For the past 5 or 10 years, Harold Bab [Correction: That's no way to treat a friend. His name is Babb.] and I have exchanged greetings/ideas/thoughts on an occasional basis. Since neither of us is a dyed-in-the-wool blogger and neither of us is a dyed-in-the-wool e-mailer, "an occasional basis" has served us adequately. Today, however, I would like to direct anyone who cares to make the "journey" to hop over to Harold's blog to read his posting Openly Secular?
History: I don't really recall, but I suspect that Harold and I met through Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By. At the very least I know that he shares my admiration for Ronni, as a person and as a blogger. Harold and I hit it off because we had a couple of things in common: 1) He served 20+ years in the US Navy, retiring in 2009 as a Chief Hospital Corpsman (while I served 6 years in the US Naval Reserves as a Aircraft Structures Mechanic at the grade below Chief) and 2) We both spend a lot of time in voluntary service to the American people through the same organization. I had previously mentioned Harold, and a previous blog that he had, in A bit on USN rating badges.
Theft: Harold had a device on his blog that told how many people there are in the USA who have the same first and last name as his. I took it as my own - using my real name. Thanks, Harold. Others may steal the device from him or from me!
people with my name in the U.S.A.
Addition of 4/24/2015:
From the website of HowManyOfMe.com:
Q: Does the program really know how many people have the same name as me?
No. The program returns an estimate based on available data. It should be considered a "ballpark figure". It will usually return an answer in the right general area, but the chances of the figure being exactly right are very low.
A full discussion of the accuracy of the program may be found here.
BTW: When I input my birth name, the occurrence rose to 905 in the USA.
Although I read the entire daily newspaper (well...I ignore the Sports Section), my greatest enjoyment is from the "funny pages" - the pages of cartoons. Sometimes there is nothing interesting there, but sometimes we are lucky and get a twofer. I'll give an example of a twofer from Friday's newspaper - The Wichita Eagle.
Pickles by Brian Crane April 17, 2015
Pickles cartoons are based on the lives of an older couple. It plays into many of the stereotypes about oldsters: that excessive time is spent with grandchildren, with pets, with knitting, puttering, loafing....The cartoonist does poke gentle fun at some of the stereotypes.
How did the stereotypes develop? Well, there must have been grains of truths in them. That doesn't keep me from bristling when an acquaintance implies one of those stereotypes violating my Pet Peeve #9. BTW: I'm taking the couple in Pickles to be 10-15 years younger than Hunky Husband and me.
B.C. by Mastrioanni and Hart April 17, 2015
I loved this B.C. strip because of Stu's recent posting Generating Pythagorean Triples, a somewhat typical posting for Stu who has an impressive background in mathematics; but, I was particularly attracted to the B.C. cartoon because of a snarky comment that one of his readers had made. One gathered from the comment that she had wasted her time by reading the posting - the subject being of no interest to her.
Obviously, we (the multitude) do not have equivalent interests. I think it bad manners to carry on in public about it, though. It violates my Pet Peeve #10. If a reader doesn't care for a topic, I expect him/her to skip postings on the subject or, if most postings on a blog are uninteresting, to stop reading that blog. When asked (as Stu has, in the past*) what subjects people find interesting, it is perfectly acceptable for a reader to express their preferences in an email. I think that B.C. gave a perfect response.
* My own answer to Stu was that he should keep on posting on the wide variety of topics that he finds interesting. I am perfectly willing and able to skip a posting that doesn't pique my interest!
"It's just one of those things that humans rather stupidly did in the past that we can't retroactively fix.""
The rest of the story from Slashdot.org:
There were several good items on Slashdot.org, today; but, I'll suffice it to end with this report of small progress toward our becoming cyborgs.
Hunky Husband, during the 13 years when we were apart became a Country & Western music fan. I blame the wild women with whom he kept company; but, it could also have been the influence of our younger daughter, Bogie. One of HH's favorite recordings is Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places".
Well, HH may know the music, but I have the friends!
History: When I retired at the end of April, 2004, I planned to pursue volunteer endeavors. Not only did I wish to have something worthwhile to accomplish, I needed to find some women friends. Having been schooled and employed in settings where the populations were overwhelmingly male, I now had the opportunity to add to my paltry number of women friends. After all, I reasoned, when I wanted to go do something, it would not be seemly to call up a male friend to see if he wanted to join in.
Now: I have learned that, even more-so than was true of the workforce where I was employed, the volunteer workforce is a constantly fluctuating group. Only the employees stick around long enough with whom to build a long-term friendship. Well...that's OK; but, employees tend to need to be at work...and...they tend to be much younger. Thus, the friends that I've made in my nearly 10 years of volunteer work in disaster response are employed and younger and, just as when I was employed, I rarely see them outside work. In addition, all of the employees in the Wichita office are recently hired young people under age 40! To see any of the employed friends I've made while volunteering, I must travel.
Travel: During the month of March, I drove to Kansas City MO, twice, for 2-day meetings at FEMA's regional offices each time. (Yay!) It was wonderful getting to see all of my FEMA and other governmental friends - going out to lunch or chatting during breaks. It was a shot in the arm, for me!
Now we get to low places: You can't get much lower than some of the small towns in the great Midwestern part of the United States. When I was born, five generations of my family lived in/around a small community in Missouri comprising (I'm guessing) 300 souls. The last I checked that town, Milo, it was down to 68 souls.
When Hunky Husband and I moved to Derby KS in 1960, the population was about 7000. Derby is still small (it is now a bit over 23,000); but, it's no longer the case than I know every merchant by name or that all of the city officials recognize HH and me on sight.
Pratt KS is a city, approximately 90 miles WNW of Derby, with a population of just under 7,000 these days. There is one person in that town who is employed by the organization with which I volunteer, and there is a dedicated volunteer who is three months younger than me - 1938 having been a vintage year for the birth of baby women! The three of us get along famously. Every couple of years, I receive a request from Donna, the employee, to come help Ruby, the volunteer, with her computer challenges. I've never felt that Ruby needed the help, but I've always been happy to go spend a few hours with them - which I did Thursday.
I understand what it's like to run a small office that is distant from the parent organization, having "been there, done that" at Tyndall AFB FL in the early 1980s. (I had a handful or so of engineers, there, while my Program Manager was in McLean VA and my Line Manager was in Albuquerque NM.) Thus, I can empathize with Donna that she really, really needs to have an "outsider" off of whom to bounce ideas and obtain updates of information.
In this case, it took about 10 minutes for Ruby to realize that, what she had thought she needed to learn to do (write equations in a spreadsheet using variable values from a different file), she had learned to do on my next previous visit, a couple of years ago. From that point, we were free to exchange ideas/knowledge concerning a new program that Donna has been assigned to run for the organization, covering the states of Kansas and Nebraska and the Southwestern corner of Iowa.
Not only did I get to visit with my friends, but they bought my lunch and gave me posies (photo, below). And there was no one on the streets or in the restaurant or in the "general store" where we stopped to buy a cuppa who didn't call Donna by name - including the driver of the fire truck that was cruising down the street when we came out to get back into my car. (I gave Donna a lesson in driving a push-button car - my 2014 Lincoln MKZ - which she thoroughly enjoyed. Ruby, being a bit more timid, declined the opportunity to drive a strange car. I cannot talk with passengers while driving, so always try to get someone else to do the driving when I'm not alone.)
Prologue: This posting would have been made yesterday had we not had a big wind blow through just after midnight on the 3rd (that is, a few hours after my return from Pratt). HH always watches the weather, so he was smart enough not to put our trash cart out on Thursday night for pickup on Friday morning. Unfortunately, our neighbors were not. Two neighbors in our Home Owners Association are missing their carts - and trash. I, personally, retrieved enough trash from our yard to fill 1/2 of the space in our own trash cart - the trash having come from three identifiable households. There were spotty power outages in the Wichita vicinity, which meant that HH went into the office to help them evaluate the damage and establish a respite center for those who had lost power and needed it to run their medical support equipment.
Last but not only not the least (because - she's the most!): Bogie celebrated a birthday, yesterday. She was enjoying the day when we called her. Enjoy the posies in the photo, Bogie!
Slashdot.org pointed out an article in The Wall Street Journal concerning "proper English". Goodness knows that I have aired my pet peeves (see, Stu, I can spell it "properly", on occasion!) concerning ungrammatical constructs. (I was venting to Hunky Husband, just this morning, about - among other things - improper formation of plurals in a plan another volunteer had written concerning training. She consistently used "ABC's" - not the real letters - as a plural instead of as a possessive.)
On occasion, I remind myself that the language is whatever people say it is...determined by how the language is actually used. Below is the opening paragraph of The Journal's article.
It’s a perpetual lament: The purity of the English language is under assault. These days we are told that our ever-texting teenagers can’t express themselves in grammatical sentences. The media delight in publicizing ostensibly incorrect usage. A few weeks ago, pundits and columnists lauded a Wikipedia editor in San Jose, Calif., who had rooted out and changed no fewer than 47,000 instances where contributors to the online encyclopedia had written “comprised of” rather than “composed of.” Does anyone doubt that our mother tongue is in deep decline?
To read the rest, please click on the title of The Journal's article.
This song came up on my mp3 flash drive during my drive home from Kansas City MO last evening. It had been a few years since I had heard it, but I found that I could sing along. Not bad for someone who is not a Glenn Campbell fan, eh? (My singing isn't that great; but, singing in the car is like singing in the shower - no one seems to mind, when I'm alone!)
If you enjoy fiddling, you might like this version. (I can only take "so much" fiddling. As a youth, I played the same violin that my father had taught himself to play; but, I never got beyond 2nd chair 1st violin in our high school band, and quit playing after 8th grade. Yes, 8th grade was in the high school building and we were integrated with grades 9-12 in some classes.)
I'll close with the version of Bonaparte's Retreat that I actually recall - from my childhood (I was 10 when this recording came out) - by the inimitable Ms Kay Starr!
Stu has a posting, César Manrique, in which he mentions Joan Miró, the muralist known for his "bird people". As happens, Wichita State University owns a Miró that is in process of being restored. This photo (below) is from the WSU website. The text preceding (and after) the photo is taken from that website.
The Ulrich Museum of Art, which opened in 1975 as part of the McKnight Art Center, is recognized by Joan Miro's landmark glass and marble mosaic, Personnages Oiseaux (Bird People), on the south facade. The museum's galleries show exhibits from the University's collection which features contemporary art, plus traveling exhibits.
The museum is named for Edwin A. Ulrich, a Hyde Park, N.Y., businessman who donated his collection of more than 300 works by Frederick Judd Waugh and established an endowment to support the museum. The Ulrich is also internationally known for its Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection, named one of the Top 10 campus art collections by Public Art Review magazine.
Conservation of museum's signature Miró mural is the number one priority for the Ulrich Museum collection. A restoration project was launched on September 27, 2011, was preceded by a two-and-a-half-year exhaustive research study of the mural and a pilot treatment of three panels. The re-installation of the mosaic on the Ulrich Museum facade will take place in fall 2016.
Year Built: 1964
Additions: 1975, 1995
Size: 74,275 square feet
Be a Miro Hero (Miro conservation site)
From another website, a time-lapse photo presentation of the de-installation at the start of the restoration project is embedded, below.