Saturday, June 01, 2013

Good word

"What John needed was an editor. That's what the Beatles would do -- they'd edit each other."

-- Phil Spector

Buy me that


Smooth a path

"Players smooth a path from near their ball to the hole, and place their ball in the path to putt, making sure that the distance to the hole is the same as from their original lie."

And now you know about sand-greens golf.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The candidate

If I ever get rid of any LPs I may start with this copy of John Lennon's "Rock 'n' Roll."

Words to live by

Today's top story

Area Man Clicks Through 50 Slides About Someone Else's Nostalgia

Today's top story

Bon Iver, Alabama Members Compare Beards

Details matter

Nice moment in Dollywood's "Dreamland Drive-In" show: During the Beatles' "Yesterday," someone in the band hits the cello's famous flat-7 note.

Today's top story

"Family Feud" Pollster Takes a P-Value

Today's top story

Fred Flintstone's Alarm Clock Molts

Multiple slots

"He also talked about sealed computers and how that was a big change from the days when there were multiple slots."

I'm still a fan of multiple slots. I like being able to open up a desktop computer, install stuff in slots, upgrade memory, put in another hard drive, try a new video card, blow dust off the CPU. This puts me in a minority of everyday computer users, I realize. I don't know anyone else who still uses a desktop computer at home, more or less exclusively. Maybe one day I can open a booth at Craftsman's Valley in Dollywood. I'll be the guy upgrading RAM in a desktop PC, between the blacksmith and the glass blower.

Choo choo

I enjoyed the roller coasters and shows at Dollywood yesterday. A Thursday in May turned out to be a perfect time to visit. The park wasn't too crowded, and the lines at the popular rides were short. I was kind of surprised that my favorite attraction turned out to be the Dollywood Express, the steam train that chugs up the mountain and back. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. I am, after all, a transit geek who has been known to ride streetcars and funiculars for fun. I think there were other transit geeks on the train. As our trip got underway, I looked around and saw that several men of a certain age were, like me, grinning broadly.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Today's top story

Unsubscribe Request Ignored


Promising start to a day of vigorous outdoor recreation.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Today's top story

MySpace User Still Friends With Tom

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Gift of a Facebook-free summer: no memes.


Today's top story: Someone who doesn't seem to know much about country music makes sweeping generalizations about country music.

"Country music prides itself on a lack of sophistication and pretense."

Is it possible that what appears to be a lack of pretense is ... a pretense? Is there anything more sophisticated than a Nashville recording studio, apart from the international conglomerates that market and distribute country music?

The darkness

If we were meant to be in caves, we would be sightless fish. Or lichens.

Cité de la Musique

"From what I learned on 'Nashville,' country music is a lot about feelings, very strong feelings, and I think that translates well into French culture."

Monday, May 27, 2013

Today's top story

"Family Feud" Family Declares Bad Answer Good

Safety first

I wonder if the ice cream truck driver I drove by last night puts her cigarette out when the children come around.

I remember those

So far I've used my Facebook-free summer to look at birds in the backyard. There are birds in the backyard?


I will use my Facebook-free summer to a) read Plato's "Republic" b) read St. Augustine's "Confessions" or c) watch "Family Feud."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Which are the voyages?

Do deleted "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" scenes that wound up in the director's cut count as canon? Not that canon matters anymore.

Angry young, I mean middle-aged, man

Finally got around to watching the "Masterpiece Contemporary" film "Lennon Naked," which languished on my DVR for three years. Most reviews were miserable, but I didn't hate it. My main complaint is that at 46, Christopher Eccleston was much too old to play John Lennon in his 20s. Part of what's moving about the story of Lennon in the 1960s is that he was so young.

The country closet

"What really sets Mr. McAnally apart, though, is his personal life. Mr. McAnally is gay. Country remains American music's bastion of cultural conservatism."

People used to say the military and pro sports were the professional closet's last great bastions. But there also is mainstream country music. Not a single gay star has been unequivocally out in the prime of a sustained career as a country hit maker. Chely Wright and k.d. lang both came out long after their greatest successes on the country charts, and Sugarland's Kristen Hall left the band before it notched its biggest hits.

"Changes do seem to be afoot in Nashville."

Could be. There's a tantalizing plot thread about this on the TV show "Nashville." Bet it's making some people squirm in the Music City.

Just the way he is

"Yeah, I relate to Beethoven."

I don't think Billy Joel is actually likening himself to Beethoven. He's just pointing to a familiar example as he makes an analogy. But it's fun to make fun of Billy Joel for likening himself to Beethoven.