Friday, June 24, 2016

Music Friday: "Kinda Fuzzy"

When I was cooking the other day, this song came on via my iPod shuffle. I was reminded how good of an album Wonderful, Glorious is. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

After the horrible slayings in Orlando, the gun control/assault rifle debate is back again. And yet again under the influence of the NRA, no new legislation was passed. A person on a terrorist no-fly list is able to buy a gun

For a Canadian's take on the United States' gun problem, check out "The #1 Factor Experts Say Accounts for High Number of Mass Shootings in US."   

Then again, here is an article that provides good news for gun-control advocates. 

As a well-known introvert, I have to share these comics that help explain us: "10 Comics Explain What It's Really Like To Be an Introvert." My favorite is the shirt that asks, "Why are you still talking?" 

The work of one climate-change denier didn't go so well

DuPont is not a company I'm fond of because of its environmental pollution record, but they are working hard at trying to transform corncobs into fuel. I hope their research and innovation works. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Music Friday: "Tear in My Beer"

Let's get back to basics: Hank Williams ~ sadness ~ drinking ~ regret ~ loneliness ~ despair ~ heartache. 

In other words, it's the blues. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

I'm happy to relate I'm not part of organized religion anymore. That change happened decades ago. I'm more a believer in disorganized spirituality. One of the bonuses of that stance is that I don't have any kind of religious-based rationale to hate gay people. 

My daughter, on the other hand, has been going to this youth group for over a year now. I have misgivings about it for various reasons. I know exactly how the main characters of The Americans feel about their daughter Paige getting involved with a church. 

In The Atlantic online, the magazine solicited readers' replies to this question: "What is the greatest prank of all time?" The one I liked the best was from Frank Tokarsky: "To paraphrase George Carlin, the greatest prank of all time must be what organized religion is trying to peddle: 'There's this man who lives in the sky; he knows everything, and he sees everything ... and he needs your money." 

Here's an extended version of those sentiments: "The greatest bullshit story every told." 

I started out my resurrected softball career with a groundout (5-3) in my first at bat, a mildly pulled groin, a misplay in right field, a much needed walk for my second at bat, and a run scored. That certainly checks off the boxes for middle-aged man. The last time I played softball was when I severely dislocated my left thumb (the bone was sticking out) back in the mid-90s. I'm a bit rusty. 

Check out Robert H. Frank's "Why Luck Matters More Than You Think." That article spurred me buy his book, Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy. Frank is an economist, a profession stereotyped as being abstruse writers. However, the book is very readable and thought provoking.  

Friday, June 10, 2016

Music Friday: "Purple Mountain Jamboree" & "Straight to Hell"

I'm a big fan of Todd Snider. 

Now his super-band of sorts put out a second album. This time instead of covers, which is what the first album was full of, they are original songs. 

The first song is from the new album, and the second is from the first. 

Have a good weekend, folks. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Music Friday: "Mockingbird"

Here's a band that put out a new album recently. 

They are some dudes from Texas. I've only listened to the album a few times so far, but I enjoy it. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

One of the dangers of having a subscription to The New Yorker is the magazine's "Briefly Noted" feature, which introduces people to recently published books. One issue sucked me into buying The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, and now I'm considering other books that the feature introduced me to: Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America and Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-first.  

I've been a subscriber to Utne magazine since high school. The spring issue features a number of great articles. Here are three of them:

If you're interested in words that have grammatical versatility, check out "In Which We Get to the Bottom of Some Crazy-Ass Language."