Tell Me You Have Boys Without Saying You Have Boys

It has been a while since I’ve had to clean pasta sauce off of the light fixture, but….

Last night was Homecoming and my boys were going. The oldest got the idea to get some Welch’s sparkling grape juice to take to the dance. I discouraged such behavior, because even if it were grape juice, it would upset the School Resource Officers. So, instead, they went to dinner before the dance and stopped at the grocery but returned home to drink the sparkling grape juice before the dance.

The oldest, 17, decided he would open the bottle with a winged wine opener. So he started trying to screw into the cap, but these bottles have twist-off metal caps under the foil. So he shook up, the contents under pressure, and then he managed to punch a small hole in the metal cap. And the contents under pressure….

Well, some are on the ceiling, some was on the floor, some was upon him in his homecoming finery.

But, like Pandora’s box, after the troubles blew out the top, the boy was left with about an inch of fluid in the bottom of the bottle for his trouble.

And we have a reminder that will likely last until we move out of Nogglestead and the painter who covers it all will wonder what it is.

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Shades That Make Me Feel Eighteen

I participated in a sprint triathlon in August at the YMCA, and the swag bag contained a pair of YMCA sunglasses with the neon arms.

My goodness, when I was eighteen, I didn’t wear anything other than sunglasses with neon arms, cheap ones. And we called them shades.

I misplaced my regular sunglasses, so I’ve worn this pair for about a week, and it made me feel eighteen.

And, according to my boys, I looked like an anachronism. Well, they did not say anachronism as I am not sure it’s in their vocabulary. But if they knew the word, they would apply it to me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to party like it’s… a couple years ago.

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Good Book Album Media Hunting, Saturday, September 16, 2023: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

Well, gentle reader, as with the last few sales, I was not sure whether I would schlep all the way to the other side of town to buy records and books that would, maybe, barely fit onto my existing shelves. I asked my beautiful wife Friday night if she would like to go, and she made sounds like maybe she would go just to go with me but one of us should be around to pick up the student athlete from school in the early afternoon on Saturday. So I asked my oldest son if he would like to go, and he answered with relative enthusiasm that he would. So he and I went and met with the crowd of the first hour of half price day.

We only went to the dollar section, which is half the sale but included not only books (which I didn’t really browse) as well as records, audio books, and DVDs which were fifty cents each. Those, I browsed.

And bout a few.

I only got a few books, browsing the poetry and philosophy sections on the way out. I did get a bundle of chapbooks/pamphlets for a dollar; since I just read one such short work on fraktur, I was eager to see what was available. But there was only one such bundle, which I bought.

I got:

  • Bullshit and Philosophy edited by Gary L. Hardcastle and George A. Reisch. Is reflections on On Bullshit? Time will tell.
  • The Vision of Sir Launfal by James Russell Lowell, an Arthurian legend in verse. Originally published in 1848, this book is not quite that old, but could be 100 years old or so. It pains me how recently a book published a hundred years ago would have been published.
  • Milton: Minor Poems edited by William Allan Neilson. Do not confuse this Lake English Classics edition with Milton’s Minor Poems edited by Philo Melvyn Buck in the Eclectic English Classics edition which I read in 2020. I am hoovering up the little pocket editions from this era which are still in pretty good shape, although this book is an ex-library edition with the attendant marks. The book sale had two copies of this particular volume; I picked up this one because it had a better cover.
  • What I’ve Learned About Life in the Ozarks… Our Kids’ Perspective. a 2004 fundraiser by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) ot the Ozarks, a collection of short quotes by kids and photos. The kind of thing that I would pick up, but my son threw this into the box. But he’s not here to claim it now, so into the unread stacks it goes.
  • How It Was: Remembered and Fabricated by Orvey C. Buck, a self-published collection of poems from…. well, one of the included chapbooks is dated 1989, and the font is monospace, so it might have been laid out on a typewriter. Even so, the collection is probably contemporaneous with my first chapbooks.
  • One World, One Heart by Susan Polis Schultz. But didn’t I already read it? Yes. But it was the chapbook facing out on the one bundle I bought. So I got another copy. It reminds me of buying poly packets of used jukebox 45s back in the day. You could see the first and last one, and you were generally gambling on what was in between.
  • Nutshell People and Other Biota by Mykia Taylor (1989).
  • Timberlines by Mable A. Lybyer (?).
  • The Little Wilderness Poems by Mary Holman Grimes.

I also picked up five bundles of The Missouri Conservationist magazine to look for photos I can use in découpage. The magazines were essentially a nickel each, which is below even yard sale prices.

Before I hit the books, though I went through the albums. The sale did not have many, but not many people were looking through them. Still I picked up a couple.

  • Gap Mangione! When I looked at the cover, I thought, “Man, I didn’t recognize him without a hat.” But this is Cap Mangione, Chuck Mangione’s brother. It would appear that their relationship was/is better than the Gallagher brothers.
  • Living Together by Burt Bacharach.
  • In Orbit by The Three Suns.
  • This Is Perry Como.
  • Greatest Hits by B.J. Thomas so I can play his biggest hit for my boys to hear without the ooka chocka locka.
  • Sami Jo by Sami Jo. Pretty Woman on Cover (PWoC). With most of these, you can guess mid 70s folk country, and so it is here: her second album from 1976, and her last.
  • Party Boots by Boots Randolph. A two record set. Might already have it, but I spent fifty cents to make sure.
  • Montenegro in Italy by Hugh Montenegro. The composer/band leader behind the iconic spaghetti western themes.
  • Traces of Love by Jane Morgan. I have at least one of her records around here somewhere (research on this blog and certainly not any sort of organization of the Nogglestead music library indicates The Sounds of Silence and In My Style).
  • Mediterranean Cruise by Frank Carle and his orchestra.
  • Songs You Love To Remember by The Mills Brothers.
  • Melissa Manchester by Melissa Manchester. “You like Melissa Manchester, don’t you?” I asked my wife, hoping to make this whole orgy of profligacy about her.
  • Aces High by Ace Cannon.
  • Unfailing Love by Evie. Since I got her Christmas album, maybe I’m an Evie fan. Or maybe it was just fifty cents so why not.
  • Soft Lights and Sweet Music by Percy Faith and his orchestra. Apparently, this is a 1977 reissue of a 1950s original. But PWoC. Holy cats, that young lady is adorable. And if that young lady is still alive, she’s nearing eighty.
  • When Your Lover Has Gone by Teresa Brewer. A jazz singer; I’d never heard of her before.
  • Colours of Love by Hugh Montenegro. I might already have this, but it was fifty cents, so it’s best to make sure. And it would double my chances of finding it in the music library if I ever wanted to.
  • Return of the Wayfaring Stranger by Burl Ives.
  • Burl Ives and the Folk Singers Three.
  • It’s Not Just My Funny Way of Laughing by Burl Ives.
  • Singin’ Easy by Burl Ives.
  • The Versatile Burl Ives. I mean, if I really get into Burl Ives, I’d hate to spend more than $3 for a set of his records.

It’s funny how the sale has its gluts of different things. This sale had a lot of Rose Maddox, for example, where other sales have had a lot of Spanish or Brazilian music. Unfortunately, or fortunately according to my pocket book, this sale didn’t have a lot of tempting records. We might be running out of that window where I’ll find a lot of 40s-60s jazz and easy listening available. Those grandparents are probably all about downsized by now.

After the records, I hit the DVDs and pretty much collected anything that I might want to ever see.

The takings include:

  • Get Carter, a Stallone actioner of a bygone age.
  • A Quite Place, that movie about aliens that locate humans by sound.
  • Dallas Buyers Club.
  • Don Juan DeMarco, a Johhny Depp film from a bygone age.
  • How To Be A Latin Lover, which looks to be a comedy with Selma Hayek, Rob Lowe, and Kristen Bell.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the Pitt and Jolie action comedy(?).
  • A Little Unprofessional, a comedy special by Ron White. Although I apparently did not pick up the one by Larry the Cable Guy.
  • The Bookshop; I read the book in 2021.
  • Corky Romano with Chris Kattan. Heaven forgive me, but I took my wife to see this in the theaters.
  • Toy Soldiers which is not Little Green Men but instead a Louis Gossett, Jr., movie with Sam Gamgee in it.
  • Iron Mask which surely must be a retelling of the Dumas story starring Arnold Schwarzenneggar and with Jackie Chan.
  • Rocketman, the Elton John biopic which my son slipped into the stack.
  • Legionnaire, a Jean-Claude Van Damme film.
  • La La Land.
  • Bringing Down The House with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah which is not the story of the MIT card counters. I don’t think.
  • Knives Out which is a relatively new film. I’m not sure I want to see it, but maybe someday the mood will strike me.
  • Medea on the Run, one of two Medea movies I picked up. My son was stunned.
  • 15:17 to Paris; I might already have it, but I spent 50 cents just in case not.
  • Underworld which I saw a long time ago when it was new, but I have not followed the franchise.
  • Cry Macho, a recentish Clint Eastwood movie.
  • Brimstone which is not the turn-of-the-century Sci-Fi series but a western. Hopefully, not to much of a modern Western.
  • A Madea Family Funeral, #2 of 2.
  • The Predator, a recent entry in the franchise likely to disappoint me.
  • Fantastic 4 which I might already have.
  • Ambulance, a Michael Bay film the boy wanted.
  • Ad Astra, a Brad Pitt film I am not sure I heard of, but the boy wanted.
  • The Poseidon, a remake of The Poseidon Adventure. No Ernest Borgnine, no Shirley Winters, no Leslie Nielson as a straight man. I expect to be disappointed.
  • Better Off Dead with John Cusack. I’ve been kinda looking for this one, so I’m excited.
  • Argo.
  • Tomb Raider, the new one with Alicia Vikander.
  • Crazy Rich Asians.
  • The Legend of Bruce Lee, a documentary.
  • Clash of the Titans, the remake.
  • Wildthings with Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, and Denise Richards.
  • Casino Royale, the first of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. I saw it in the theaters, and it’s the only ones of the Craig set I’ve seen.
  • Baywatch, the comedy remake.
  • The Master Gunfighter starring Tom Laughlin. You know, Billy Jack. Well, I would not have known either (although I am pretty sure I have seen at least parts of The Legend of Billy Jack because my sainted mother liked the movie or maybe Tom Laughlin).
  • First Blood, the first Rambo movie.
  • Patch Adams and What Dreams May Come, a Robin Williams double feature.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the first in the series which I also might have seen in the theater.
  • Olympus Has Fallen, one of the Obama-era “terrorists/bitter clingers have attacked the White House!” movies. Probably enough time has passed I can view the movie on its own merits and not part of the contemporaneous coastal zeitgeist.
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, a later (well, not Netflix-later) Sandler comedy.
  • The Producers with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane.
  • The Deer Hunter, the Vietnam movie which captured my son’s attention.
  • Zoolander No. 2–well, it was only fifty cents.
  • Kick-Ass 2.
  • Beowulf which has a computer-assisted Angelina Jolie in it, ainna?
  • The Death of Stalin, an ensemble comedy from a bygone era more bygone than other bygone eras I’ve mentioned so far.
  • Trading Places, the Dan Ackroyd/Eddie Murphy comedy from the early 1980s.

Holy cats, that’s fifty films. I haven’t watched the last fifty I bought yet.

Looking at the list, I’m somewhat surprised just how heavily weighted it is to franchises, remakes, or reboots. But I suppose I should not be. Also, I have determined the place to get later films on DVD will be library book sales, as some of the later titles here were ex-library holdings–and libraries might be the only DVD release some titles get.

I also picked up two courses, Starting Out In Chinese and Shakespeare: The Great Comedies. So I just need to start commuting again or something to listen to these and the others I’ve acquired.

At any rate, the check made out to FOL totaled $40. If I had stopped in the Better Books Section, I would have spent more, perhaps on art monographs or old books, but I would also have had to eventually shelve them. Which is a sore subject right now as work at Nogglestead required us to move six bookshelves and their contents. It only took a little over an hour, but still.

I would proffer a pool, gentle reader, as to which film you would expect me to watch first. I cannot participate, gentle reader, as I have already watched it. But you can speculate in the comments if you would like.

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The Soon-To-Be-Forgotten New Vocabulary of Brian J.

I am not claiming to be a polymath, gentle reader, as I would have to be a far better autodidact than I am. But I sure am reading and listening widely these days, which means I have a lot of new vocabulary words getting thrown into my brain, briefly, while I’m reading/listening/studying. Soon to be fall out when I start memorizing additional heavy metal lyrics on my gym playlist.

Recently, though, I have learned the following words and could briefly say them correctly and/or read them with fairly correct pronunciation:

  • Kuduasai. I’ve started playing with Duolingo, refreshing some of my Spanish and starting, again, Japanese from scratch. Kudasai means please in a familiar sense.
  • Chavín de Huántar. This is an archeological site in Peru which has information about the Chavín culture which spread through cities in Peru about 1000 BC. I’ve had a couple of car rides/child pickup opportunities recently, so I’ve started listening to lectures again, this set being Lost Worlds of South America. I’ll probably finish this sometime in 2024, by which time I will have forgotten how to pronounce Chavín de Huántar, but I will likely remember the feline deity and whether one can build a vampire story about them.
  • As I mentioned, I’m in the process of reading The Life Of Greece by Will (and Ariel) Durant, so I am all steeped in Greek names like Polycrates and Anaximenes and Anaximander and Xenophanes, and I am pretty sure my pronunciation tracks with the Greek. I mean, I do have a cat named Chimera, which is pronounced just like it’s spelled, ainna?
  • I’ve been reading some late ninteenth century and early twentieth century short stories, so I’ve been looking up lots of words like demirep and so on. Unfortunately, I did not write down each new word as I looked it up or otherwise note it. Or perhaps it is for the best, as I would want to use them and would become more obscure than I am.

Something is bound to stick, though, gentle reader, and that will make me even more boring to talk to at parties as I suddenly lurch from creepy and silent to enthusiastic about esoterica. Which is also creepy, ainna?

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I May Not Be A Smart Man, Jenny

But I would not include photos of a gun cabinet (not even a gun safe, but a gun cabinet) in a real estate listing.

We’re having a little work done around Nogglestead, and every estimator and service professional that’s been by has wanted interior photos of the house, and that enough makes the conspiratal lobe of my brain throb.

Conspiratal lobe of the brain aside, photos of guns on a public real estate listing are right where burglars can see them.

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Back to School Week At Nogglestead

Youngest: I need to make something medieval. He says, referring to a summer project that he has chosen to wait until the night before the project is due.
Father: What do you mean medieval?
Youngest: From the Middle Ages.
Father: What do you mean the Middle Ages? From the fall of Rome to, what, 1400? That’s a thousand years.
Youngest: I want to make a mace.
Father helps son by providing a poster shipping tube and by pointing out you don’t have to make the ball completely out of aluminum foil, but he can instead make a ball of crumpled newspaper and cover it with foil, saving his parents $20 in aluminum foil.
Youngest: I need some string to attach it.
Father comes up with some twine and envisions the boy tying the head of the mace onto the shaft like a thong holding on the stone head of an axe.

But the boy makes clear that it he is going to tape the twine to the end of the shaft and then to the mace head.
Father: Oh, you’re making a morning star.

So I told the boy the history of the mace and its application in warfare. Part of the return to school is signing of the syllabi, where the parents and students review the content of each class and what they will cover.

And I thought, hubrisly, I might know more about history than the history teacher and more about literature than the English teacher.

I mean, I only have a bachelor’s degree, but I have continued to read for the, erm, couple of years since then. Which is, in many cases, longer than the teachers have been alive.

Granted, I am quite the outlier. But I would be happy to help my boys with their studies, at least in these subjects. When they come to me three-quarters of the way through the year with advanced algegra problems, though, I guess it puts me back into my place.

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Hindrocket Jinxes Me

In a post about the debate last night (didn’t see it, not interested), he said:

Doug Burgum tore his Achilles tendon yesterday morning playing pick-up basketball. His participation was evidence of his determination and pain tolerance, but he was not up to par. Men older than 50 should not play pick-up basketball. I know several middle-aged men who have suddenly torn Achilles tendons, in every case playing basketball. They should stick to HORSE.

And here I promised my oldest son, who is now two inches taller and maybe twenty pounds heavier than I am, a basketball game this week.

When I tear my Achilles, I will know whom to blame.

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She Is Not Talking About Me, Strangely Enough

Patrice Lewis of Rural Revolution on the issue of worry:

I know someone who is worrying himself into an early grave. He has an incredible number of blessings in his life – a lovely wife, great kids, a beautiful home, good health, modest financial success – and yet he is so caught up in how bad things are getting (both nationally and internationally) that his worries are starting to damage his health.

Like the commuters in the subway station, this friend can’t always lift his head to appreciate the beauty around him or the blessings of his life. Instead, his eyes are focused on the news as he obsesses over the state of the world.

I know I struggle with this, for sure. Perhaps more than most people. As a remote worker for almost two decades, my perspective often has narrowed to this monitor and keyboard. I have to make an effort, and it’s a constant effort, to not feel isolated and atomized, to get out and to do things.

Jeez, I was Gen Z before Gen Z had a name.

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How I Did Not Spend My Saturday

Two die in Ironman triathlon as witness says ‘race should never have gone ahead’:

Two men died while taking part in the “brutal” swimming leg of an Ironman triathlon event in Ireland with disruption from Storm Betty that made the water “choppy”.

The storm had been battering County Cork, where the event was taking place, and conditions were “brutal” as competitors took to the water, a witness said.

I am not a fan of the open water swim. I am also not a fan of competitive swimming in the ocean. Come to think of it, I am not really a swim fan.

This Saturday, though, I did compete in my first sprint-length triathlon, and I did better than I hoped. Longer swims expose my lack of swimming ability and make me far less competitive, so I finished about 6th from the bottom.

Forensically, I look back and think I could have trimmed some of my swim time if I had not positioned myself second-to-the-end of the indoor pool snake-swim where you line up according to speed–I was faster than the woman I was behind, but I did not pass her as I was doing the triathlon on “cruise” speed, aiming just to finish. The first transition included a run from the YMCA pool to a transition area that was a city block away–run around the YMCA building in a parking lot barefoot, cross some grass, cross an apartment complex’s parking lot, cross some grass, and then part-way across a church parking lot to the transition area where the shoes are.

I made a wrong turn on the bike, too, which added a mile or so until I recognized no police or volunteers were blocking traffic and no bikers finishing the out and back route were passing me any longer. So that added five minutes or more to my time.

Also, I walked probably half of the 5k run at the end. I certainly hadn’t trained for it. I had a time of 35 minutes with the walking–my normal 5k time is right about 30 minutes, so it only added 5 minutes to it.

But I suppose I could have trimmed, what, ten minutes from my overall time? That would have moved me up nine spots, probably still in the bottom third. So, yeah, longer triathlons are not my sport.

When I racked my bike, my old triathlon coach asked me if I was going to stay on it that day. I guess the fact that I laid my bike down on the Tiger Tri three weeks ago and finished it bloody has become common knowledge. He was working the mike at the finish line, and he announced me by calling me a staple of the shorter triathlons. Which I guess I have been this year–I’ve done two indoor triathlons and the two outdoor triathlons this year, which is pretty good for how poor my training regimen has been.

I did get a cool picture from it, though.

Now, after a couple months, I can get back to my real fitness passion: Weightlifting, as I can do so much of it sitting or lying down.

Well, until I decide to train at the last minute for the indoor triathlon at Chesterfield Family Center in late winter.

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Brian J.’s Trivia-Fu Fails Him, Again

My beautiful wife mentioned getting some fried chicken from a either KFC or Popeye’s this weekend, which made me think of an old commercial where people sang, “I feel like chicken tonight, chicken tonight” and did a quick funky chicken dance. But I could not remember whether which restaurant did it.

Well, Internet archeology has led me to believe, with 82% certainty, that this was actually for a Ragu product.

I mean, this could be AI generated. But I do remember the portion with the police officer directing traffic–already an anachronism 30 years ago. Or do I?

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Brian J.’s Recycler Tour Intersects with Real Life

On Wednesday, we went to 1984, the local vintage arcade, as part of my beautiful wife’s birthday celebration.

As in years past (2017, 2018, and 2019), we visited right after the arcade reset its annual high scores, and everyone in the family was able to get a high score on something. My wife got the high score on Joust again, of course.

One of the machines I got a high score on was Sinistar, but I did not register it immediately, as I was going to make just one trip to the counter as I was only going to get one free voucher and pin no matter how many high scores I set. When my oldest said he’d beaten the arcade’s high score, I went to look to see if it was higher than mine, and it was. So that triggered the boys’ sibling rivalry, and they swapped high scores on it for a while until the youngest blew us all out of the water. But by making a quick trip to the desk, the oldest secured a voucher for having a high score that did not last long at all. So we all ended up with vouchers.

How did I do?

I got high scores on the following:

  • Arkanoid
  • Asteroids Deluxe
  • Circus Charlie
  • Commando
  • Elevator Action
  • Spy Hunter
  • Xevious

They might not stand for long. Hopefully not. We were there early on a Wednesday evening for roughly two hours, and the very light crowd turned over a couple of times. The number of games that were offline was a bit concerning, and many of these machines are 40 years old, so I imagine spare parts are getting thin. A lot different than when I dabbled in video game collecting 20 years ago.

At any rate, the intersection with the recycler tour comes from something I posted on Facebook and on this blog on July 27 and 28, 2011:

I sent the image to both of the boys.

Here in 2023, I don’t have to explain the forty-year-old game from 1983 that they’ve recently played.

I will have to explain Farmville on Facebook and the teaser of the wandering sheep. Or no, perhaps it’s better if I not try.

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Oh, Yeah, I Forgot To Tell You About The Kitten

What, you thought I meant Nico and Cisco and merely misspoke when I said “the new kitten” yesterday?

Do try to keep up.

We have a new new kitten in the household.

Well, the school attached to our church posted about this stray kitten, and then a week ago when we came out of church, he came directly across the parking lot to my beautiful wife, and….

Well, she took him into the church to see if anyone wanted a kitten, and no one did, so here he is. She called him Paul, and since we give our cats literary names and this just came up on my memory feed (but not, apparently, in my recycler tour on this blog):

I guess his official name at the vet is St. Paul Atreides, but I call him Meow’Dib.

The first week in my office, he was very laid back and spent most of his time eating and sleeping. I guess he was pretty starved from his time outdoors. This week he’s definitely more interested in playing, and he wants out of the office.

Unfortunately, although the older cats kind of ignore him, Cisco and Nico want to have a go with him. They get so upset that they actually are standoffish with each other for a bit after seeing him–at a distance, all black kittens look alike to him.

So we’re not sure if he will be a permanent fixture at Nogglestead or not, but we’re hopeful.

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Bedtime Forensic Thoughts of Brian J.

Why does this cat smell like doughnuts?

Oh, it is the hand that I’m using to pet the cat smells like doughnuts. Why does my hand smell like doughnuts?

It has been sixteen hours since I had the day-old day-old markdown Walmart doughnuts this morning.

Could this be the cat pheremones we’ve been spraying so that the new kitten will integrate into the household more smoothly? Why would cat pheremones smell like doughnuts?

Wait a minute…. One of the last things that I did before coming to bed was to wring out a dish cloth in the kitchen sink. Today, the youngest made icing for the cookie cake for his grandmother’s birthday, and likely he washed the dish at the very last minute before bed, and he did not rinse the dish cloth afterwards, so when I wrung it out, I got some of the glazing on my hand, which is why my hand smells like doughnuts.

Not that I got up and washed my hand, gentle reader; I wanted to dream of doughnuts.

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That’s My Sword

Feudal warlord’s European-style rapier was created in Japan:

A European-style rapier owned by a feudal-era warlord was actually forged in Japan, but who commissioned the production and what was used as the model remain unclear, according to a study.

Researchers from the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the Koka city education board examined the rapier and found that Japanese sword-producing techniques were used in the manufacturing process.

The rapier dates from the first half of the 17th century in the early Edo Period (1603-1867) and was found in the Minakuchi district here.

As a reminder, gentle reader, when I was growing up in the projects, we would admire cars or homes we and our families could ill afford by announcing “That’s my thing.”

This sword reminds me of one I fondled recently at Relics Antique Mall. My beautiful wife gave me gift certificates to the antique mall, and I decided to look at the cabinets in the middle of the mall instead of the booths. And although the TRS-80 for $400 was…. well, it was not tempting–I called the front desk to look at a rapier because I thought the price tag said $70, and I would pay $20 for a nice rapier.

However, the actual price–I had seen a price tag near the rapier but apparently attached to a smaller blade–was $120, and I didn’t want to pay $70 in money. So I guess I’ll have to wait for a gift card of some sort. But it is a nice rapier, albeit a reproduction that looks a little like the Japanese warlord’s rapier.

(Link via Bayou Renaissance Man whose commenters are rightly pointing out how a rapier would quickly poke holes in samurai–when we did sword sparring at my martial arts school back in the day, I, who trained in fencing, ate up the people who learned to fight with katana as though they were slicing through cloth armor.)

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Excellent Advice

Don’t pick a fight with a poet.

Well, actually, I guess picking a fight with poet Brian from 30 years ago would be pretty safe. Poet Brian now weighs almost 200 pounds and has studied martial arts for going on a decade. So picking a fight with current poet Brian is probably only slightly less safe.

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An Idle Question

What do Aaron Tippen, The Animals, Icehouse, and the Indigo Girls have in common?

I know, they’re all musical acts. But aside from that, I wish I knew. Almost 30 years ago, I listed them on a notepad I carried in my pocket at the time.

I mean, one is country, one is old rock, one is an 80s pop band from Australia, and one are the Indigo Girls. I like music by 3 of the 4.

I have no idea what this meant.

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As So Often Happens

So, yesterday, my beautiful wife needed to be early for church to prepare for singing with the octet (choir proper being out for the summer), and she needed to stay after service not because she was naughty but because she had to practice her trumpet for playing during next week’s service. Which means I had to do something that I haven’t had to do for a number of years: I had to pick out a carry book.

Gentle reader, you might remember my concept of a carry book. Generally a paperback, and often times a seriousish book in case anyone asks what I’m reading. I carried the, well, carry book to places where I’d have a little time to sit and read. I brought it to the dojo in the days where we would spend three or four hours at the martial arts school between two boys in kids’ classes and then parents in adults classes to close the evening, or I would carry it to church to read during the Sunday school hour when my children took and my wife taught, or I would have it in the car when I was waiting to pick my boys up for school.

Well, gentle reader, those days passed and took a couple hours of reading a week from me. Ay, me.

At any rate, as I was saying, I was looking for this book to carry with me to church (c’mon, I know, the Bible would be an obvious answer, but I’ve already read that, and the Orthodox Bible I’m working my way through is a bit larger than I wanted to carry). So I went looking for Letters from a Stoic by Seneca which I just bought the day before.

And I could not find it.

I mean, I know I shuffled the stack from Arkansas onto the shelves in my office. So I put the books most recently purchased from ABC Books onto the shelves in the hallway. And they disappeared.

I spent a number of minutes looking at the shelves, and I knew they were only in the outermost rows of books on the shelves–that is, not on the rank of books behind the front row of books which holds untold treasures that I have not seen since 2016 (is it time to dust again? so soon?).

But I could not find it, so I settled on another.

I joked with my beautiful wife about how happy I was to have found a used copy of a collection of Seneca and that I would be equally happy when I found it again in a number of years. I did not mean to make it quite so true so quickly.

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Further Proof Facebook Reads MfBJN

I just mentioned vacationing near a lake made by damming the Little Red River in Arkansas.

Yesterday, Facebook presented me with a suggested post about the Red River in Arkansas:

MfBJN: Training AI and bots since 2003. Which is now according to my reckoning (actually, my eternal now starts about 2012, when the youngest went to school all day and when I assumed my position at the computer here for hours and hours a day, day in and day out, with only the occasional change to the desktop wallpaper and to the billing cycles of common applications to poorly differentiate the passing seasons).

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, trying to stick in my brain the longest river not from snow melt in case that comes up in a trivia night sometime, which it probably won’t because most trivia nights are just pop culture these days. Which is just as well. I find I don’t retain trivia as well at, erm, almost thirty as I did when I was twenty.

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