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The 4th Quarter of 2020

The Zombies' album cover for Odessey and Oracle.What a horrible year this has been. None of us remembers the first quarter, but the second and third quarters were Vikings-in-the-Super-Bowl bad. Now we’ve started the fourth quarter in a big hole. It’s hard to imagine, but we might see some small ray of hope soon. Vote! Now, if you can. I already have, and I will be checking online to see if my ballot was received and accepted.

Blog fu

I have rearranged the deck chairs on this blog because, you know, COVID-related cabin fever. And because it’s a form of puzzle solving I enjoy. It scratches my logic and puzzle-solving itch about as well as crosswords do, slightly better than star battle puzzles (the New York Times calls them “two not touch” puzzles)[1], and far more satisfyingly than either sudoku or–if I could still do them–jigsaw puzzles do.

You may wonder, why the blog remodeling? Probably you don’t, but I will tell you anyway. I have used CSS (cascading… oh, nevermind) to bring my blog’s format up-to-date. Well, if it were 2012 it would be up-to-date(ish). I’ve embiggened the font, expanded the layout, and made it “responsive,” which is geek-speak for “not horrible to look at on phones.”[2]

So if you care one way or another, please let me know how it looks. More important for those of you reading this on a phone: try not to step into traffic! This blog can’t afford to lose another reader.

A book that should be taught in high school

Bookcover: The Color of LawAre you are concerned about our society and do you wish to understand how we have arrived at this place? If you answered “yes” and “yes,” then please read The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein. If you you want to do so, I will happily have a copy delivered to your door. Just drop me an email. Please do.

Perhaps you answered “yes” and “no” to the two questions above. If so, I want to send you this book. It’s only around 200 pages long, and is not at all a difficult read.

If you answered “no” to both questions, you should donate your brain to science. Soon.

He’s not wrong

A month or two ago, my go-to friend for pop & rock music questions and discussion started raving in emails about the Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle album. I took his advice and picked up a copy. It’s fantastic! The harmony vocals on its opener, “Care of Cell 44,” remind me of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. The album’s final track is the familiar “Time of the Season,” the only song by the group that I knew prior to hearing the album. An album that broke the band, and that wasn’t much appreciated until years after its release. The Wikipedia page on Odessey and Oracle is worth a look and will explain my misspelling of the word odyssey.

You may have heard the song “This Will be Our Year” quite recently without knowing it was from the Zombies.[3] Let’s hope we have reasons to sing it on January 1st.


I will confess that I found found this image amusing, but nah, it’s not really the thing. First of all, wishing for the death of anyone isn’t cool.[4] Second, I’d rather see T-rump soundly defeated on election day and, sometime soon, sentenced to a long term in prison. I know it is unlikely to actually happen. Few white-collar criminals pay that price, particularly those with money with access to money.[5]

Third: This president is symptomatic of a much larger problem. A problem that won’t magically go away with a change of weather, or when he is removed from office. Almost 50% of Americans–of voters, anyway–are happy to vote for man who if they don’t know by now… [redacted].[6] Our broken-in-so-many-ways justice, political, and economic systems. The sad fact of human-caused global climate change which only the willfully ignorant fail to see. The planet-wide loss of wildlife–extinctions are forever–and so much natural beauty. What a sad mess we are in.

Nein, Schadenfreude ist nicht eine Antwort.

Your news source

At least until after the election, I recommend avoiding all news except for that from the always-reliable Onion.
News from the Onion.


  1. I do recommend these puzzles. Go through the beginner’s tutorial first, and then click on the “online puzzles” link to try one. [^]
  2. I don’t get using a phone to browse the web. I use a desktop computer and 27″ monitor as both Alexander Graham Bell and Al Gore intended. [^]
  3. This song was used to close season two of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel AND the final season of Schitt’s Creek. [^]
  4. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. [^]
  5. The $750 a year in personal income tax that T-rump paid in each of the first two years of his presidency sure has bought him extraordinary healthcare! [^]
  6. Anyone who can still support him is beyond reach. [^]

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