s From Gold to Grey which I used to have wrapped in a shopping bag for its protection, but I set that aside to read off and on. Mostly off.

It makes sense that it’s mostly poetry and pamphlets; I have numerous old small collections of poetry in the Houghton-Mifflin editions and the Maynard’s English Classic Series, and I’m more prone to picking up small poetry collections than larger works. This holds true no matter the edition.

I think the post on Sanderson’s blog was more about reading older works in whatever edition since she and commenters talk about Project Gutenberg.

As to reading old books, c’mon, man, you know me. In the same period, I’ve read:

Good to see that I’m getting some good reading in amongst the men’s adventure and movie tie-in paperbacks.

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Book Report: Lake Honor by Alan Brown and Brian Brown (2020) and Gone in the Night by Alan Brown and Brian Brown (2021)

I’m going to do a dual book report on two of the three books I bought at the book signing at ABC Books last month because they have some similarities that I’ll talk about at the end.

Book coverAfter reading a chonking Stephen King book and a shorter palate cleanser on Descartes, I thought, wouldn’t it be something if I read the author-signed books from ABC Books soon after buying them instead of years later? So I picked up what is the first chronologically in the series, although the author I met (the son of the father and son duo) says you can read the three books in any order, but I went with the first one first.

The book deals with a fictionalized version of a real case: In the 1970s, two young men were found floating in the fountain pond on the School of the Ozarks, now the College of the Ozarks, campus. They were fully clothed, and the authorities pretty quickly said it was death by misadventure or drugs, maybe, and kind of swept it under the rug. A student at the school ends up re-evaluating his attendance there and quits, only to come back a year later to interview people about the killings for a story. He meets a private investigator, Booger McClain, who tells the story. So this book has two frame stories, really: In the present day, the former student is thinking about the case and comes back to town; and the second, which dominates the book, is the private investigator telling the story of his investigations along with some scenes with the principals in the action, including the boys who died. So the narrative takes place in real time, sort of, as events unfold, but it’s partially told by a private investigator a year later. And the now frame around the whole thing really doesn’t add anything.

The book, like the one that follows, has some typos (altar is spelled alter a couple of times) and a couple of little problems that factchecking would solve, like:

In fact, when I first watched the movie “Halloween,” and saw the mental hospital where Jason escaped, I immediately thought about that dorm.

C’mon, man, we can tell our Jason from our Michael Myers, ainna? We can even spell Myers right on the first try. You know, a dilligent fact-checker would have found this, but when writing and editing our own work, we check on things we’re uncertain of, but not the things we know (that just ain’t so). It’s always the one little throwaway that goes awry.

“Where are you staying?” he asked after a few seconds.

“The Bel Air Motel on 67,” I said.

Highway 67 runs along the eastern part of the state, not the western part, although I understand why it would be top of mind to the authors–it runs through south St. Louis County where they live (and where I once lived).

There are some other anachronisms and things that make one wonder–one of the dead young men played football for Kickapoo; I had thought Kickapoo opened in 1972, which would have made this iffy, but Kickapoo actually opened in 1971, which would make this more plausible. Coupled with the typos, though, one wonders if it was really that way.

Book coverThis Booger McClain mystery takes place in the present day, but again it deals with a crime that occurred decades ago. In this case, it’s the disappearance of three women, two recent high school graduates and a mother of one of them, in 1992. This story still resonates in the Springfield community–every so often, it pops back into the news when it is featured on a podcast or in a book such as this one. My beautiful wife informed me that she had already bought this book during its initial publicity burst. She was in Springfield when this happened (and an attractive young woman), and she went to school with the two recent graduates who disappeared. So this story resonates with her, and it’s one of the top two defining crimes that really shook Springfield (the other was the 1904 lynching on the square for which Springfield is only now seemingly emerging from self-flagellation).

Like Lake Honor, the book centers on a writer coming to Booger McClain to the story of his investigation. McClain has a war room with evidence in a seemingly abandoned warehouse on the north side of town, and he lets the writer review it. Someone tries to break into the evidence room, though, which leads McClain to believe he’s close to solving the mystery. So this book has a little more action in it, but it’s very similar to Lake Honor in its storytelling and resolution.

I flagged a couple of things in this book as well.

“Pull into the next parking lot,” the man in the back ordered his partner. That parking lot was a 24-hour Wal-Mart grocery a few miles from the Levitt home.”

It’s a quibble, but in those days, the Walmarts were Walmarts; the Walmart Neighborhood Market was a ways off, and the Walmarts of the day were more department stores. It’s only later that they would expand their grocery offerings.

“I was a sheriff for a time in Branson back in the 60’s.”

McClain would not have been a sheriff for Branson. Sheriff is a county office; he would have been Taney County Sheriff, which is an elected position by the way. But city folk can be forgiven for thinking that sheriff is what you call the police in a small town.

Again, some anachronisms and errata that one might overlook if it weren’t for the typos.

Also, I recently read a post on Mad Genius Club about whether authors were including the Malingering Unpleasantness in their works; this book mentions the Wuhan Flu conditions, as a business slowdown gives the writer in the story time to come to Springfield to interview McClain. It’s mentioned, but not doted upon.

At any rate, the books were very similar in the following:

  • They’re both rather expository. The stories are told, often by McClain, rather than experienced or shown. Which is to be expected. Although both have elements of contemporary action where McClain is not present, but even those passages are telling more than vivid creations of a scene.
  • Which is probably explained a bit by the fact that the crimes occurred decades before the actual setting of the books. Lake Honor has more of recreations of scenes contemporaneous to the crime; Gone in the Night has one, and it’s one that thwarts McClain’s assumptions of the case.
  • Neither book “solves” the case. Lake Honor alludes to possible solutions. Death in the Night offers a section where McClain presents his theory of the case–which, as I mentioned, is counter to the one contemporaneous scene (quoted above, where the perpetrator has a partner, whereas in Booger’s theory of the case, a suspect acts alone).
  • The authors Asimov themselves into the story. In the first, “Alan” is Alan, the author. In the second, the writer is “Brian,” the author, and the biographies of the characters in the story kind of match the authors’ stories. I’m not sure why to choose such a frame–perhaps to keep the writing interesting for the authors themselves?
  • In both books, some information is repeated, almost in the same words, as though they were in the process of moving it, but forgot to remove it from the initial location in the narrative.

That said, I found the books readable and a bit compelling–I read them right after each other, and I started the third book, which is an original, already. So let that be my endorsement as it is: The books are clearly self-published, with the typos to attest, but they’re not the worst of the self-published I’ve seen and put down.

The books affected me so much that when I saw the headline Branson family hires high profile private investigator to join search for missing son, I immediately thought of Booger McClain.

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The Ignorance of Journalists Is Fun!

The Springfield Daily Dammit, Gannett! has a video wherein the Answer Man tests the new twenty-six-year-olds on how to pronounce various places and streets in the Ozarks.

Which shows not only that the journalists, who have been at the paper for some time now, have not yet been around enough to pick up some pronunciations, but also that they’re not from around here to begin with.

After twelve years here, I knew how to pronounce everything except the basketball coach’s name. I am not sure how that counts as Ozarks since MSU is only a job, and probably (the coach hopes) a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Now ask them questions derived from old episodes of Schoolhouse Rock so we may laugh at their answers to basic civics as well.

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I Have All Her Albums

But I was not standing shoulder to shoulder with her other fans: Loren Cook Fans protect Republic, MO Amazon Fulfillment Center

Just kidding. I have never heard any of her music. Is she any good?

One moment: I have been handed a note–apparently, this is a sponsored story by a ventilation company, not a group of like-aestheticked individuals coming together to stop looting.

Never mind, carry on.

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Weekend Recap

You know, some weekends I come through on Monday morning wondering what I did and where the time went; generally, this follows a weekend of common tasks, chores, and work, where I get up-do a martial arts class-nap-work-chores-sleep-church-nap-chores. In the autumn and winter, Sunday afternoons are given over to football as well, so the time goes by and I seemingly have nothing to show for it.

This weekend, though, I can account for my time pretty easily–and still have little to show for it.

On Saturday, I slept in until about eight thirty. When I was younger, my waking hours tended toward the night, so I would stay up until midnight, one, or two in the morning, and I would sleep until ten o’clock. But having children has put me on a morning-based schedule, so when I get to sleep until eight, I take it. I slept until eight, and then I had some breakfast, and I puttered a bit with morning chores, and then I took my younger son down to Nixa so he could spend the day with a friend. On the way home, we (my beautiful wife and I) stopped at an estate sale over in Battlefield. You know, I used to hit estate sales every week in my Ebaying days, so I was a little inured to how somber it was to go through someone’s life’s leftovers, but now that I hit them only once every couple of months, and because I’m getting closer to that end for myself, I’m a little sad. But I picked up several videocassettes, including Secondhand Lions for which I was kinda looking, and some magazines for découpage projects.

After a nap, I replaced the belt and tension wheel on our dryer, which had taken to screaming like a banshee when drying laundry–which had made me reluctant to do laundry at all. The kit I bought had replacement drum support wheels as well, but I didn’t want to take the drum out completely. I was on a bit of a clock with afternoon plans, but I wanted to fix the dryer because we were going to need to run it later in the evening and perhaps after bedtime. When I started it up, it was quieter, but then the squeak returned. I didn’t have time to re-open the dryer and do it all over again, so that failed repair would have to linger until Sunday.

In the afternoon, I drove to Cole Camp to pick up the oldest son, who had gone out of town with a friend to visit the friend’s grandparents and fall festival in Cole Camp. It’s two hours to Cole Camp, and we picked up the youngest after we returned to the Springfield area, so all told I spent about six and a half hours in the car on Saturday ferrying children. On the plus side, I got Secondhand Lions, and the trip to a new town enabled me to get two new papers to subscribe to, the Buffalo Reflex and the Benton County Enterprise. Which means I’m going to have to get a bigger mailbox so Cora, our mail carrier, can fit all these papers in on Thursdays and Fridays.

On Sunday morning, we did the Springfield 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

110 flights of stairs; it took us a little over an hour. I did it two years ago, and this year, I did it with the boys. I was a little concerned as I am two years older and have not been as active as I have in the past, but it was not too bad. The crowd was smaller than my previous experience, but it was still full of firefighters doing the climb with their full gear. It humbled me, and I pointed out to the boys that most of the people there would risk their lives to save yours without a thought to the danger. I felt a little like I was stealing some valor participating as a civilian. I’m not one to thank everyone for their service–frankly, I think that’s a middle class affectation more for the thanker than the thankee–but I do appreciate what those firefighters do.

After the climb, my youngest and I pulled apart the dryer, including removing the drum. We wrestled off the existing drum support wheels and tried to fit the new ones on. Either the wheels I received in the kit were the wrong parts, or a production defect made them a millimeter too thin, but the new wheels did not fit. So I cleaned some fabric–hair or lint wound tightly around the shafts–and added a little WD40 and hoped for the best. The boy, who likes to help with these sorts of thing when they go well grew frustrated, as the new little plastic clips were also tight to get onto the shafts. However, when we put it all together, it worked, quietly, and so far the dryer has not caught fire.

It was a good thing I did it before the nap; I told the boys that the climb was more of a workout than a 5K and more akin to a triathlon. After pizza and a nap, I was not good for much of anything. Fortunately, football season opened everywhere but the NFC North, so I got to read poetry whilst the Packers took a pasting.

So that’s what I did. Something close to nothing, but different from the weekend before.

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Been There, Done That

Apparently, someone of Facebook thinks I am a baseball fan, or that I am so desperate to learn to code that I would like to learn Pandas through either fantasy football or baseball.

C’mon, man, I tell the story of the only software product I was paid to write (over and over, like an old man with five or ten go-to stories to tell over and over), when I was in high school, I wrote a baseball stat manager in BASIC 2.0 for the Commodore 64:

My high school’s baseball team manager paid me $50 for something that could save and calculate the team’s stats.

Funny, in my various dilettante careers, I was most highly paid for poetry.

  • Poetry: $100 for “Canny” in There Will Be War Volume X. I think I was supposed to get a share of royalties, too, but I no longer can reach out to my editor to wrench it from the publishing house as he did my flat payment.
  • Software development: $50 for Baseball Stats Manager v1.0.
  • Short fiction: $5 for “Reading Faces” in Show and Tell magazine.

You know, I guess I have been paid money for nonfiction, including pieces in Writers Journal and History magazines as well as perhaps some cash from Artisan Journal back in the day.

Blogging and self-publishing, though? Money sinks.

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Things I Learned Today

Apparently, there’s a local company, Pine Box Entertainment, that has produced a collectible card game called Doomtown: Reloaded that is based on the Deadlands role-playing game.

Which is the last new-to-me role-playing game that I bought in Baraboo, Wisconsin, in 2017 (but have not played).

I have since bought the new version of Dungeons and Dragons’ Player Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide, but haven’t played them, either.

I just saw the headline in a local business journal’s afternoon email and thought I might have recognized it, unlike many of the publication’s regular readers.

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Hopefully This Does Not Catch On

Forget Netflix, some movie fans rewind to VHS tapes:

That hasn’t stopped die-hards. A small community of VHS fanatics has sprung up around the country, trading tapes and tips on how to watch. Much of it is organized around small boxes where people can drop off or pick up tapes. The “Free Blockbuster ” boxes started in Los Angeles and spread. There are VHS tape trading events and auctions.

In the late 1990s, Hollywood studios began selling films on DVDs and VHS rentals lost their grip on home viewings. Blu-ray took over in the early 2000s. By 2010 Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection.

Mis. Hum. at the Ace of Spades HQ overnight thread says:

Vinyl went by the wayside, but has made a return.

Lordy, I hope not. I’ve seen what has happened to the price of records in the wild, and now that I’m actively accumulating VHS and DVDs, I’d hate for the prices also to quintuple.

But, wait, the article is actually about a silly Little Free Videocassette Sharing fad:

To try to re-create a bit of the video-store experience, Brian Morrison started Free Blockbuster in 2019. The group turns former newspaper boxes into free little libraries of movies. VHS die-hards hope the effort encourages the exchange of home entertainment with strangers in their neighborhood.

Yeah, never mind. Nothing to worry about yet.

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Movie Report: Change of Habit (1969)

Book coverYou know, I want to think that I bought this particular videocassette for my mother when I was in late middle school or high school for Christmas or her birthday. It would have been one of the bargain videotapes. The thing is, the film would only have been, what, sixteen or seventeen years old at the time? That would have been thirty-some years ago. More time has passed between the gift of the film and now than the film and the gift. And it seemed like an old movie at the time. Kind of like you can probably find segments of the population that think of the Lord of the Rings movies as old these days. You know what we call them: Damn kids.

At any rate, this was Elvis’s last film. Set in 1969, it’s definitely more gritty than what you would think of as an Elvis movie. Three nuns, played by Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara McNair, and Jane Elliot, are sent into a rough neighborhood to help with the local free clinic run by Elvis. The nuns are undercover, which means they don’t wear the habit, which is odd–I knew nuns at the nominally Catholic university where I studied did not wear the habit, so I’m not sure whether the orders that went without them did so after 1969, or if the filmmakers just made a big deal of it. The priest of the local parish is old school and does not care for them, so there’s some friction there. And they bring their godly ways and patience to the clinic, which reinvigorates the doctor who had grown a little jaded. And he starts to fall for the Mary Tyler Moore nun, and she for him.

The film only has three musical numbers, which is also atypical of an Elvis picture. And as I said, it’s a little gritty. Urban. Topical: You’ve got subplot nods to the Black Power struggle, including a deployment of the most magical word, but by the black nun. You’ve got crime, abortion, talk of rapes and an attempted rape by one of the people the nuns helped, and a most interesting approach to curing autism–rage reduction therapy, which is basically grabbing hold the child, cuddling it whilst it struggles, and affirming love until it screams. This particular scene went on for minutes, after which time the little girl developed in short order into a fairly normal kid. That was strange, indeed, and the scene that stuck with my youngest–when he mentioned the scene “holding her down,” I thought he meant the attempted rape at the end of the movie, but he meant the “therapy.”

I have only seen two Elvis films now, the other being Blue Hawaii from 1961, and they’re probably the opposite ends of the best to worst spectrum for his work. You know, I have not seen a lot of Elvis movies in the wild since I’ve started accummulating them in earnest this year. I wonder if they’ve deteriorated or have been discarded to not make their ways into the antique malls, so I might not get much chance to pick up the other 29 titles. Which is all right, I have plenty to watch already.

The film did feature one person I’ll look out for in the future: Barbara McNair, who was third in the titles below Elvis and Moore.

Continue reading “Movie Report: Change of Habit (1969)”

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A Quiz Too Close To Home

DAFT DESIGNS Changing Rooms brought us floating shelves and rag-rolled walls – how many of these dodgy 90’s trends are YOU guilty of?

The Nineties and Noughties series had questionable taste and encouraged a nation of DIY decorators, sometimes with disastrous results.

Siobhan O’Connor asks how many of these popular Changing Rooms hacks you can remember, and which are still lurking in your home?

Sadly, I score highly on the quiz, mostly for the homes in Casinport and Nogglestead. Our home in Old Trees was completely remodeled in 2005-2006 as it was flipped to us, so its knockdown paint job won’t be eligible for nostalgic listicles for another ten years.

So how many of the listed designs have I suffered through?

  • MDF (Medium-Density Fibreboard). C’mon, man, I still have two Sauder printer stands as an end table and an entertainment center, so I’m way into this. Also, most of Nogglestead’s bookshelves are fibreboard of various states of breakdown. I’m pleased to say our expensive furnishings are not; they’re cheap but costly laminates, we’re discovering as the laminate is getting nicked.
  • Boudoir Bedrooms. Well, this includes four poster beds, and one of the costly laminates is a bed that you can configure as a canopy, four poster, or sleigh bed. We’ve generally had it in the canopy configuration, but only rarely with actual fabric.
  • Mirrored Wardrobes. The photo has mirrored doors on the closets, which were a feature on our home in Casinoport.
  • Terracota.
  • Stenciling/Tape.
  • Rag-rolling/Sponging. I ragrolled my home office right before installing my expensive MDF desk in it.
  • Shaggy Sheets.
  • Floating Shelves.

I almost gave myself another bold for the stenciling and tape as Nogglestead has several wallpaper borders which are kind of in line with the thought, but they’re not exactly the same thing, so I used that loophole.

Still, I’m at 50%, with 37.5% occurring here at Nogglestead. I might have mentioned we haven’t upgraded it a whole lot. I suspect we’re going to be those trapped in amber time capsule people whose homes look like they haven’t changed in 40 years. And we won’t have been the ones to have changed it to its last state in the first place.

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Book Report: Descartes in 90 Minutes by Paul Strathern (1996)

Book coverIt’s been a while since I read Discourses on Methodfour years. Wow, the teenager I mentioned in that post moved away, came back to Springfield to go to the university, worked at the dojo briefly, and has moved on to a realer job whilst studying. Tempus fugit, ainna?

At any rate, this book is a brief overview of Descartes’ life and work. It clocks in under 90 pages in fairly large print, so you might have to be a slow reader to squeeze 90 minutes out of it. It leans heavily on the bio and on broad themes in Descartes writing instead of details of his arguments, but I’m sure this book is supposed to be a gateway to the other books, kind of a starter for people thinking of getting into philosophy–or who have a brief paper to write, I suppose.

So a nice quick read after a chonker of a King book.

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Brian J.’s Recycling Tour Doubleheader

Apparently, I have said some funny things on Facebook on this date in history.


Brian J. Noggle is preparing for a time when the road runners become our overlords. You know, when the meep, meep shall inherit the Earth.


Brian J. Noggle agrees that good fences make good neighbors. They’ve always got jewelry and the latest electronics at prices far lower than retail.

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Yawn. Republicans, Pro-Lifers Are Just Like The Taliban

What happened to the The Handmaid’s Tale references? Not fresh enough thirty-five years after the book originally appeared and four Republican presidents that did not lead to a theocracy later?

Sultan: What will we tell our daughters?

Imagine the mothers in Afghanistan.

The ones who were able to attend school as children and were forced to keep their daughters at home when the Taliban took over.

Consider how much it must hurt for your daughter to have fewer rights and opportunities than you had because religious extremists forced their beliefs on an entire country.

Imagine the mothers in Texas.

The ones who knew that if they experienced an unwanted pregnancy that could have ruined their lives, they had the right to make their own medical decisions. The ones whose daughters will not have that same right.

Maybe you should tell your daughters to save themselves for marriage or at least limit themselves to serious partners, to use birth control to limit the chance of pregnancy, to consider carrying the child to term and offering him or her for adoption.

Nah, just tell your daughter that the potential life within her is not life at all, and that her political enemies are evil. Because that’s worked swimmingly so far.

Man, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch mommy blogging has really gone off the cliff since Dana Loesch left, ainna?

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