2020

No More, ‘What’s That You Say?’

There is no advantage to getting older. You don’t get smarter, you don’t get wiser, you don’t get more mellow, you don’t get more kindly; nothing good happens. Your back hurts, you get more indigestion, your eyesight isn’t as good, you need a hearing aid. It’s a bad business getting old, and I would advise you not to do it if you can avoid it. It doesn’t have a romantic quality. — Woody Allen I take issue with some of Woody Allen’s assertions above. There are advantages to getting older, such as the senior discount at the movie theater, and 50-cent coffee at McDonald’s....

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My Reading List for 2019, Courtesy of Goodreads

It’s time for the annual review of books read in the previous year. I use the Goodreads app, which allows one to catalog the books finished, what I’m currently reading, and what is on the to-read list. The social-media app is owned by Amazon, which is well on its way to controlling the world. Like Facebook, one has “friends” on Goodreads, who spy your name on the list and decide to join your online book club. I welcome all but don’t spend much time searching for friends who are on Goodreads. The app’s primary function for me is to replace the handwritten list of books read, which...

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Sounds of Silence Increasingly Rare

If silence was golden, you couldn’t raise a dime. — Mose Allison That line from one of my favorite blues singers, now gone, came to mind the other day while filling up my car. As soon as I swiped my credit card and punched in the billing zip code, a small video screen built into the pump lit up. The Gasoline Pump Celebrity News began broadcasting, with a young woman seated in a television studio breathlessly telling me what famous star was getting a divorce, or getting married, or possibly both. One can’t even buy gasoline with a screen shouting at you. If it’s not celebrity “news,”...

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