Key Words: Located in Illinois

So I sometimes click through on real estate ads on Facebook as sometimes still I dream, gentle reader.

But not this one:

Yeah, you know, I cannot really think of any state in the country where I would not want to live except Illinois.

Both of my growing up locations were near (enough) the border with Illinois so that it got enough of a bad reputation, not to mention I would hate to live in a state ruled by Chicago (it’s bad enough in Missouri that Kansas City and St. Louis wield their blue influence on the state enough to make it chancy in elections.

I mean, I guess I would not like to live in Hawaii, either–but I’ve never been there. Perhaps I would change my mind.

But running down the states and regions, no other state comes to mind as a no-go.

Besides, if a house that big is that inexpensive, it requires massive repairs, or it’s under onerous regulation for preservation, or both. But, also, Illinois.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Not Exactly Like The Facebook Suggested For You Post Would Have It

I might have mentioned that my Facebook feed is basically ads, promoted posts (Suggested for you, I suspect, is just an ad by another name), a couple things from people I went to high school with, a posts from Gimlet’s wife showing their kids, bible quote posts from that guy who runs 5Ks in a Speedo and then his, erm, saucy comments on the posts of Influencers who showcase their legs, rock music posts, and old movie posts. I’m not sure whether the algorithm has improved my engagement–sometimes I slow down a bit on some of the posts, but I don’t click buttons on them.

But they do give me blog fodder.

Like this one from some twee pop culture site which is going to tell me about martial arts:

A spin kick (or a jump spin kick) or something like a spin knife hand can be just as powerful or more powerful than a lift or step kick. A spin heel kick, for example, can combine the motion of the spin with the motion of just the leg to knock someone’s block off. And we’re not allowed to throw spin ridge hands in touch sparring because it’s too powerful–and, to be honest, too easy to miss your distance and timing so that you hit someone full power, that is, hard enough to hurt them.

You don’t throw a spin kick first, though, because the wind up is quite visible. However, if you want to throw two strikes from the same side, or if you want to use the momentum from the twist of your body to add power to a second strike, you use the spin. Say you’re in a guard stance with your left side forward (if you’re right handed, this is kind of natural). When you throw a turn round kick with your back leg, you pivot on your left leg as turn your body to strike with your riight leg.
Your body is already rotating counterclockwise, so you can put the right leg and continue the momentum, pivoting now on your right to spin and kick with your left leg. It’s one motion, and it can be quick and smooth.

As to flips, I agree, that’s cinematic. But rolls have their place. My current school does not emphasize forward and backward rolls as much as the bujinikan dojo where I studied for a few months. Rolls are helpful when you lose your balance and have to regain your feet relatively quickly. Standing back up is slow, but carrying the momentum of the fall a little further until your feet are under you is not. This is most useful for martial arts that emphasize strikes from a standing position, not necessarily grappling arts like Brazilian Jui-Jitsu.

Of course, that’s only the experience of a experience and perspective of an eight-year student of martial arts who’s off to get his but kicked in a black belt boot camp later today ahead of perhaps rank confirmation testing next weekend and not that of an actual instructor or an Internet listicle writer.

And, no, I did not click through to the actual listicle to see what the other 11 dumb things. No need reward the algorithm for showing this to me.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Ask Why Brian Is Leary of AirBNB

Tyson Foods CFO John Tyson arrested for entering stranger’s house, passing out in her bed

You know, one of the places we stayed was a garage behind a house, and the entrance and “address” of the apartment was on a narrow alleyway. Other places have been in condominium buildings or developments where things look the same. So I can too easily imagine myself prowling around someone’s house in error after dark. So I avoid AirBNBs and use hotels instead when I’ll arrive after dark, drunk or not.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Brian J. Lives Out The Robert Frost Poem

Namely, “Two Tramps in Mud Time“:

Out of the mud two strangers came
And caught me splitting wood in the yard,
And one of them put me off my aim
By hailing cheerily “Hit them hard!”
I knew pretty well why he had dropped behind
And let the other go on a way.
I knew pretty well what he had in mind:
He wanted to take my job for pay.

Good blocks of oak it was I split,
As large around as the chopping block;
And every piece I squarely hit
Fell splinterless as a cloven rock.
The blows that a life of self-control
Spares to strike for the common good,
That day, giving a loose my soul,
I spent on the unimportant wood.

Not the complete poem; That’s the first two stanzas. Gentle reader, you would most likely know it from its closing lines:

Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

As you know, gentle reader, that is the source of the title of Robert B. Parker’s Mortal Stakes, back in the old days when his writing was deep and rich. Or, if not deep and rich, before he went Hollywood and his prose got thin.

So how, exactly, am I living it?
Continue reading “Brian J. Lives Out The Robert Frost Poem”

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

And Now I Am A Coin Collector

So my youngest son has decided he is a numismatician. Apparently, this hobby has fallen to the point where spellchecking does not recognize it. But he has been watching YouTube videos on different errata coins and their value. He has gone to the bank to buy rolls of coins to look through and see if he can find a rare coin amongst them. So to encourage him in something that is mostly off the phone or video game system, I took him to a coin and stamp show at Relics this weekend.

They had a special program for the youth, where not only did they get a little sack with a couple of low value coins in them and a five dollar voucher to use at the booths, but they also gave him a quiz worksheet where he could stop at certain flagged booths for the answer, and when he filled the worksheet out, he got another three dollar voucher for a total of eight bucks in free coins, essentially.

I was a proud poppa, impressed that he knew most of the answers on the worksheet without having to ask the people in the flagged booths. And he could talk to the collectors about the different patterns in paper currency that made them valuable for collectors.

But among the various things I accumulate, I have never felt called to gather coins. I mean, as a kid, I had some folders that I think started out at my mother’s with pennies from the wheat back era. I might still have those, as a matter of fact, nestled amongst photo albums. And although I have some foreign notes (and, as I mentioned, previously owned a collection of foreign coins which I sold a long time ago). I considered getting a couple of collectible folders so the boy and I could do them together, but I have not acted on them.

And then we came to a booth with foreign currency. The man behind the table told us that he used to collect American money, but when he turned fifty, he started to collect foreign coins instead. And I looked into one of his cabinets and saw Japanese coins from 1868, and I thought, “That’s the Meiji restoration period.”

So they got me. Not just foreign money, but historical coins. So I bought a couple.

I bought three Japanese coins from the Meiji Restoration era (1868, 1881, and 1883) and a well-worn Roman coin. I looked through the Roman coins–the ones at this table had later emperors on them. I did see a nice coin with Marcus Aurelius on it at another booth, but it was $95, and I am neither far enough into the hobby to warrant it. In times when I am feeling flush with cash, I might have bought it, but we’re not in that period now. So I forebore.

So they saw me coming. Well, probably not, but I am definitely interested in historical coins. I mean, Tom Cruise’s character from The Last Samurai might have handled these coins! Well, no, but when I’m reviewing the history of Japan or ancient Rome, I will have bits of the history to touch.

Now, let’s see how much of a collector I actually become. Most likely, not much, as I don’t think I’ll go to coin shows on my own. But one never knows.

Also, I have learned that people collect smashed penny souvenirs that my son has collected from an early age, and I saw numerous video game and other tokens on tables, so there’s some market for those. Which is good, as I have a box full of tokens from various arcades that closed before I used the tokens (or changed over to electric card readers). Maybe I can realize some value in them. But not much.

WAIT A MINUTE. Clearly, I am not a keen-eyed coin collector, as I see in previewing this post, where the photo of the coins is larger than actual size, that one of the Japanese coins is from 1668 and not 1868. So from the Tokugawa Shogunate period, not the Meiji restoration. Ah, well. Still cool.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

My Kitchen Needs, But Not Our Kitchen Needs

Ducks Unlimited offers some cutlery for a donation:

This knife set includes an 8″ chef knife and a 3½” paring knife for all of your kitchen needs.

Gentle reader, I could get by with that, I mean, dubious quality of the free knives aside (probably about as good as a Ginsu knife, ainna?), I cut some vegetables sometimes and maybe a melon or two.

But my beautiful wife is a cook, and she has needs that far outstrip mine. I mean, you cannot safely spatchcock a chicken with either of those.

So two knives would certainly not meet all of our kitchen needs.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

They Make Her Sound Like A Liar

Marching bands these days have growing “front ensembles” which are marimbas and xylophones and gongs and large drums that are set up on the near sideline at the fifty yard line. Increasingly, they include sound systems to play prerecorded samples and whatnot. I’ve only been attending marching band festivals for two years now, and I’m already an old school purist who disdains props and elaborate stagings that look more like a musical set piece rather than, you know, a marching band.

Last weekend at the Ozarko Marching Band Festival, one of the St. Louis-area bands went crazy, and might well have made a young lady sound like a liar.

“Oh, you’re in the marching band. What do you play?”

“The piano.”

“LIAR!”

She should probably just say percussion.

Although one of the Ace of Spade’s HQ’s overnight thread posters would like the band–that poster says if the band has an upright bass, it’s a good band.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

That’s Some Fencing

Gentle reader, Facebook has determined that I must want to buy a new home. Maybe it’s not Facebook–maybe it’s the whole Internet. Maybe it’s my fault, actually, since my job requires me to test Web sites that refer to actual addresses, and I use Realtor.com to look up addresses in various ZIP codes. Regardless, I get a lot of ads for real estate listings on Facebook, and as you can guess, I often click through to see what they have to say (I do like to look at castles from time to time, not to mention old island forts).

But this rather simple, $499,900, this Absolutely One-Of-A-Kind Property has 20 acres, a pond, an out building, a barn, and a rather small modern home on it.

But the fences? The fences are tight.

There is so much outdoor space with Barbed: 5 wire and pipe/steel fencing for horses, cattle, chickens, bees, donkeys while living the dream in a beautifully modern home with soaring ceilings and fabulous open living/dining area featuring floor to ceiling stone fireplace!

They got fencing that will keep the bees in, y’all. You know what we call that in my old neighborhood? A screen. And we used it to keep the bees out.

You know what I call this listing? The product of a young real estate agent from the city. Perhaps a journalist who wanted to, you know, make a living.

In other news, perhaps I need a category for real estate.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

The Latest Scandal Of Brian J.

Gentle reader, you might have noticed no Good Album Hunting or Good Book Hunting posts recently, even though the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library held its autumn book sale last week.

I did not go.

I alluded to this in book reports leading up to the event–that I might not go–but in the end, I did not go.

I had work for both my employer and my longtime client that chained me to my desk for twelve or fourteen hours a day, which made it difficult for me to get up to the fairgrounds on a weekday. Although I thought about taking a change of clothes to the NFFF Memorial Stair Climb and running through the sale briefly on Saturday, half price day, between the second and third of my stadia last weekend, but I did not–I couldn’t remember how long the stair climb actually took, so I demurred. I also did not want to go up on Sunday afternoon, bag day–in my experience, it’s pretty picked over by then, and I would not have found much.

So I did not go.

And, gentle reader, when my mother-in-law downsized earlier in the year, it broke me.

Well, all right, it didn’t break my spirit, but it really dampened my enthusiasm for book or record buying for a time. For, you see, I could get away with putting a couple or a couple of dozen books or albums on my stuffed book or record shelves, filling gaps in the to-read shelves created as I actually read books.

But the books and records we received from my mother in law were boxes’ worth. I have two boxes of books and a couple atop those boxes in my office that I cannot fit on my current shelves. I will enumerate them when I can find a place to put them. I have a box of records under the desk with the 60s folk music she favors as I have no room on the record shelves until I build more.

So, gentle reader, for the nonce, I have enough.

Or, more to the point, I cannot fit the amount that I would normally accumulate at the book sale into the existing storage.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll run up to ABC Books from time to time or pick up some records at antique malls as I do my Christmas shopping as long as the prices haven’t gotten too out of hand.

But a book sale? Not until next spring at the earliest.

And here I know you hang onto my look at what I bought! posts. Maybe I’ll do a Musical Balance post since I haven’t done one in…. almost a year? Wow.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

David Gilmour Sings For Grownups

Severian posted this Nerd Fight today: songs for grownups:

Or my other nominee, Bob Seger’s “Night Moves.” Yep, that’s what it feels like, all right, to be a normal teenage boy in a culture that isn’t quite yet terminal. It’s also what it’s like to be a normal adult looking back on that teenage boy. It’s not goopy nostalgia; Bob knows those days are gone. It’s not “Gosh, I wish I’d done this and that differently;” it’s “I’m glad it ended the way it did, because I am a sadder yet wiser person for it.”

In other words, it’s a song by an adult, for adults.

I mean, his first nominee is Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Auld Lang Syne” (::spit::). Heaven and the blog archives know what I think of that song.

Severian invites commenters to identify songs written for adults.

Gentle reader, I’m sure you would remember were you not still young that I posted Music: Not For Grown-Ups Any More in 2003, when I was less of a grownup than I am now, that music of the modern day was/is written for the young. We’ve covered the ground about why popular music tends to be geared to the young (I’m too lazy to find the links now–troll my Music category and see if you can find the posts about how country music was the last genre to fall to the call of the young and why I hate “Same Auld Lang Syne”).

One of his commenters posted about Roger Waters of Pink Floyd (as a co-worker in 1990 called them, “Three old men and a guitar”). However, that commenter missed the proper member of Pink Floyd for adults.

Roger Waters’ solo work was always a bit of youthful naval gazing. The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking resonates when you’re young and your relationships are unstable. Radio K.A.O.S and Amused to Death were political statements. Apparently, he has released music since then, but who cares? I mean, I grokked The Wall because my parents divorced when I was young, but aside from touching that youthful wire, meh.

David Gilmour, on the other hand….

On his 1978 solo album David Gilmour, his song “So Far Away” describes being close to but being far away from a lover:

Sweet Christmas, when I got that tape (audiocassettes were the thing in 1990-1991, child), I was an awkward teenager with no experience with the ladies. And I could imagine how it might feel (more than I could from Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”). Now that I am, ahem, 25 years old and a little more experienced with the lady (my beautiful wife), I think he got it right.

His 1984 album About Face contains a couple of gems. The first is “Out of the Blue”:

Which is all about the passage of time. Not only his, but his children’s.

The last song on the album is “Near the End”:

Jeez, Louise, it’s a song about turning the record over and starting it again, renewal, and:

Thinking that we’re getting older and wiser
when we’re just getting old.

When he wrote that, he was far younger than I am now, albeit older than I was then. But it resonated.

Gilmour’s work has been a mix of mature, grownup songs, political/activist kinds of songs, and a lot of working with the music itself–the la(te)st Pink Floyd album The Endless River and his work with The Orb tend toward the techno and electronica….

But here’s a later work–“Yes, I Have Ghosts”:

You won’t find music for grownups in popular music–that’s all geared to kids. You can find it, even now, if you look for it.

If you want, old man. Me, I’m looking for new metal to exercise by, metal with youthful vigor as befits me when I exercise.

But then Gilmour.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

A Subtle Reminder

We inherited a number of patio decorations and flowerpots from my mother-in-law when she downsized earlier in the year.

Now, when I sit outside at sunset, I’m reminded….

I borrowed Donnie Darko on DVD from my beautiful wife’s former roommate 20 years ago. I have watched it, but I did not want to return it until my wife and I watched it.

In those intervening years, we’ve fallen out of touch. And by “fallen out of touch,” I mean I scoffed when he said Bush was going to round up all the Jews and put them in camps when he and his wife came to our housewarming party in 2006. He unfriended us shortly thereafter on social media for differing political views which meant we were getting cut from social ties before it was cool. His wife has not, though, but she’s a Packers fan from Brown Deer, Wisconsin, so she’s clearly of a better stock.

At any rate, it’s getting to October, and Donnie Darko is kind of a Halloween movie, so perhaps I will watch it with my boys and maybe my beautiful wife. And then send the film back with a thank you note. Although they’re the kind of couple who might not have a DVD player any more.

Aw, c’mon, man, I have to explain?

It was a box office disappointment. And it never really became a cult hit. But I remember it mostly because I have this DVD on a 20-year-old loan.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

The Weekend Of Three Stadia

Well, I broke my streak of weekends where I attended festivals at four. You can find other festivals and small town fall shindigs within an hour’s drive from Nogglestead, but other things were on the agenda this weekend.

Such as the famous, or at least capitalized on this blog, Weekend of the Three Stadia.

So, on Friday night, the marching band performed at the home football game, so of course we were present.

You might ask, “Did they replace #2, the 5’5″ player who has since graduated?” Indeed they did: they have two kids about 5 and a half feet tall this year returning kicks and acting as running back at times.

Friday night’s game was well over three hours, as the score was 68-43 with a lot of penalties. Also, someone was very bad with the clock. The clock stopped in tackles in bounds and for a variety of reasons. Through most of the game, I blamed inexperienced clock keepers, but at one point, I looked down and saw the official signaling time out after a tackle in bounds. So it might have been inexperienced officials. The Missouri State High School Activities Association has a mercy rule that says when the score gets to such a differential in the second half to keep the clock running regardless of the situation–but the home team did not get that far out ahead. They stayed only two or three scores ahead, and their opponent could throw the ball, which led to a number of one down touchdowns. So it went on.

Which was bothersome, because I had not eaten. I had planned to get a burger at the concession stand, but I did not want to surrender my seat in a crowded stadium. So I thought I would get something when I got home a little after 9pm. And with each passing minute of game time, I thought I was closer to it, but I didn’t want to spend the money if I didn’t have to. But I did want to have something because I was supposed to be carb loading, or at least not undernourished when I got to Saturday morning.

Because I had the NFFF Memorial Stair Climb at Plaster Stadium on the MSU campus.

As my boys had a marching band thing that day, they could not join me, so I did it alone.

The Memorial Stair Climb raises funds for the families of the first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and hopefully others as well.

But when I’m sitting alone, I envy the camaraderie and the bonds that the first responders share. I feel the same sort of envy at the Ruck and Run, which benefits veterans’ organizations. It’s been a long time since I’ve had shared bonds and experiences with people. My family when I was young. Places where I’ve worked a bit, but not something that lasts a lifetime. Instead of sitting alone on the bleachers feeling sorry for myself, I tried to focus on their honor, and I knew I was not the only non-first responder or affiliated family there. I also felt a little guilty that my first thought, and the reason I did it, was not so much to honor them or raise money for them but rather because I wanted to prove to myself that I could climb 110 stories (78 flights according to my fitness tracker) in an hour and ten minutes. How bad of a person does that make me?

Worse than William McGovern, Battalion 2.

So I finished that, went home for a shower and a nap, and then I was off to watch my boys in their marching band.

It was a clinic and not an exhibition. The school took the field at 3:00 sharp (on schedule), performed the show, and then broke into groups (color guard, percussion, everyone else) to get some advice for improvement, and then at 3:40, they reassembled and did the show again, hopefully better.

So we were in and out in under two hours, which is good, because my legs began to stiffen the moment I stopped moving. In the event of an actual exhibition, I could expect to spend eight hours or more in bleachers.

Which is coming next weekend. After the triathlon.

At any rate, I did not visit any stadium on Sunday (or since), although the church sanctuary is kind of like a stadium–pews that rise from the altar in a semi-circle. But I’m not going to count that. It makes it like I’m reaching for blog content or something. Which I am.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

The Milwaukeean Sumautumn of Brian J.

Wow, gentle reader, it seems as though I have left you out on the biggest adventure of my summer/autumn. Well, adventures, and they’re not very big at all, but I am not 20 years old any more, so my adventures are a little more narrow in scope.

At any rate, for about four weeks, I lived a bit like a Milwaukeean.

I am sure that I’ve gone on and on, if not on this blog then certainly in person, about how many festivals Milwaukee has in the summer. Aside from Summerfest, the ten day (or however they do it now) music festival with multiple national headlining acts every day, the Henry Maier festival park on the lakefront also hosts a variety of ethnic festivals throughout the summer. And Milwaukee’s myriad churches also have festivals of their own. So on a weekend in Milwaukee, one can choose one or more festivals. And one can fill a summer’s full of weekends just so. Assuming, perhaps, that one is high school or college age and has no other real responsibilities.

So in mid-August, we lived like Milwaukeeans.

It started, really, with the Ernst-Fest in Freistatt, Missouri. When the boys were at the Lutheran school, they played basketball against the Trinity Lutheran School Knights from Freistatt, so we visited four or five times, and we’ve sent the school a little money now and then. The Lions Club fairgrounds are a mile north of the school on the one road through town that runs between Mount Vernon and Monett. It was a small affair—a polka band playing in the biergarten, brats and sauerkraut served at a concession stand, and a series of games mostly for kids run by Trinity Lutheran—the principal recognized us and greeted us by name (Springfield Lutheran). We also ran into a family from our church who was originally from Freistatt but live just a couple miles west of us for now. The oldest son went to SLS with my oldest until fifth grade, where the exodus of serious athletes occurred–their parents wanted them to play in public schools with real athletic programs. I guess it worked–the boy had an onside kick recovery on Friday night at the high school.

The next Saturday, we went down to Crane, Missouri, for its annual Broiler Fest (the broiler being broiler chickens—I guess historically Crane has been associated with the poultry industry, although the Tyson plants are down in Monett). I had read about this festival in the Branson and the Stone County papers for years, but in the past, our September weekends were consumed with cross country meets until they were consumed with marching band competitions. This year, I made an effort to attend, and I dragged my boys down to it. The Crane Boiler Fest is a more full-featured festival than Ernst-Fest, with two band stages (gospel and bluegrass), a midway with rides (the boys turned up their noses at the rides now that they’re used to full-sized amusement parks), craft and information booths (where I entered a couple of gun raffles, as is my wont—gun raffles are popular fundraisers in the Ozarks), and, of course, a chicken dinner. Which was delicious.

On Labor Day weekend, as I mentioned, we went to the Kansas City Renaissance Faire. Which I am counting as a festival for blogging purposes and for keeping the streak going.

Last weekend, I went to four different festivals. LIKE A MILWAUKEEAN!

A bit of a note: The second weekend of September is apparently Springfield’s festival weekend, as the only two annual festivals I know of occur on the same weekend and are a mile or two apart.

On Friday night, we went to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Catholic church’s Harvest Home festival. Now this is the festival that most closely tracks with my experience in Milwaukee: Food, some little games, some small rides, and a live band playing old time rock and roll. We only had one boy with us–the oldest was off to Cole Camp with a friend to attend the annual Cole Camp town fair–and my youngest was as interested in the games has he had been oh, five years ago, and not at all interested in the kiddie rides. But we had something to eat, and we listened to the band which featured three guitars, a bass, a drum, a saxophone, and a trombone. I asked my company, both trumpet players, whether the band would be better with a trumpet. The boy said no, my beautiful wife said yes. The answer is, of course, yes.

On Saturday afternoon, I went to the festival at St. Thomas the Apostle Greek Orthodox Church. It’s a small, one-day affair which has a silent auction/Greek Orthodox gift shop tent, tours of the church, a tent serving Greek food, and canned Greek music with some live dancers at times and, presumably, some live Greek music at some time. Most people just come for the food, which is why the line snaked to the parking area and it took me almost an hour to eat–some people also placed To Go orders and carried away large bags of the food. So I ate and left.

On Saturday evening, the remote campus of our church had its second Faith and Friends Festival, also a small affair (so far), Free food, free ice cream, and some small games. We went and ate and socialized a little.

On Sunday afternoon, we went to the Japanese Heritage Festival at the Japanese stroll garden at Nathaniel Greene park. As my wife is a member of the park board, she attends a lot of dedications and events at the parks, and the youngest and I came along. It, too, is a pretty small affair–a stage with different demonstrations and shows, a number of retail booths lumped together, and various business booths. The actual split between Japanese things and American companies was about 50/50. One of the booths was for K-Pop music for some reasons (historical spoiler alert: The Koreans and the Japanese have not been friends through the millenia), and another was for a Springfield cosplay group–and a large number of attendees were in costume as anime characters. One wonders what traditional Japanese people–I understand visitors from Springfield’s Japanese sister city Isesaki attended–thought of that. Although I guess young people in Japan can also be a little, erm, youthful as well.

So that was seven festivals in four weeks. Like a Milwaukeean!

If anyone needs me, I will be at the gym, trying to work of this festival food.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Good. Now, Do Springfield.

Instapundit is rife with headlines like this: Starlink Provides Service To Antarctic Research Station, Now Accessed On All 7 Continents

Ukraine, cruise ships, now Antarctica.

Meanwhile, I paid a deposit and have been waiting a year for service in my area.

The expected date I see when I log in is still late 2022 (we’re here!), but the date on the map if you type my address is sometime in 2023.

I could really use that now.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

A Reader Recommends….

Well, one of you posted this on Facebook:

It’s a YOLOLIV YoloBox Pro,All-in-one Portable Multi-Cam Live Streaming Studio Encoder Recorder Switcher which has 3 HDMI inputs, 1 USB input, 1 Full Featured USBC input, plus local SD card video sources and PDF source from SD card, 1 Mic in, 1 Line in, 1 HDMI out, 1 Audio out.

Meh. I can’t use it unless it has a couple coax inputs, a couple composite inputs, and a set of VHF antenna screws or two.

But I don’t have $1300 lying around, and my sixteen year old projector television would burst into flames if I tried to hook this up, so I guess I’ll have to continue to scout obsolete tech at garage sales.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories

Brian J. Makes The News

Chimney service calls picking up across the Ozarks

Actually, it’s probably only a coincidence that this news story appears the day after I called my chimney sweep who is not mentioned in the story. It’s scheduled for late October; it’s only a week later than it was last year. I’ve been thinking about calling them all summer, but it’s only now that I am cold in the morning in the office if I have left the window open that I actually made the call.

I’ve also called to see if our firewood provider can get us a couple of cords this year as well, but they’re not cutting or scheduling deliveries until October, either, so I am a bit on hold on that.

But now that football season has started and it’s cool in the mornings, a boy’s heart turns toward fire.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories