No, Thank You #socs #JusJoJan

I’ve set up the AT&T app that sends any call not from someone in my contacts list to my voice mail, and as a result I get virtually no phone calls. I kind of miss Robotween, who I talked about here and here, but not that much.

My last call was from a company that works with the insurance company that does my Medicare Advantage plan. They call every year and offer to come to my house and do a "healthy home" evaluation, and every year I turn them down. The way I see it, they don’t offer anything I can’t figure out for myself and deal with the insurance company directly to obtain. Ostensibly the information on all of the insurance company’s programs and benefits is available either on the web or in the documents they send every year, and I can read that and make my decisions accordingly. And if it isn’t there, it should be.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. During January, it’s also part of Just Jot It January, another Linda Hill blog hop.

And now a word about the great taste of Michelob.

High Fidelity #socs

Image by Webster2703 from Pixabay

NOTE: I can’t remember the last movie I saw. I don’t think we’ve been to the movies in ten years, we don’t watch movies on TV, and when Mary subscribes to Netflix, it’s to watch TV shows. Movies just don’t excite me like they used to. Anyway, this is a movie I remember seeing and enjoying, so it’s the one I’ll use here…

I’m not what you would call an audiophile. I love music, of course, but you probably figured that out already. Having said that, it has never really mattered to me how I got it. I’m just as happy listening to a song on a transistor radio with a 3" speaker as I am listening to it on a $1000 hi-fi stereo system. In fact, I’d go so far as to say some music just sounds better on a transistor radio.

I remember reading an article in Guitar Player magazine about 30 years ago that quoted Neil Young bitching about compact discs and how the quality couldn’t compare to vinyl records. I tended to agree with him until I actually sat down and listened to a few CD’s and realized, yeah, it sounds at least as good as what I remember the vinyl record sounding like, at least to my unsophisticated ear, and a CD doesn’t take up as much room as does a vinyl record, and the technology is such that, with a reasonably good CD player, I can pack a dozen or more CD’s and the player into my briefcase and have enough music to get me through a week on the road. If I run out or get bored with what I brought with me, I can always go to a music store and buy a couple more CD’s and entertain myself further. And when the iPod came out, I could bring my entire music collection with me.

I realized it was an economic decision: how much sound quality was I willing to part with in exchange for greater convenience and accessibility to my music collection. Turns out, I didn’t have to sacrifice much in the way of quality in favor of having it all with me. Audiophiles would disagree, of course, but screw ’em if they can’t take a joke.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. During January, it’s also used for Linda’s excellent Just Jot It January.

And now this word from Avon beauty products. DING-DONG, Avon calling!

Helena, Montana's Capital #socs #JusJoJan

Helena Montana 2006

I’ve never been there, Helena, that is. For that matter, I’ve never been to any of Montana, or North Dakota, or Idaho, or Wyoming. At last count, I’ve been in 31 of the 50 United States as well as Puerto Rico, but I don’t feel like I’ve actually seen much. Most of my travel has been for business, and typically that means you see the airport, the hotel, the client site, and maybe a couple of restaurants at your destination. There isn’t much time for sightseeing. There isn’t much to see in most of the places I’ve been, anyway.

In some cases, the extent to which I was there is limited to the airport. My only trip to Utah was an hour spent in the Salt Lake City airport, on my way home from Australia. It was late spring in Sydney, meaning the temperatures were in the upper 80’s (30-plus Celsius), and it was late autumn in SLC, meaning it was snowy and colder than a penguin’s backside.

I regret that I didn’t take more advantage of the travel that I did, but when you come right down to it, if I hadn’t traveled on business, it’s doubtful I’d have seen any of those places.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. It’s also part of Just Jot It January, another thing Linda is running. You can find the rules for both at the page I’ve linked above.

Now a word from United California Bank. The best tellers in town, or your money back!

Clowns! Booga Booga! #socs #jusjojan

Source: Pixabay

It’s all Linda’s fault: she’s the one that told us to find a word with "ow" in it, and I picked "clown." I’m sorry if this triggers coulrophobia (a fear of clowns that’s not officially recognized by the APA or any other organization that recognizes phobias), but the rules of Stream of Consciousness Saturday are pretty clear about not giving this a whole lot of thought, and just to write.

I’ve never found clowns frightening, or even creepy. Maybe I was inoculated by the fact that the most popular TV show at noon in Chicago when I was growing up was Bozo’s Circus. Everybody watched Bozo when they went home for lunch. I think that’s why the nuns let us out for lunch at 11:45, so we could be at home and get our lunch and our spot in front of the TV in time to hear Ringmaster Ned blow his whistle and announce "Bozo’s Circus is on the air!" We had to be back at school by 1:00, which meant most of us would watch the first half of Bozo (it was an hour long) then leave for school, where we’d hang around outside and play games like Tag and Red Rover until it was time to go in. (We weren’t allowed to bring toys or balls to school, so we were limited by that.) If you want to see what the big deal was all about, there is a full episode from 1968 on YouTube.

When I was in Hawai’i about 30 years ago, I was walking around on the streets of Waikiki (that sounds like a country song, doesn’t it?) and found an art gallery that was displaying the clown paintings of Red Skelton. I can’t embed any, sorry, but you can see some examples on his website.

And, of course, there was Andy the Clown, who was a sort of unofficial cheerleader for the White Sox when they played at old Comiskey Park. He was an old guy who lived in the neighborhood and would show up in a clown costume with his face painted and with a nose that lit up. By the late innings of the game, Andy was usually pretty well lit up himself. During rallies, he would yell "Gooooooooo youuuuuuu Whiiiiiite Soooooox!" and get everyone all stirred up. When they built the new Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field), they told Andy that he had to stop coming to the games dressed as a clown. When word got out, people raised hell with the front office, and he was allowed to don the clown suit once again. But he didn’t. And no, he didn’t start showing up at Wrigley Field; the Cubs had enough clowns on the field back then.

The only clown that ever scared me was John Wayne Gacy, and it wasn’t actually fear, it was revulsion. Gacy was convicted of one count of sodomy, 33 counts of murder, one count of sexual assault, and one count of indecent liberties with a child, and was sentencd to death in 1980. Most of his victims were found buried under his house and in his yard. Gacy used to go around dressed as "Pogo the Clown," which he said allowed him to regress into childhood. While he awaited his date with the electric chair (later lethal injection), he painted, mostly pictures of himself as Pogo and of other clowns. His intention was to allow them to be sold after he died to raise money for the victims’ families. A wealthy person got wind of this, bought all the paintings, and destroyed them.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you erach week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Avco Financial Services. If there’s anything you’d like to buy, Avco can help you buy it!

This is also an entry in Linda’s Just Jot It January. Check her blog for the rules!

And Another One Is In The Books #socs

Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay

Well, Planet Earth is about to finish another trip around the sun. At least, that’s what we say, although it’s a whole lot more complicated than that, as this paper from NASA details. We say that a year is 365 days, and every four years we add an extra day to make up for the fact that the actual trip around the sun take 365 days and 6 hours, except that, since that’s an overestimate (it’s really 365 days, 5 hours and some-odd minutes), whenever the year is evenly divisible by 100, we don’t add a leap day unless the year is evenly divisible by 400.

(I don’t generally sleep through the night, and I’ll wake up at roughly 4 AM and might be awake for an hour or more, and this is the kind of thing I think about to try and get back to sleep. Sometimes it actually works.)

We are now in the midst of Mary’s and my favorite week of the year, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s too late to start and finish something for the the old year (2019) and to start something for next year (2020). TV turns its focus from Christmas and toward what happened in the preceding 12 months and what will happen in the next 12. At least, that’s what I remember, because these days we sit around watching old reruns of The Andy Griffith Show and Hogan’s Heroes in the evenings. Normally, we turn off the sound between those two shows, because between them are old episodes of Gomer Pyle, USMC and Green Acres and we don’t like those two. Interesting that all of those are shows are ones that were unceremoniously cancelled by CBS in 1971 when that network decided they were no longer relevant, because Norman Lear said so.

If I don’t see you before then, Happy New Year!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brouht to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Moët & Chandon champagne.

Funny…there were no words in that commercial…