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Sunday Funnies

July 1st, 2012 by jomo

This morning when I glanced at the Sunday Comics section of the American-Statesman, I remembered “Uncle” Roy’s Sunday morning radio show on KTSM in El Paso in the 1940s and 50s. He read the comic strip captions while his listening audience followed along at home, looking at the pictures. I remember that he had a wide range of voice characterizations. Listening to Uncle Roy’s show on Sunday was as much a part of my routine as going to church.

As I began to write this…note? little memory bit? whatever…I used the web to run a search to see if there was something out there about Uncle Roy, and I found this in memoriam piece – which made my fond memories fonder. He really was as nice a guy as he sounded on the radio.

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Robertson Davies

April 20th, 2012 by jomo

One of my very favorite authors is Robertson Davies. He created wonderful characters with insightful language and humor. I thought that I had read all of his novels and recently set about rereading The Fifth Business, volume 1 of The Deptford Trilogy. It was a pleasant surprise to realize that I had never before read the book, and I am enjoying it a lot. Now I will rummage through all of the Davies novels to see if there might not be others I missed.

Dunstan Ramsay, the narrator of The Fifth Business, has incidental girlfriends named Agnes Day, Gloria Mundy, and Libby Doe.

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Feeling betrayed by State Farm

April 15th, 2012 by jomo

In an Atlantic article I learned that my insurance company, State Farm, is a supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). I had known about ALEC for some time now, and had come to consider them fascistic and un-American, originators of legislation resulting in voter suppression, immigrant harrassment, destruction of firearms regulation, and privatization of prisons among other hard right loopy ideas. To find that a company that I have done business with for more than 30 years passes on to ALEC some of what I pay them each month is outrageous. So now I am looking for another insurance company.

Ambrose Bierce defined politics as “the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” That summarizes ALEC’s purposes succinctly.

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Leslie Cochran

March 8th, 2012 by jomo

I didn’t know Leslie. I saw him around here and there through the years, but I had direct dealings with him only once.

I came out of Harrell’s on Oltorf one day and Leslie, dressed in housecoat and slippers, asked me for a cigarette. I told him that I didn’t smoke, and he said “Good. Nasty habit.”

Then he said “You might have noticed my house slippers…anywhere I go in Austin, I feel at home.”

Rest in peace, Leslie.

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Keeping cool

February 29th, 2012 by jomo

Around the northeastern side of the University of Texas campus, as well as out beyond Mt. Bonnell, up the Dry Creek Valley, much of the property 30,40 or 50 years ago was owned by a man named Fred Eby. He built many houses and apartments, and was a major landlord for student rentals. One summer in the early ’70s I thought that I had rented one of his houses on Mt. Bonnell Rd., just beyond Sara’s Dry Creek Cafe, but Eby’s property manager told me, when I went to get the key, that it had been rented to someone else.

I stormed over to Eby’s office, which was in an apartment complex just off of Duval on Elmwood. I knocked on the office door and went in. Someone called out to come on back to the bathroom. That brought me up short, but I went on back and peeked around the open bathroom door. Eby’s factotum was seated on the lowered lid of the toilet taking notes, while Fred Eby, in a bathing suit, was immersed in the bathtub. Ice cubes floated around him in the water.

It was a very hot day.

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Liveoak Spring

February 28th, 2012 by jomo

Liveoaks (Plateau Oaks?) keep their leaves through the Winter. In early Spring, last year’s leaves turn yellow and drop. There’s none of this poetic feathery drifting down – they fall like little pieces of leather, clunking on roofs and sidewalks to form drifts and swales, turning brown and rattley. The new green growth shoots form soon after, and then comes the catkins, which mature and open, then dry out and fall, adding to the mess on the ground and in roof gutters.

And this year’s go around has started already, here in Austin.

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Seychelles?

February 22nd, 2012 by jomo

For some time now I have noticed that my websites regularly receive traffic from the Republic of Seychelles, a group of 150 or so islands northeast of Madagascar off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is the most developed country in Africa with about 86,000 citizens, speaking English, French, and Creole, and its primary industry now is tourism. It sounds like it is pretty close to “Paradise With High Humidity,” having an annual average high temperature of 70-85 degrees F. It doesn’t get cyclones.

Who is it so far away that regularly visits me? Curiouser and curiouser, as they say.

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Lifedrawing

February 21st, 2012 by jomo

Last year there was a weekly lifedrawing session over at the art warehouse on W. Monroe. I went to it about 10 times, but stopped for a variety of reasons, the main one being that I didn’t feel like I was coming away with anything.

A few days ago I was looking at the drawings I made at those sessions and found one that is really pretty nice. So the sessions were worth it.
lifedrawing

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Brought up short by Blade Runner

February 20th, 2012 by jomo

Looking at the cable menu tonight for something to watch, I saw “Blade Runner” on AMC so I chose it. It was on a scene I didn’t remember, where Rachel is bothered by some photos in Deckard’s apartment, and she leaves. He VOs about how all replicants needed personal history support including “snapshots”…I thought “Wow! I don’t remember this at all. So he knew all along that she was a replicant. Why was I in any doubt?”

The next scene is of Pris looking for a place to huddle through the night, and she covers herself with newspapers in an entryway, where Sebastian stumbles over her. Wow again! I know I’ve never seen this before.

A batch of commercials came on so I stopped watching then.

I knew from different sources that there were different versions of the film, but I have only ever seen the 1982 theatrical release (which I unequivocally loved). I just learned from Wikipedia that there are seven(!) versions in circulation. From the little bit of the particular version that I saw I believe that I can say that there is a big difference between not the story, but the telling of it from one version to the other. Kind of like the Gospels, eh?

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Another clunker report

February 15th, 2012 by jomo

The system’s idling temp seems to be 48°C, while a 100% processing load raises the CPU temp to 52°C-55°C. Ambient room temp is about 77°F. So the alteration I made did some good. I wish that it hadn’t taken so long to diagnose the problem.

Diagnosing problems can be difficult. Yesterday morning I found water on the floor in the entryway. It was coming from the bathroom upstairs. I started tearing things up to expose the feed pipes, but (thankfully) before I got too far, I found that a shower faucet was partly open, and water was running into the drain, where the caulking was starting to fail. The faucet had been cracked for at least 24 hours, allowing water to build up and leak through the lower floor ceiling. That ceiling is painted bead board, so there is no apparent water damage, as there would be with sheetrock.

If I had been more thoughtful in the process I wouldn’t have torn anything up. At least I’m retired, and have the time to fix it.

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