Songs that Aren’t Funny Anymore (But Are)

I was listening to a Limelighters recording, and they did “Have some Madeira, My Dear.” I laughed, a lot, in part because “Have some Madeira, my dear?” was a catch-phrase my parents used back when. Then I realized that I probably shouldn’t be laughing at the song, because it is really not funny. But it is, especially when the lead plays up the old lech’s part very, very well. So do I laugh? And can we even sing, let alone write, stuff like that any more? Continue reading


Greek Pork and Celery

The recipe used to be one of Redquarters’ Old Standby favorites, in part because of the ease of preparation. And then leafy celery disappeared from the market, and stuff happened, and I’d not made it in at least a decade. The time had come to remedy that lack.

The recipe is based on Greek cooking, and back in the day, fresh lovage would have been added to enhance the celery. The original is in The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines by Jeff Smith. Continue reading

So Much for Avian Dignity…

I seem to have a talent for finding “noble birds” in awkward places, at least awkward for this human’s ideas about where one is supposed to see eagles and falcons.

Er, ah, not exactly…

I’d always wanted to see a bald eagle up close, as in “less than 100 feet away, perched 50 feet up in a tree.” This is where one commonly finds bald eagles in the central US – in trees, well away from where you are. The Feds tend to be touchy about letting you walk right up to eagle trees in federal nature reserves. So I assumed I’d have to go to Alaska or one of those other eagle-rich locations.

Wrong. Continue reading

Book Review: Twelve Rules for Life

Peterson, Jordan B. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. (Random House Canada, 2018) Kindle-edition.


First off, I bought the book and read it just to spite all the people saying that Dr. Peterson is the Source of All Evil, Hero of the Alt-Right, Corrupter of Canadian Youth. I ended up learning a lot, cringing a lot, and deciding to make a few changes in how I manage my time and talents. I’m a little wary of Jungian-based analyses after ODing on Joseph Campbell and his acolytes when I was in college the first time, but Peterson makes sense in a lot of ways. Even if you disagree with his take on things, he’s got a wealth of material worth mulling over and considering. Continue reading

If so, then Why Tell Stories?

In the comments on an article The Passive Voice linked to about automation and if it is what defines humans from non-human creatures, a discussion got started about what separates humans from other critters, if anything.

I stayed out of it because I have some very, very strong thoughts on that topic but don’t have the philosophy and biology chops to argue my case. When someone begins by saying “humans are no different from other animals…” what follows often tends towards either an anti-people statement, or a justification for something that society frowns on for good reason. I would argue that humans are different because we have souls, because we seek for something greater than we are greater than we can be, but keep searching and striving anyway. Continue reading

Book Review: The New Voices of Fantasy

Beagle, Peter S. and Jacob Weisman, eds. The New Voices of Fantasy (San Francisco: Tachyon Publications LLC, 2017)

I’m trying to read more fiction, and this happened to be on the new books shelf at the library. I’m glad I got it at the library, and I’m glad most of the stories are not like the opening tale, because I’d have walled it so hard I’d be patching both sheet rock and bricks.  As with all anthologies, some stories are better than others, but the first one made me want to take a shower and scrub with steel wool. Continue reading

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

Please do not re-fight the American Civil War/War Between the States in the comments section. Nor do I want to debate if that episode were a civil war or a conflict  between two different countries.

Thank You.

February used to be known for Valentine’s Day, George Washington’s Birthday, and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. I remember cutting out profile silhouettes of both presidents to put on the grade-school bulletin board, and being very confused because I thought they were black (since all we used was black paper.) Sometime between first grade and college, their birthdays were smushed together and became Presidents’ Day. Continue reading

Teaching, Schooling, and Coping

The mess/massacre/act of evil at the school in Florida this past week, combined with totally unrelated things at Day Job, poked me to think about education, school, and teaching. I started out in an excellent, Odd, small district, then moved to a public school district that I managed to escape from more-or-less tolerably educated, and now I work at a very small religious school. One of the things that came to mind was the difficulty of students who do not get taught how to cope with their problems. Continue reading