It was released in June 1966. Later that year, my freshman year in college, I remember someone posting the following on the dorm bulletin board:
What becomes of the broken hearted?
They go home for houseparty weekend.
Ramblings of a Boomer Pilgrim in a Post-Modern World.
What becomes of the broken hearted?
They go home for houseparty weekend.
Posted by pmPilgrim
I am sure that sometime or another in the past 11+ years of these pilgrim wanderings I have said this before, but I don't feel like looking for it. So I have said it again in reaction to the Florida Marlins signing a contract with Giancarlo Stanton for 13 years and $325 million. That's a piddlin' $25 million per year.
I love baseball! I like a number of sports, but baseball is just below being a Packer fan (i.e.- not quite up to the status of a religion!) But no one, absolutely no one is worth $25 million per year to play any sport. Like with news, we have developed a 24/7/365 sports mindset. These baseball stars are the front men, the visible entities for an industry that is worth trillions of dollars. To the owner, a superstar is worth $25 million per year for the possibilities, the investment in fan loyalty, the possible return on investment.
What I find most intriguing about this story, though, is not the rant-worthiness of the salary, it's that this contract is from a team which had a complete team salary of only $46 million last year. This one salary jump is more than half of the total salary from this year. It makes me wonder what happened that the owner decided to open the checkbook and give away the farm. Somewhere there's a bottom line number that is way too enchanting too the owner.
I am not good at boycotting things I like, so I have not boycotted either baseball or football in their craziness over salaries. I go to the Twins games and was angry when they almost downsized the league by dropping them a number of years go. That makes me part of the problem, I know. If all of us who find the situation ludicrous did actually boycott, something might happen, though I am doubtful because we are the "masses" who are being entertained by these millionaires making billionaires out of the owners while we pay our shrinking dollars for over-priced hot dogs, beers, or sodas.
As long as we (me, too!) want to be entertained by sports, this won't change.But it is, perhaps, a sign of something less than healthy in our human psyche.
19 Nov 1944
It was also my Dad's 39th birthday.
It was one of only a handful of times in his life that he hadn't been home for his birthday.
Instead he may very well have been around the area of CC B as they made a first symbolic step onto German soil.
One of the stories on NPR's All Things Considered today had this headline:
A new poll shows Ebola is the one of the top health concerns of Americans, below access to health care and affordable health care.It ranks third, to be exact, according to the story, behind access to health care and the cost of health care. Then, dropping down behind Ebola as a top health concern- cancer and obesity. My first reaction was one of utter amazement. A disease that has infected exactly two people in the United States is a top health concern. Two people, both of whom are now healthy.
1859 – The first modern revival of the Olympic Games takes place in Athens, Greece.
1864 – American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burns Atlanta, Georgia and starts Sherman's March to the Sea.
1939 – In Washington, D.C., US President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.
1969 – Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".
1969 - Wendy's Hamburgers opens
1969 - Janis Joplin, accused of vulgar & indecent language in Tampa, Fla
The younger members of my family have given me a hard time. It seems I have done something many people didn't think was possible. I made a MacBook Pro slow down. That, and this week I crashed iPhoto. I went to open iPhoto on Tuesday to do some updating and posting- and it crashed. It "unexpectedly closed." I tried everything normal (and abnormal) to get it running again. I even did the insanity thing- you know, doing the same thing over and over (trying to start the program) hoping for different results.
Then I went to the Internet for ideas. Did a couple of those- nada! I tried rebuilding through Mac programs. Mas nada! I set up a new library (option-start) and that go things working, but not with my library. That meant it wasn't the program which I already figured out, it was the iPhoto library and database.
In case you're wondering, it has been my pictures that have slowed down the MacBook. I have over 38,000 pictures- about 163 gig of data. Hence the heart-stopping- 38,000 pictures! Lost? Gone forever?
I am not one who has ever done a great deal of back-up with my computers. I have been working with personal computers for 26 years and back-ups have been, at best sporadic. Recently I have been using Dropbox for some of my important backups that I can use between computers, but 163 Gig of data is far too much for Dropbox use.
In these 26 years I have had two death-inducing crashes. One was the disk I had copied all the pictures from our trip to Spain. I went to load it and it wouldn't. I paid some good money to an IT company in the Twin Cities to get those for me. The other was when my desktop died. In that case, I had been doing most of my work on the laptop so the important stuff was saved.
Well, I must live right- either that or grace is looking out for me. A year ago I had bought a 1TB external drive. It sat around for a year, still in all its original packaging. Two weeks ago I decided it was time to do some housecleaning and make sure I had a backup. I made a complete backup through Time Machine. (Words of thanksgiving and gratitude added here!!)
So, I made a copy of the current, corrupted library then deleted it. With the space left I could restore the backup from two weeks earlier.
Voila, hallelujah, and pass the gigabytes! Currently, as I write this, iPhoto is rebuilding its library and thumbnails.
And I am breathing again.
Next step? Become more efficient about backups and see what I can do about the overwhelming size of my photo library.
Just finished reading A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel. It is the story of the dangers of texting, cell phone use, and driving. It is told around the death of two rocket scientists in Utah as another driver was texting and forced their car into the fatal accident.
Back when I first got my driver's license in the mid to late 60s, my aunt was adamant about not having a radio in the car. She felt that having a radio in the car was inviting disaster. This was in the days before FM radio was popular so the radio she was talking about was the old AM type. I prevailed. Now, 50 years later, to have a only a radio in the car would be silly- and maybe not even possible.
But I am afraid my aunt was on the right track. Matt Richtel's well-researched and -written book presents the incredible dangers our modern technology has added to what, in reality has always been a very dangerous activity- driving a car. In separate sets of chapters Richtel tells the story of Reggie Shaw, the driver whose inattention caused the action; the neuroscientists who are studying the ways the brain has been overwhelmed by the increasing information flood; the prosecutors search for justice; Terryl, a victim's advocate who takes hold of the case and won't let go; and families and lawmakers.
Reggie, an everyday kind of kid is 19 when the accident happens, becomes an "everyman" for all of us. His story could at any moment become our story as we wrestle with the distraction of cell phones and texting. The scientists and their families could also become any one of us, victims of someone else's distraction. It is not as far-fetched as many of us might think. One statistic that sent shivers up my spine was that just talking on a cell-phone while driving makes us 4 times as likely to be in an accident and texting makes us 6 times as likely. That is equal to- and worse than- drunk driving, the ultimate no-no. These are not numbers pulled out of a hat. These come from years of research on the brain's ability to think when distracted.
In spite what many of us think we cannot multi-task! We just cannot! What we call multi-tasking is just the brain switching between one activity or another. We cannot pay attention to two things at the same time. One will suffer. In that inability is the great danger of texting and driving. The research is very clear. It is amazingly dangerous. And people do a variation on it all the time. Sometimes it is just changing the dial on the radio. I had a friend who lost his wife and daughter in that kind of distracted accident. Sometimes it is looking at the GPS or trying to program the GPS while driving. It might be wondering what the weather is up ahead there where the darker clouds are so the availability of the local radar on the smartphone comes into play.
The problem lies in the fact that we have a brain that evolved for a different type of lifestyle.We also have a brain that wants to respond to certain stimuli- such as the vibration or beep of a text arriving on our phone. We have to answer it; we have to always on the ready for the important information. It actually sets our dopamine system into action- which only reinforces the need to answer the text the next time.
These are oversimplifications of the science, but it is good science. Our ability to evolve into a way of better handling this flood of information is much too slow. Just because we are more comfortable with it does not mean that our brains have changed enough in just a very, very few years to cope.
Reggie spent a couple years after the accident not believing he was texting at the time or that he was even being inattentive. It was only when he heard the science that his several years of worry, wondering, fear and guilt came crashing in. Richtel does what any good Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist would do- he builds the story so we can feel what is happening. He demonizes no one. He gives the hint in the book's sub-title and Prologue that this is going to turn out in a hopeful way. Redemption is at the heart of the story.
I am not sure Reggie is just an everyday guy. I hope he is representative of more of us than not. I hope I could have the courage in the end to do the right thing. His open and fearless testimony led the Utah legislature to pass an anti-texting law just when it was about to die in committee.
The book has scared me- about my own behavior in the car. I do not text, but the phone can have me tied to its buzz or beep. Even with a Bluetooth connection for phone calls, I am not sure I should be doing much of that. The ease at which something happens, the speed- in brain-time as well as clock-time- at which accidents can happen is chilling.
May we all pay attention!
At first the phone companies were fighting the changes in the law that make texting and driving illegal. They got on board knowing that it was good business not to have your customers dying or being killed. But they also were willing to put their money behind it. AT&T had it's "It Can Wait" campaign. Reggie has been an important part of that.
Here, as part of AT&T's campaign, is Reggie telling his story.
Werner Herzog produced documentary on texting and driving. Reggie's story is the final part of the movie.
Reggie Shaw's Web page
|Route of 10th Armored in Encirclement of Metz|
A Bailey bridge had the advantages of requiring no special tools or heavy equipment to construct. The wood and steel bridge elements were small and light enough to be carried in trucks and lifted into place by hand, without requiring the use of a crane. The bridges were strong enough to carry tanks.
A Combat Command was a combined-arms military organization of comparable size to a brigade or regiment employed by armored forces of the U.S. Army from 1942 until 1963. The structure of combat commands was task-organized and so the forces assigned to a combat command often varied from mission to mission.This Combat Command organization would become very helpful to all concerned within the next six weeks when the Germans made their last push in what is known as the Battle of the Bulge.
The combat command was a flexible organization that did not have dedicated battalions. Instead, tank, armored infantry, and armored field artillery battalions, as well as smaller units of tank destroyers, engineers, and mechanized cavalry were assigned as needed in order to accomplish any given mission.
I know that last Sunday was All Saints Sunday. But it is always appropriate to remember the saints, known and unknown. Our handbells at church last week led off the All Saints celebration. Here is the video. Enjoy.
1. For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
11. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
|Great River Bluffs State Park, MN, 10/16/14|
Endnote: For no particular reason of note, this is post # 5,600.
Aren't you impressed?
Just kind of sitting around looking at nothing in particular as I was updating the old blog here. I looked over at the book list through this week. So far this year I am at 56 books, a little more than in the past, perhaps even in record territory. I am sure that part of that is because of my semi-retirement, a full month away in Alabama, and just generally working on the books. It is amazing how many excellent books are published each year.
One thing that struck me, though, was the split in the year between fiction and non-fiction. I have generally read more non-fiction than fiction over the years. There is so much of so great an interest in the world that I can hardly keep up. (Understatement!) But I also love fiction, the top-notch books that expand one's world through the imagination and writing of excellent writers. I also enjoy a good mystery, crime procedural and science fiction. If they are just plain entertainment- that's okay, although there is often a great deal of insight into the human condition in any good novel.
In any case I noticed that this year has an overwhelming difference between the two halves of the year so far. From January through June I read 12 novels of the 33 books read.
Since July 1, though, there are only 4 of the 23 that are novels- and I read those in the past month or six weeks. One thing I did notice overall is that I have been trying to pick up on some older and even classic novels like the Sound and the Fury, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hitchhiker's Guide, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. I had promised myself that I would try to get to read some of these that I never read before. I have found that an excellent idea.
The list does not include any of the books I have been mining for the series on my Dad's time in World War II. I am not reading those cover-to-cover, but as I said, mining them for information. Some of them are truly deep mines!
I guess, then, that at least one of my goals for my move into retirement is working- I am reading more than ever. And there are so many more out there to go. It is a wondrous, never-ending stream of excitement, insight, life, and challenge!
Some insights occurred to me during the evening and day after the election. I realized that one of the big problems with putting issues out on the Facebook page is that it doesn't invite dialogue, at least not in the ways we usually think of that word. When someone publishes some meme or picture that has a particular political position behind it, it usually does not include any background information, supporting evidence or even any nuance of meaning. It becomes an "In-Your-Face" statement. It is presented as the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Even if we believe this is so, it sure shuts down the hope of dialogue- or raises the hackles and defenses on the other side.
Here's an example of a meme that was on Facebook (and which I personally DID share on my page):
From an old political science major:
November 4 is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar.
There are 57 days remaining until the end of the year.
This year here in the good old US of A it is the mid-term Election Day.
I love Prairie Home Companion's Joke Show. Last Saturday was no exception. Thanks GK for this one:
Did you hear about the research scientist who had twins? He had one baptized and kept the other as a control.
02 Nov 1944
The 10th Armored entered their first combat at Mars-la-Tour.