SHOPPING ON BLACK FRIDAY – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Friday: SHOP


I do not shop on Black Friday. Not now, not ever. But as it turns out, you may not go to the mall, but sometimes, shopping comes to you. In this case, because the boiler decided that this bitterly cold day is a good day to break down.

Last night, when we went to bed, the house was warm and cozy. When we got up this morning, the house was chilly. I finally went to check the thermostat and it was 55 degrees (12 degree Celsius) and the boiler wasn’t making that boiler noise we love to hear. It’s almost zero outside.

The new hot water system attached to the old boiler.

In my experience, the day your boiler doesn’t work is always the coldest day of the year. There may be colder days to come, but this one is a doozy. I’m wearing two sweatshirts over a long-sleeved wool dress and I have a heating pad behind my back. It’s still cold.

So we are indeed shopping, though why I don’t know. We had the boiler tuned and the igniter replaced in mid-July, so it should be good to go, no problem.

But it’s a big shopping day and here we are, bundled up in as much clothing as we can fit on our bodies. It’s not so cold that we are in danger of freezing to death, but it’s not comfortable, either.

If you don’t go shopping, not to worry. It will arrive at your place, carrying a bag of tools. Sometimes, you just can’t win.

WISDOM VERSUS INTELLIGENCE? Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #2


Okay. First, is there a difference? Isn’t wisdom something intelligent said by a white-haired old person sitting near a hearth fire? Or a casual comment from a kid translated by grown-ups to mean a lot more than it meant.

I read a bunch of definitions of the difference between intelligence and wisdom and basically, it boiled down to intelligence is using wisdom intelligently.

I think you can’t be wise until you turn 70. Certainly not before 60.

Can a child be wise? A child can say something that we interpret as wise, but wisdom from children isn’t wise because it isn’t intelligently thought out — unless we have some kind of super-genius child hanging around. We can act like it’s wise, but the kid didn’t think it was wise and likely doesn’t understand the concept of wisdom.
This reminds me of the Peter Sellers in “Being There.” He’s actually simple-minded, but everyone is convinced he’s very wise. They misinterpret everything he says and they are, by the end of the movie, ready to elect him president. If you haven’t seen the movie, see it. It’s eerily relevant and not in a good way.

I am not wise, but I’ve got a very smart ass. I think it’s possible Garry is wise. I’ll have to ask him when the next commercial break comes on.

IMPRESSION OF A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER – Marilyn Armstrong

No matter what anyone says, trying to be artistic with a picture you love that has flaws is a lot of work. I’ve been working on this one for hours. Literally at least two hours.

I tried it earlier, but the colors were all wrong. This time, the colors are closer to true, but I had to use a lot of filters to bring the colors at least close to the way they looked.

Impressionist red-bellied woodpecker …

Now I have to figure out how to get the shot without shooting through the grubby kitchen window at a 45-degree angle!

DISTURBED – Rich Paschall

The Sound of Silence, Rich Paschall

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

The Sound of Silence (shown as The Sounds of Silence on early albums) was written by Paul Simon in 1964 and released on the debut album of Simon and Garfunkel.  The album was a dismal failure and the duo broke up to pursue their own interests.  But something happened. In some markets the song was getting airplay in 1965. The song’s producer remixed the track with additional instruments and released it without telling Simon and Art Garfunkel.  It went to number one.

The duo reunited in 1966, and we guess you could say the rest is rock and roll history.  The song was one of the most performed songs of the 20th Century.  In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine named it one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time.  The Simon & Garfunkel video above is from a 2009 performance at Madison Square Garden.

At the end of 2015 heavy metal band Disturbed released a cover version of the song. Their music video now has over 453 million views.  It certainly was unlike their usual metal performances. In March 2016 they amazed a Conan O’Brien audience with the above powerful rendition.

Paul Simon wrote to the lead singer, David Draiman, “Really powerful performance on Conan the other day. First time I’d seen you do it live. Nice. Thanks.”

TWO CAROLS FOR OUR HOLIDAYS – Marilyn Armstrong

As the weird, right-wing Christians endlessly complain about how they can’t say “Merry Christmas,” while the rest of us try to keep our heads low and avoid getting bombarded by Christmas? For us, there is Tom Lehrer and a few songs to make us smile.

Let us not forget that “other” seasonal holiday, Hanukkah. Although it is not one of the major holidays of the Jewish calendar, it’s relative (depending on the Jewish Lunar calendar which moves the holidays around in a thoroughly un-Christian way) proximity to Christmas has given it an undeserved prominence. And for that, there’s still Tom Lehrer.

May your season be joyful if you celebrate and sane, regardless. It’s a holiday. Enjoy it, ignore it, or sing your heart out.