Thursday, October 31, 2019

This Is Halloween

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn't you like to see something strange?
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night
This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It's our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween

I am the one hiding under your bed
Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red
I am the one hiding under yours stairs
Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair
This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

-- "This is Halloween" lyrics, Danny Elfman (1993)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Double Double Toil And Trouble

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

-- William Shakespeare, Song of the Witches: "Double, double toil and trouble", Macbeth: IV.i 10-19; 35-38, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A Lantern On The Stern

If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us!  But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!

-- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834), English poet, critic and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets, Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T. Coleridge 1821-1834 by Henry N. Coleridge (1835), 18 December 1831

Monday, October 28, 2019

Deep Sadness

Dear Friends and Community Partners of the Art Theater,

It is with deep sadness that the Art Film Foundation announces it has stopped showing films and that it will cease operations at the Art Theater on October 31, 2019.

We thank you for your donations, your volunteer hours, your memberships, and your attendance. While the Art Film Foundation and the Art Theater have come to an end, we truly believe that this incredible community of cinema-lovers in the local area will carry on.

With gratitude,
The Art Film Foundation

-- Farewell email from the Art Film Foundation, announcing the closing of The Art Theater in downtown Champaign, 25 October 2019

Friday, October 25, 2019


Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

-- Stephen R. Covey (1932 - 2012), American author, The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, p. 239 (1989)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Reality Check

One of life's joys was to have friends who gave you reality checks ... who would call you on your crap before it rose so high you drowned in it.

-- Glen David Brin (1950 -), American science fiction author, winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, former NASA consultant and physics professor, Earth Part VI (p. 311) (1990)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Functional Anonymity

Let's begin with capitalism, a word that has gone largely out of fashion.  The approved reference now is to the market system.  This shift minimizes -- indeed, deletes -- the role of wealth in the economic and social system.  And it sheds the adverse connotation going back to Marx.  Instead of the owners of capital or their attendants in control, we have the admirably impersonal role of market forces.  It would be hard to think of a change in terminology more in the interest of those to whom money accords power.  They have now a functional anonymity.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006), Canadian-American economist and author, "Free Market Fraud", The Progressive (January 1999)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Basic Equipment

Thing is: the internet's made of IP addresses, opinions, and assholes.  It's what's there.  That's the basic equipment.

-- Merlin Dean Mann III (26 November 1966 -), author, speaker, and productivity consultant, "kung fu grippe" blog post, ~2010

Monday, October 21, 2019

Never Friendless Ever

Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog;
but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog.

-- Douglas Malloch (5 May 1877 - 2 July 1938), American poet, short-story writer and Associate Editor of American Lumberman, a trade paper in Chicago

Saturday, October 19, 2019


For my 50th birthday (10 years ago), my kids got me an Australian Shepherd by the name of Angie (short for Evangeline). She was about 9 months old when I got her from a rescue place in St Louis.

A little under 3 hours ago, I had to let her go.

She was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (and pulmonary hypertension) in January, but the meds (lots of meds) were keeping it in check. Today things suddenly went south.

Her super power was that she didn't need a leash on walks. She had no interest in squirrels or rabbits, and only passing interest in other dogs while out walking.

There were a lot of walks.

She was the calmest, most laid-back Australian Shepherd I've encountered.

I'd like to go on one more walk, please.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

RIP Elijah Cummings

My mission is one that comes out of a vision that was created long, long ago.  It is a mission and a vision to empower people. ... to make people realize that the power is within them, that they too can do the things that they want to do.

There's a poem that Parren Mitchell said many many years ago that I say sometimes 20 times a day, and it's a very simple poem, but it's one that I live by.

    I only have a minute.
    Sixty seconds in it.
    Forced upon me, I did not choose it.
    But I know that I must use it,
    give account if I abuse it,
    suffer if I lose it.
    Only a tiny little minute,
    but eternity is in it.

-- Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) (18 January 1951 - 17 October 2019), in his first speech from the floor of the House of Representatives, shortly after he was sworn into Congress by then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on 25 April 1996, citing a poem written by Civil Rights pioneer Dr. Benjamin Mays, which he credited Mitchell as reciting many times.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

No Reasonable Man

Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?  This question, which at first sight might not seem difficult, is really one of the most difficult that can be asked.  When we have realized the obstacles in the way of a straightforward and confident answer, we shall be well launched on the study of philosophy -- for philosophy is merely the attempt to answer such ultimate questions, not carelessly and dogmatically, as we do in ordinary life and even in the sciences, but critically, after exploring all that makes such questions puzzling, and after realizing all the vagueness and confusion that underlie our ordinary ideas.

-- Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872 - 1970), British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic, 1950 Nobel laureate in Literature, The Problems of Philosophy (1912)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

RIP Robert Forster

You learn to take whatever jobs there are and make the best you can out of whatever you've got.  And anyone in any walk of life, if they can figure that out, has a lot better finish than those who cannot stand to take a picture that doesn't pay you as much or isn't as good as the last one.  Attitude is everything.

-- Robert Wallace Forster Jr. (born Robert Wallace Foster Jr.; 13 July 1941 - 11 October 2019), American actor known for his role as Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (1997), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, in an interview with Todd Gilchrist for Indiewire, 4 October 2011

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

We Will Resist

We will resist.  We have been at war for seven years, so we can continue the war for seven more years.

-- Mazlum Kobani, commander of the Kurdish-led militia, in response to President Trump's abrupt withdrawal of US forces from Syria, in an interview with The New York Times, 9 October 2019

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Same Bag

When people put drummers like John Bonham, Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon in the same bag as me, it's really insulting.  I have a gift, and none of them is even on the same street as me.  The fact that I can still play is a miracle, isn't it?

-- Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker (19 August 1939 - 6 October 2019), English drummer and co-founder of the rock band Cream, Wall Street Journal, "Ginger Baker's Beef" by Marc Myers, 7 October 2013

Friday, October 04, 2019


Fools ignore complexity.  Pragmatists suffer it.  Some can avoid it.  Geniuses remove it.

-- Alan Perlis (1922 - 1990), American comlputer scientists, first recipient of the ACM Turing Award, "Epigrams on Programming" (1982) (h/t Sukay)

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Rewrite Their Teens

You couldn't get hold of the things you'd done and turn them right again.  Such a power might be given to the gods, but it was not given to women and men, and that was probably a good thing.  Had it been otherwise, people would probably die of old age still trying to rewrite their teens.

-- Stephen Edwin King (21 September 1947 -), American author, screenwriter. 2003 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Book Awards, The Stand (1978)

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Making It Come True

There is no great harm in the theorist who makes up a new theory to fit a new event.  But the theorist who starts with a false theory and then sees everything as making it come true is the most dangerous enemy of human reason.

-- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 - 1936), prolific British writer, The Flying Inn (1914)