12.15.2021 – imagination

imagination
seeds of dreams are found in books
golly miss dolly

Since moving to the South, I can report there are indeed some things southern that southerners take seriously.

Very seriously.

Football.

Well, college football anyway.

On this devotion to college athletics, all I can say is that my old college up north has, since 2018, played in the NCAA Final Four of all FOUR major sports.

That includes, football, basketball, baseball AND hockey.

When UGa or ‘Bama add a hockey team, call me.

The love and devotion to that food item known as grits is real.

I have had some that are really good.

I have some that were like eating ice cream on the beach on windy day.

Gritty.

And there is Dolly Parton.

The patron Saint of the South.

Being from the North, I knew of Miss Dolly.

Even one of my favorite northerner authors, Jim Harrison once wrote about the crystal clarity of Miss Dolly’s voice.

She seemed sweet but no one to be taken seriously or at least not too seriously.

Miss Dolly is on my mind because the other day I was online at my local library which here in the Low Country is the Beaufort County Library.

There was an announcement on the website that the Beaufort County Library, in partnership with the LowCountry Community Church, was now a part of Miss Dolly’s Imagination Library.

Through this partnership with the Imagination Library, free books were now available to kids in the area.

I was aware of this program if vaguely so.

Some years ago, with much fanfare it seems to my memory, Dolly Parton announced that she wanted to give books to kids.

Very sweet, but not something I took very seriously.

I was sure it was pretty much a publicity stunt of some kind.

It seems like I remember reading that over one million books had been given away through this program.

But in the back of my brain were other memories about Miss Dolly,

Miss Dolly had recently donated a large amount of money to Covid Vaccine research.

Back a few years ago when fires went through the Great Smokey Mountains part of Tennessee where she was born, Miss Dolly cut an album of songs and the proceeds went to relief agencies.

Intrigued enough by the announcement and these other memories, I clicked on the link to read about this new partnership.

I went with a cynical, ‘oh really‘, ‘isn’t that sweet‘ pre-set suspect animus in my mind.

Then I read the announcement.

Then I read some more.

Then I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer to thank God for people like Miss Dolly.

I figured that this program sent some lucky kids a book.

And it does.

Once a month.

Every month.

Until the lucky kid turns five.

The program had not delivered just one million books, BUT one million books A MONTH.

I had to read that part a couple of times to make sure I read it right.

What the program needs is a local non-profit as a partner.

I immediately searched the zip codes where my grand children live to see if the program was available there.

If it was, my grand kids were going to get signed up.

Sad to say it wasn’t.

Maybe there are flaws to the program.

Maybe there are flaws that make this program hard to partner with.

Maybe, maybe maybe.

On the other hand, maybe this is one of those programs that people, for reasons mentioned, think this is a sweet little program but not one to be taken seriously.

I don’t want to think that.

I want to think this program exists to put books in the hands of kids.

I want to believe it.

I want to believe it is what it is and says what it says and does what it does.

I want to believe that Miss Dolly is as sweet as I think she is.

I want to believe that Miss Dolly is as serious as she says she is.

The Imagination Library website states:

Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write Dolly started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county. Today, her program spans five countries and gifts over 1 million free books each month to children around the world.

The website then quotes Miss Dolly herself:

When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true.

I know there are children in your community with their own dreams.

They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister.

Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer.

The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”

I also remember that recently the state of Tennessee was planning to put up a statue of Miss Dolly.

As I remember it, Miss Dolly asked that the money go to charity instead.

Very sweet.

Very Very Sweet.

Very serious.

Why isn’t the Imagination Library available where you live?

You want to do something during covid, there isn’t anything much easier than ask this question.

Ask this question, then do something about it.

The Imagination Library is looking for the next local champion.

As Miss Dolly said, The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.

An Imagination Library.

Dreams that go beyond the wildest dreams.

Dolly Parton speaks at the Library of Congress. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

12.12.2021 – book shop after hours

book shop after hours
slide money under the door
good deed weary world

The Old Bay Marketplace is an arcade or covered outdoor walkway through the middle of a building that is lined with shops on either side of the walkway located on Bay Street in downtown Beaufort, South Carolina.

On the corner of the entrance to the arcade on Bay Street is a used bookstore named the McIntosh Book Shoppe.

The McIntosh Book Shoppe is situated there on the corner of the entrance into the arcade so that there is a door facing Bay Street and another back door that opens out into the covered walkway.

The space outside this back door under the covered walkway is crowded with book carts and tables that are filled with books for sale.

The back door to the McIntosh Book Shoppe

So many carts, tables and books are crowded into this space that moving all these carts, tables and books would be a lot of work to bring in at night and put back out the next day.

So the books, carts and tables are not brought in at night.

The books, carts and tables stay outside in the covered arcade.

On the arcade wall, next to the door, is a metal rack stuffed full of envelopes.

Next to the metal rack stuffed full of envelopes is a small, hand lettered sign.

The sign reads:

After hours – put money in envelope and slide under the door.

It is altogether appropriate at this point to quote Big Bill’s, “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world” (Merchant of Venice – Act V, Scene I)

But, somehow, it is better to quote Gene Wilder in the role of Willy Wonka.

So shines a good deed in a weary world.

PS: Admit it – this made you smile and feel a little bit of a warm bump inside – maybe a small kick of hope in your soul.

12.9.2021 – people are trapped

people are trapped
in impossible, yet still strangely
plausible problems

Perspective.

It’s all about perspective.

In the old TV Show, Barney Miller, NYPD Police Captain Barney Miller’s reoccurring lecture to the people who passed through the police station focused on “not losing one’s perspective.”

The theme was so familiar that it led to this exchange …

Detective Ron Harris : Barney, his wife has decided not to press charges, so I let him go after giving him that spiel you always give about “not losing one’s perspective.”
Captain Barney Miller : I’m … flattered that you chose to use it.
Detective Ron Harris : Well, I thought it oughta be in the public domain by now

I found the words for today’s Hiaku in the article, From snubbing Mick Jagger to explaining the cosmos: the secret life of MC Escher and his impossible worlds by Jonathan Jones in the Guardian today.

The article is a review of the just-released Kaleidocycles, a book that according to the review, lets you make paper cut outs of MC Escher paintings.

Mr. Jones wrote:

You are walking up a staircase that winds up to the top of a tall square tower.

It ascends one side, then the next, then the next – and then suddenly you are right back where you started.

This is the kind of problem people who are trapped in the geometrically impossible, yet still strangely plausible, worlds of MC Escher have to deal with all the time. ‘

In his mind-boggling creations, dimensions collide and normality dissolves.

Somewhere in the years at Crestview Elementary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan where I grew up, one of our text books had the MC Escher painting, Which way up?

Maybe it wasn’t in a text book but in a book from our library.

I remember looking at this picture over and over again.

I would trace the steps with my finger tips.

I would think this is so cool.

I would think this is so nutz!

In my mind I can remember standing at someone’s desk, looking down at the book along with both hands on the pages of the book to hold it as flat as possible.

What I was looking at wasn’t possible?

Was it?

I understood perspective a little.

I covered most of my school work and the margins of my textbooks with doodles of a 3D cube.

Did the cube go up and to the left or go down to the right?

Both impossible, yet still strangely plausible

Perspective.

Keep ones’ perspective.

Don’t lose your perspective.

But from where I stand … so many problems today are a problem of perspective and most of these problems are both impossible, yet still strangely plausible.

On the one hand, (saying this without judgment either way okay?) we have a feller who ran for the office of President of the United States and by all accounts this feller lost.

But this feller will not accept this and many people cannot understand his perspective.

If one reads, and it seems like I have read them all, the ‘inside’ accounts of the election, no one and I MEAN NO ONE, dared tell this feller he was losing.

Throughout election night and the next days as votes were counted, no one, and I MEAN NO ONE, dared this feller he did not win.

To this day, this feller cannot admit the he did not win.

Other feelings aside, at this point, I find it hard to blame him as his reasonings, from his perspective, are strangely plausible.

I cannot say that had I been in the his place, based on the information he received, that I would feel any different.

AGAIN, and this is important, I am treating this as a laboratory case to examine the perspective of one individual and to comment on that individuals’ perspective based on the information received by that individual ASIDE from the body of work produced by this individual.

All I am saying is I can see his point, as it were.

This world’s history is filled, littered, with folks who only got the information they wanted to hear from their entourage and most likely never did accept that their information was wrong.

Often I come back to John F. Kennedy and the criticism he got for appointing his little brother Bobby, Attorney General of the Untitled States.

RFK was 35 without much experience to which JFK said, “I can’t see that it’s wrong to give him a little legal experience before he goes out to practice law.

Such was the predicted furor over the appointment that JFK said he felt like opening his door at 3AM and whispering, ‘It’s Bobby’ to the street and going back to bed.

Here is the point, when he made the appointment, JFK said something along the lines that what he needed was someone in the Cabinet that would tell him when they thought he, the President, was wrong.

JFK trusted that RFK would do that.

If you read the history of JFK’s and RFK’s discussions over the the LBJ pick for VP, I think JFK got what he wanted from RFK.

Maybe this should be made a Cabinet position.

A lifetime appointment for someone designated to tell the President when he is wrong.

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, sure.

But again, I can understand, with the team this feller had in place, this fellers perspective.

And, by the way, who wants to be the bearer of bad news?

With that in mind, if you were this feller, how cannot you want to quote Joe Jacobs out loud and say, WE WUZ ROBBED?

Richard Nixon yelled ‘WE WUZ ROBBED’ back in 1960.

The Republican Party called for a recount of votes in Chicago and Cook County, Illinois where Mr. Nixon lost by around 8,000 votes.

If I remember it correctly, it was in the book, BOSS, about Chicago’s Mayor Daley by Mike Royko, that explained how the Cook County Board of Elections managed the recount.

Mr. Royko explained that all the ballots were thrown at the ceiling.

Any ballot that stuck was considered a Republican vote.

Guess how the report came out?

Can’t you see today’s Twitter videos of this?

Mr. Nixon didn’t like it but he accepted the report.

But I digress.

Perspective.

So much of what is presented in the news today are impossible problems.

Impossible problems that are still strangely plausible.

They are mind-boggling creations where dimensions collide and normality dissolves.

Try to maintain one’s perspetive.

Try to follow the arguements without losing one’s perspective.

You go up one side, then the next, then the next – and then suddenly you are right back where you started.

MC Escher and his paintings.

In his mind-boggling creations, dimensions collide and normality dissolves.

Normality dissolves.

And, just for fun, remember what was said in the book Godel, Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. (At least I think this is where is was said.)

“All Escher paintings,” wrote Hofstadter, “are connected from the back.”

12.5.2021 – gross negligence , a

gross negligence , a
disregard, failure to act
no job, not your job

Another school.

Another school shooting.

Reading a legal analysts discussion of charges against the parents, I was struck by these sentences:

To convict the parents of involuntary manslaughter, the state will have to prove that the parents were “grossly negligent” in allowing their son access to a firearm, and that their gross negligence caused the deaths of the students.

Gross negligence means more than just carelessness. It means willfully disregarding the results to others from the failure to act.

Thursday night in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys beat the New Orleans Saints without their head coach due to Covid 19 Protocols.

Defensive Coach and one time Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn took over for the game.

Asked about the win, Coach Quinn said this.

I think it’s really an example of leadership from Mike and to say what happens when the leader is not here.”

Everybody had to chip it in and say, ‘No job is not your job right now. By any means necessary, we’ve got to get this job done.'”

Thinking back to the legal analyst and the sentence, It means willfully disregarding the results to others from the failure to act.

Thinking hard about the failure to act.

Thinking hard about the failure to act, I want to say, “No job is not your job right now. By any means necessary, we’ve got to get this job done.”

No job is not your job right now.

By any means necessary.

We’ve got to get THIS job done.

12.2.2021 – tireless pointillist

tireless pointillist
people often say show me
picture with the dots

I opened up my computer this morning and my mind went back in time.

This was weird because I went back to a time before everyone had a computer.

I had opened the Google and the google logo was all in dots.

Small points of color.

I knew it had to have something to do with Georges Seurat and when I hovered over the logo the embedded alt information for the graphic displayed the text, “Georges Seurat’s 162nd Birthday.”

If you grew up in the midwest at some time in your life you visited Chicago.

If you visited Chicago at some time in your life you had a good chance of going to the Art Institue.

If you went to the Art Institute of Chicago, you most likely saw La Grande Jatte or A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat.

Sometimes known as Sunday Afternoon in the Park and maybe the inspiration for the song, “Saturday in the Park” by the band, Chicago.

Sometime known as the painting with the dots.

I hear two general reactions from folks who see this painting.

One is HOW BRIGHT IT IS.

Colors just cannot be captured in any form of reproduction.

I remember walking down the main hall of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and through an open entry way, I was faced, unexpectedly, with A Girl with a Watering Can by Renoir.

The color flared out from the painting so bright that I tripped.

No, I am not kidding, fell flat out on the marble floor.

Guard looked at me and shrugged like this happened a lot.

The second thing I hear from folks is HOW BIG IT IS.

Neither, here nor there, but look at this photgraph.

I feel it could have been painted by any one the great impressionists and entitled, ‘A visit to Chicago’.

This is what took me back in time when I thought of Seurat.

For me, I cannot think of this painting without thinking of a documentary on the City of Chicago by Studs Terkel.

Mr. Terkel was the American version of Alistair Cooke.

Where Mr. Cooke wrote and later, read, a weekly column, ‘Letter from America’ for the Manchester Guardian and later the BBC, tried to explain America to Brits, Studs Terkel tried to explain America to Americans.

In my mind was a quote of Mr. Terkel from that documentary on La Grande Jatte and I plugged Studs Terkel Suerat into the Google to try and find it.

To my surprise and pleasure not only did I find the quote, I found the entire documentary and you can watch it all right here.

It is in this documentary that Mr. Terkel talks about La Grande Jatte and says, “people often say, show me the picture with the dots.

The bit about La Grande Jatte is at 30:00 into the but go to about 28:00 into the video to catch Mr. Terkel’s comments about Night Hawks as well.

Or, if you have the time, watch the whole show.

Overwhelming in nostalgia for a city and a place that no longer exists.

This is the Chicago I grew up with.

Still a city close to the city of Carl Sandburg.

Still the city of Daley.

You remember the old story.

Richard Daley and two guys are in boat that is sinking and there are only two life jackets.

Daley says they should vote on who got a life jacket and Daley won 9 to 2.

This is the Chicago I loved to visit.

One memorable visit, I had talked my Friend Doug into an overnight trip to the city.

The plan was to drive to Comiskey Park and see the Thursday night baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers.

Then drive to my sister’s apartment on the northside and stay overnight.

Spend the next day in the Chicago museums, back to the ball park for another baseball game and drive home after the game finished out the plan.

I was going through a period of being a Chicago White Sox fan when I was really following their owner, Bill Veeck.

How many people today will say they were fans of an owner?

The deal got a little sweeter when it was announced that the first game was going to be a double header due to an earlier rained out game.

Doug and I knew something was up when we drove up to Comiskey Park on 34th St., and everyone in the crowd seemed to be carrying 45rpm records or singles as they called.

We didn’t know.

Maybe that’s what you did in Chicago.

What it was was a promotion by the White Sox.

You got into the game for 99 cents if you brought a record to the game.

A DISCO record.

All the records where then going to be put into a big box and blown up between games.

This was the famous DISCO DEMOLITON PROMOTION and we had box seats.

The first game was played okay more or less.

Records starting be thrown out of the upper deck late in the game.

Both the left and right fielders were wearing batting helmets IN THE FIELD.

Between games the big box was trucked in and as planned, blown up.

Then, as wasn’t planned, all the fans ran out and took over the field.

In fairness, what else was going to happen when you get 57,000 people in a stadium designed to hold 47,000.

I mean they had to go somewhere.

So Doug and I had box seats for a riot.

In a goofy way, it was kinda cool.

Disco Demolition has gone down in baseball history as the worst thought out promotional stunt in history since the dedication fireworks of the New York City Hall set the new city hall on fire and burned it down back in 1852.

But, as the organizers say, how can it be a promotional failure if we are still talking about it?

But I digress.

In the video, Studs Terkel quotes french filmaker, René Clair as saying, “Everytime I go to America I must stop off at your city to see La Grande Jatte. It refreshes me. I need it.”

Mr. Terkel ends the little bit on with the words, “Hurrah Seurat.”

And, Happy Birthday.

Will you help him change the world?
Can you dig it? (Yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For today

*The first American Letter was broadcast on 24 March 1946 (Cooke said this was at the request of Lindsey Wellington, the BBC’s New York Controller); the series was initially commissioned for only 13 instalments. The series came to an end 58 years later in March 2004, after 2,869 instalments and less than a month before Cooke’s death. (wikipedia)

**His well-known radio program, titled The Studs Terkel Program, aired on 98.7 WFMT Chicago between 1952 and 1997. The one-hour program was broadcast each weekday during those forty-five years. (wikipedia)

11.19.2021 – testing that nation

testing that nation
so conceived dedicated
how long can endure?

Mr. Thomas Jefferson, explaining the reasoning behind the Declaration of Independence, wrote that all men are created equal.

I feel that Mr. Jefferson really meant what he said.

But I also feel that Mr. Jefferson accepted that all men are created equal in the abstract, he could not figure a way of how it might be achieved in reality.

Mr. Jefferson saw that the wieght of human history and the current lifestyle of most Americans was proving his statement that all men are created equal to be, if not wrong, at least wistful thinking.

A fire bell in the night, Mr. Jefferson called it.

When the bell rang and the United States was called on for an answer, their answer was to fight the Civil War.

Review the history of that war and you can understand why Mr. Jefferson was reluctant to even look for an answer of how to achieve a country where all men are created equal.

It was left to Abraham Lincoln to try and explain why the Civil War was being fought.

It was 158 years ago today that Mr. Lincoln, in a short, short, short 272 word speech explained, “. . . our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure.

Mr. Lincoln was speaking at the dedication ceremony of a vast cemetery on the battlefield of Gettysburg.

Mr. Lincoln recognized that great as the battle, the struggle that the country was in at that moment, that there was more to do.

Somehow back in 1863, Mr. Lincoln spoke to us.

Mr. Lincoln said, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work.

The unfinished work.

This country is a work in progress.

No kidding.

The testing, every day, the testing goes on.

Here is the full text, all 272 words of Mr. Lincoln’s Remarks at Gettysburg.

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

11.8.2021 – our history’s parts

our history’s parts
only way can be lost is
we choose to lose them

I am not sure when I became aware of the actor Stanley Tucci.

Much like Ward Bond and Thomas Mitchell, Mr. Tucci seems to have been in everything and nothing at the same time.

He is always there.

I am not sure when it was but I do recall looking him up to find out who he was, and I think this was back in the days of if you wanted to look up a movie you grabbed a paper back (possibly the thickest regularly sold paper book in the store) copy of ‘Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide’, a copy of which was always laying around the TV in my house, and you looked up the movie and hoped you could figure out who was who from the short cast listing.

My Dad was a minor movie buff and he loved that book.

“4 stars for that?”, he would yell or “COME ON MIKE, it’s FOUR STARs with Clark Gable!”

He also loved to read the description of the 1962 remake of State Fair with Pat Boone, pause then yell, “BOMB.”

He would laugh and laugh.

It is amazing that back in the days of over the air three channel TV’s to remember how often movies were on TV.

TV shows cost money to make.

Movies were already made.

Television was flooded with movies.

The movies of the 40’s and 50’s.

The black and white era.

Every station had a block where an old movie could be run.

Bill Kennedy at the Movies from Detroit.

WGN’s Movie Night from Chicago.

My Dad also liked to listen to the CUBS on WGN radio from Chicago.

If there was a good movie on the night before, Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd would talk about it during the basbell game.

There wasn’t much else to watch and everybody watched the same thing.

Wait you say, if this is before cable TV, how did we watch WGN in Grand Rapids where we lived?

You caught me.

This didn’t happen in Grand Rapids.

We were one of those lucky family’s that had a summer place in Grand Haven, Michigan.

We lived right on the shore of Lake Michigan.

The first thing my Dad would do each spring was hook up a TV antenna high enough to pull in the stations from Chicago.

I watched the late movies from WGN all summer long.

If you watched old movies and you wanted more information the only source you had was that Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide.

And at some point, I looked up Stanley Tucci.

I remember doing this as I can see the book in my hands and hear myself saying ‘Stanly Tuckee – touchi – ha whaaa??’.

If I look Mr. Tucci up in the Wikipedia and read through his list of movies or his ‘Filmography’ nothing really pops out at me until you get to The Big Night in 1996.

If you haven’t seen, it is worth the effort to pirate to watch and enjoy and hear about the dish called timpano.

Since the Big Night, Mr. Tucci, for me, entered into that ‘Ward Bond, Thomas Mitchell’ phase I mentioned and now he seems to be in everything and everywhere.

And Mr. Tucci has published a book.

Actually he has a couple of books to his credit but a new one has just come out.

When I worked in a bookstore nothing, well, almost nothing, made me more angry that anytime a celebrity would bank on their name and publish anything but a bio.

Bill and HILARY Clinton have now published novels.

Sports figures who I would figure could not construct a basic English sentence to save their lives have published novels.

OH COME ON.

Quite a few celebrities can get around this by publishing cookbooks but again, oh come on.

Is that something the world needs?

After 20 years of working for a book seller, library and publisher let me tell you about cookbooks.

Any cookbook with ONE, that’s right, ONE good recipe in it is a good cookbook.

99% of the cookbooks in the world are BAD cookbooks.

Now Mr. Tucci has published Taste, My Life Through Food.

This way its a bio and a cookbook.

And it is a delight.

Mr. Tucci can turn a sentence or at least he can with his editors help.

But the book has a secret ingredient.

Readers all know that part of the mystery of reading is how did the author intend to have this read.

What sounds, what phrasing, what and where are the pauses.

For the most part, each reader makes up their own mind.

For example, take Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I have never been able to listen to any audio version of the Lord of the Rings because of the way Gollum is re-created.

One, the voice is nothing like what I imagined and I won’t waste my time.

Or, two, the voice is spot on and that is just tooooooooo creepy to be listened to..

And you never know when that Gollum will show up.

Plow your way through the book, “The Long Season: The Classic Inside Account of a Baseball Year” which is known for being one of the first, inside the locker room – tell it like it is – baseball books written back in 1959 and all of sudden the author-player tells how he went through a phase driving everyone nuts in the St. Louis Cardinals locker room by talking like Gollum.

“Has he got handses?”

“Can he hits baseballses?”

I pass over those film adaptations of Lord of the Rings except to say I really wish the filmmaker had taken the time to read the books as I am not sure what the movies were based on.

Another example is Charlotte’s Web.

If you like this book please try, just for a gift for yourself (let me know if you need it emailed to you) to find the audio version.

The audio version read by EB White.

There is a lot of magic and poetry in the sound of White’s voice and to hear his phrasing and pronunciation is the purest form of this book you can imagine.

Keep in mind that when the manuscript for Charlotte’s Web arrived at the publisher it needed NO editing of any kind.

So back to Mr. Tucci.

It must be because of his recent show on CNN that this works.

I watched that show with my wife and when I read his book, I can hear Mr. Tucci.

I can catch his phrashing and such.

Mr. Tucci also has one of those voices that is both distinct and yet doesn’t stand out except to say it is uncommonly common.

My reading of Taste: My Life Through Food is like listening to the audio version because I hear it in my head as I read.

Goofy I know but there it is.

I doubt I will try many of the recipes in the book at this time.

But I will read them.

I also will read about Mr. Tucci’s adventures growing up in America.

We are about the same age and I also can remember WANTING if not getting and eating a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich.

Also at this time I am spending a lot time thinking about food and families and culture and culture expressed through food and familys.

The Gullah Culture wants to presever its culture though food,

The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South.

Mr. Tucci sums this up in an E PLURIBUS UNUM on food when he writes:

Losing a beloved family heirloom is a very real personal loss;

they’re things that cannot ever be replaced or re-created.

But perhaps the most precious heirlooms are family recipes.

Like a physical heirloom, they remind us from whom and where we came and give others, in a bite, the story of another people from another place and another time.

Yet unlike a lost physical heirloom, recipes are a part of our history that can be re-created over and over again.

The only way they can be lost is if we choose to lose them.”

I want to eat it all.

My Mom’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe … how it reads…
This is what the recipe says ….

10.25.2021 – things in our lifetime

things in our lifetime
almost everything has not
been invented yet

Tom Morey has died.

Mr. Morey was 86.

In my collection of Names What You Should Know, Tom Morey is listed under M for Morey and F for fun.

Is his obituary in the Guardian, it says, “The most significant person to get people in the water.

Tom Morey invented the boogie board.

Tom Morey invented the boogie board back in 1971.

Mr. Morey was a surfer who thought maybe surfing could be brought more into the world of the casual beach goer.

Sol Morey, Tom Morey’s oldest son is quoted as saying, “There’s this dynamic of toughness involved with surfing, but now you had grandads, kids, who could skim it.

They could stand up on it.

It was soft.

When you are able to go into the ocean and come out of it unscathed, unhurt, that really does something to you.

The ocean is something to be feared, but the Boogie Board took some of that fear out.

I live on the ocean now.

I understand it is something to be respected and feared and I respect and, well, kind of fear the ocean.

I swim so far out that my wife calls me ‘first course’ as the sharks will get me first.

I love the water.

I love to see people in the water.

That some one had to invent the boogie board, I see so many of them on the beach, never occured to me in my brain.

I would have thought that, had I thought that, that they had been invented by a Walmart Marketing team tasked with ‘What can we create that everyone will buy when on vacation with a price coming in around $20.”

To learn that they had been ‘invented’ was kind of cool.

To learn that they had been invented with the goal to get more people in the water and to take some of the fear of the water out of the equation was kind of freaking cool.

I have to look around and look at all sorts of every day things for the beach as well as the home and every day life and think who came up with that?

Then to think ahead.

What is coming next?

Putting Tom Morey into the Google for more information I came across another obit.

Another one I found in the University of Southern California (the west coast USC, the Unbelievable Spoiled Children one) Alumni News, that quoted Mr. Morey as saying, “Almost everything has not been invented yet.

Almost everything has not been invented yet.

As I seem to read everything I can lay my hands, I say that certain phrases and thoughts and combinations of words catch my eye and stop me for a second on that spot of text.

I have to say that, in my humble opinion, that phrase, almost everything has not been invented yet, is really kind of freaking pretty cool.

And when you add to the mix in your brain, that it was said by a guy who invented something with the purpose of making the ocean MORE fun, I again think, what is coming next.

I can look ahead.

It is not ALL bad.

Not all despair.

Not all covid.

Not all poltics.

There are boogie boards out there in all walks of life that are just waiting to be invented.

Maybe I’ll spray paint it on my wall.

Almost everything has not been invented yet.

I feel that I could be the next great inspirational speaker and deliver lectures at $100 a ticket and just tell the story of Mr. Morey and the boogie board.

I could wear shorts and a Hawaiian shirt and carry a boogie board on stage.

I would say, with dramatic pauses, “Almost everything … has NOT … been invented yet.”

I’d make millions.

Maybe I’ll come up with next boogie board.

Who knows who will?

I do know this.

Next time I am at the beach, I am bringing a couple of flowers or something and I am tossing them into the ocean.

And I am going to say thank you to Tom Morey.

10.19.2021 – where is humor bred

where is humor bred?
in the heart, in the head?
not on the google . . .

Whether you were aware of it or not, the Google has let it be known that the World has come to an end.

Maybe the World as I know it.

Maybe the World as I think it should be.

Maybe the World as I think that you should think that it should be.

Never the less, this World is ‘la fin’.

Let me explain.

I am the online guy for a company located in South Carolina.

Human Resources (just saying, that term always has me shaking my head … just what WAS wrong with personnel?) has never known what to call us web people.

We started out as Webmasters.

That is the term I prefer.

Back in the day it meant something.

It meant something to other webmasters.

It meant we did it all.

Coding, Server Admin, DNS, Images, Scripting, Hosting and Email and anything else that it took to create and manage a website.

I think today such a person is a Full Stack Developer.

But HR was never really comfortable with a job title with the word master in it.

As an aside, you want to freak out an HR rep, ask them for a job title that includes the word manager.

I have been Web Guy, Web Guru, Podfather, Digital Specialist and other things.

They have their language and I have mine.

As the company web guy one of my tasks is to keep up on what the Google is doing and make sure that the company website and web polices are not in any way working against Google.

This would be a lot easier if the Google themselves knew what they were doing.

You do what you can.

Some of the changes that affect everyone who uses the Google is how the SERP is put together.

You all use SERP’s everyday and I bet you didn’t know it.

SERP is the search engine results page or the page you land on once you enter a search term into the Google,

You may or may not have noticed the way the Google is changing their SERP.

Where there used to be a list of search results you now have paid ad position results, rich snippets, knowledge graphs and knowledge panels, the three pack and the image pack and a whole lot of other links.

These are all bits of information that the Google has decided may be helpful to you in your search for some piece of information online.

The Google wants to help.

Honest.

That is why the Google also added the SERP block titled, PEOPLE ALSO ASK.

The Google is all about what other people clicked on when duplicating your search.

The Google wants to help you by suggesting other possible searches if the results for your original search are not what you were searching for.

This is what brings me to todays haiku.

where is humor bred?
in the heart, in the head?
not on the google . . .

Recently I had reason to search the EXACT title of the Monty Python Movie, The Search for the Holy Grail.

The news of late has not been great has it?

Drought, Fire, Famine, Crime, Politics, Pestilence and Harry and Meghan all brings on the feeling that the World is rolling fast downhill.

As Minister Jim Hacker once said, “When things are going downhill we need someone to get in the drivers seat and step on the gas.”

Despite all the headlines of despair, it was my search for the EXACT title of the Monty Python Movie, The Search for the Holy Grail that shook my core to the core.

The apocalypse isn’t coming.

The apocalypse is here.

Let me show you why.

I typed in Monty Python and auto complete added ‘and the holy grail’ which I was comfortable with and I hit enter.

I got my SERP.

I looked at my SERP.

I looked again at my SERP.

I stared at my SERP.

I stared in horror, that cold-water-in-the-bath realization coming over me.

Did it really say that?

Did it really really say that.

I had just used the Google to search Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Simple enough.

The Google wanted to help.

The Google asked itself why I or anyone today might search Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Like I said, the Google wanted to help.

To help me and the world, anyone who might search Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Google suggested searches BASED ON THE GOOGLE’S recorded global experiences of what other people were searching for.

Understand?

The Google TAILORS its search results based on what other people clicked on who entered the same search terms.

In other words, the Google, wants to be helpful, and the Google is saying, “Good Morning Searcher, we saw your search and we thought that these search terms might help in your search for knowledge on this subject.”

Notice I said KNOWLEDGE, not WISDOM.

The Google read my search and from that, the Google let me know what the other top questions were by searchers who had made the same search, which are listed for me under, PEOPLE ALSO ASK.

My search was Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The three most asked questions by searches who also searched Monty Python and the Holy Grail, according to the Google are:

What is Monty Python and the Holy Grail making fun of?

Is Monty Python and the Holy Grail funny?

What is the point of Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

Yep.

Folks, friends and neighbors, forget about the World rolling downhill.

It has crashed into the ice berg.

There is no longer time for the lifeboats.

When the Google Search world at large asks, HAS TO ASK, “Is Monty Python and the Holy Grail funny?” it is all over.

The fat lady has sung.

Turn out the lights.

The party is over.

I don’t care if you know the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow or not, we are in trouble here and no kidding.

9.11.2021 – history calling

history calling
nine one one nine eleven
wake up hangover

Conspiracy theory or not, the fact that the numbers in 9/11 and 911 has to be one of the oddest, cruelest and yet most perfect coincidences in history.

For me, it supersedes the coincidence that the abbreviation for the United States is US.

E pluibus unum and all that all at once.

It has been 20 years since 9/11.

It was the great chronicler of the American Scene, Tom Wolfe, (About whom, William F. Buckley Jr., writing in National Review, said, “he can do more things with words than anyone else.”) who wrote that after the excesses of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, the first two decades of the 21st century would be one massive hangover.

I am having trouble this morning tracking down the exact quote.

When I find it, I will update this essay.

I put it to you that the idea of a 20 year hangover starting in the year 2000 to be pitch perfect spot on for the way this century has started.

The idea that 9/11/2001 was the wake call has some worth to it.

That loud ringing phone wake up call when you start your day with a headachy hangover.

Now, 20 years later, maybe its time to get out of bed, rub our head, drink a glass of icy cold water then go for long walk on a 90 degree 90% humidity day and sweat it all out.

As Mr. Lincoln said, “As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.

It is not “can any of us imagine better?” but, “can we all do better?”

We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

I just have to wonder, how did Mr. Lincoln get so smart?