Tonight is a full moon, and the next new moon is December 12th. 11/27/23.
Remember, if you do not like what you read here, you do not have to read it. There is other stuff to read on the internet.
Here’s a pointer: Read this while sober, or you won’t pick up on some of the nuances in the writing.
Then you’re in luck. Take a trip around the world without leaving your PC. Shut-ins welcome. Let’s hear it for shut-ins.
Since 2004, The Other Letter has consistenly emphasized integrity over yellow journalism.
Climate change can be abated. Three factors come to mind: very expensive gasoline, as was the case in 1979 with the OPEC Oil Embargo, causing the coldest temperature ever recorded in Old Forge, New York State, -52° Farenheit. COVID-19 gave us very little car travel, and thus very little greenhouse gas emissions, as well as far below average temperatures. The Canadian forest fires blotted out sunlight from warming the earth, and as a consequence, temperatures should be cooler in both the Northeast, and Midwest.
These three suppositions have yet to be proven, but damn, scientists, the evidence is right under your noses. Damn, scientists, damn... This may be actionable, predicting weather that is, but who has standing to sue, God?
Because the end of the year is near, annual portfolio return can easily be evaluated. Just take the “Change in investment value” from the Year-to-Date column. If it is greater than zero, that’s good. If it’s more than five of your total investment, or even ten percent, you are doing well.
Keep in mind that change in investment value is also effected by the U.S. economy as a whole, not just by a fund manager’s investment choices.
Find Morningstar Five-Star funds from your online investment portal (or the library), and add sums of money there, and disinvest from laggarards, funds that consistently underperform your other funds. Fund performance can be evaluated mnnth-to-month using the statement provided by the investment company.
Here’s a formula for winning the office, football pool: Obtain the average margin of victory (or loss) for each team of each contest leading into this week. To do this, take the difference in points for, and points against, and divide by the weeks played so far. Do the same for the opposing team, and subtract this from the other team. Then add in the point spread for that game. Do this for the entire weeks’ games.
Which ever team has more average points up to this weekend’s games, is the team you pick. This method works surprisingly well. I won at least a third of the season’s pools, which had over twenty bettors. Why is this method so effective? It averages margin of victory, which is how sports contests are decided.
I had a nice grocery shopping experience this afternoon. I’m just there to buy food, I don’t go for the incumbent drama.
Most White Americans know of a word for African Americans, one which my Dad, early in my life, said to never say, ever. He told me this in no uncertain terms. I remember my mom saying this later in life: "What Whites put Blacks through was unconscionable."
Anyhow, I may have entered the “Price Club.” I got a near 50% discount. I’m still checking the receipt, it looks half price. The store card accounted for a little, but not 50%. I dunno, but I did very well this afternoon with price.
Another lesson my Dad left for us: Always leave behind a tip at a restaurant. If the service was not up to snuff, is it the waiter’s or waitress’ fault, or is it the manager’s fault? The manager decides if he has enough staff working the tables and the kitchen. The manager can also make working there difficult. These waitresses survive on tips, and if you refuse to pay them, then they’re working for free.
I was grocery shopping at the S&S, and as I was leaving, this Black man moving the carts asked me my name (he may have been 35 years old). I told him, then he said: “Happy Thanksgiving, Steve.” I asked him his name, he told me, and I wished him a happy thanksgiving.
As I walked away, he said that I was the only one who asked him HIS name. I was moved a bit by this.
This is a Dad lesson: There’s reciprocity in dealing with people. If someone shows you courtesy, you do the same for them. He would say, they work these menial jobs, for hours and hours, and months, and years. I don’t know how good I have it. Right again, pa, I don’t, but I’m beginning to see.
Does anyone remember that poster from a Sixties record shop? It was a photo of three-stacked album racks. There was the Grateful Dead’s Aoxoa Moxoa on the second rack. Melanie’s Brand New Key on the third rack. The Carpenters’ Close to You was on the first row, as well as The Door’s L.A. Woman. Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle was on the third row.
Those of you out in reader-land, do you remember who was front and center? There were three, identical album covers, then partly obscured on the second row was three album covers of the same release of another extremely well-known band. Of course, I’m talking about the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. But who was on the first row, and who was on the obscured second row? Was it the Stones’ Let it Bleed, or the Beatles’ Abbey Road?
Ever wonder how the Grateful Dead got their name? My theory is that it means there are people who are grateful when they’re dead, they had no fun in life. They would be known as the grateful dead, hence the admonition to not be the grateful dead.
Why isn’t there an B# or E# on the keyboard, but there is a sharp key for every other key in the A to G scale? Is it to add variety and interest, and avoid bland, monotone sounding compostions? Or to divide upper octave sequences from lower cctave ones?
Admittedly, I know nothing about rap music, or Africa American music, other than Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, et al, are real professionals. They have stage persona, charisma, melody-writing ability, all else making them music legends.
I know very little about music of the Twenty-First Century. Then you’ll say: Do you know anything about music? Well, let’s see:
The Grateful Dead’s Mars Hotel is perhaps their finest studio work (some might say, American Beauty). They would have had a Led Zeppelin-sized fan base were it not for their unfortunate reputation for doing psychedelic drugs, when at most they were pot heads (Jerry wasn’t quite a health nut).
By the way, no one knows the Grateful Dead like San Francisco, and no one in San Francisco knows the Dead like KPFA, the Pacifica radio affiliate, and its Dead to the World radio show. The show is on every Wednesday at 8pm Pacific time, 11pm Eastern time (and is podcasted).
All these Donald Trump investigations do seem to amount to very little — but one. His January Sixth, 2021, summoning of the troops, his most devout followers, to the “Save America Rally.” The sexual dalliances fall short of the Weinstein mark of pay to play.
Yet to try to cancel a national election by mob force, that was extremely irresponsible, and dangerous. Trump invited his followers on Instagram to steal the presidential election. Trump knew the voting tally, and thus the outcome, was accurate. He could not be so stupid, or ignorant, as to think otherwise.
Trump’s high crime of insurrection could be prosecuted with these questions: First, why did he call a rally together; and second, two and a half months after the election, how could he not understand that he lost the election by seven million votes?
Would Trump try to muscle his way into the White House, demand a second ascendency to Chief Executive, because he mobilized his people to make him President, with fists, and battering rams, even. From these intents and purposes, this was exactly what he was trying to do.
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Brandenburg Concerto No4-1 BWV1049 - Classical Whimsical by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
This Crucifixion eclipse means that Jesus the Christ did not die on the cross, that he survived his own crucifixion. In the Book of Luke 24:39-41, post-Crucifixion, Christ states: “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Then he begs: “Have ye here any meat?” A spirit doesn’t need food.
In other words, Christ did not die for your sins (whatever that means), because he didn’t die. Two-thousand years of venerance has been sadly misplaced.
Readers see this and think, geez, I have a thing against Baby Jesus. I don’t hate Jesus, he is an important philosopher, but he was not supernatural, he was not of the spirit world after the Crucifixion. This is a list of his most well-known adages. 2/18/23.
No, this does not end Christianity. His teachings about love and charity were and are seminal, and have just as much validity today, as they did two-thousand-years ago. 10/7/23.
[An aside: My Dad was raised a Catholic, and my Mom as a Jew. I identify more with Judaism. 9/19/23.]
Your wedding is next month, and you need to lose thirty pounds. The following can help, except there is no way you’re losing thirty pounds in a month. Movie stars cannot do this, Gwynnie Paltrow cannot even do this. No one can lose thirty pounds in one month. We can salvage your wedding day though. 5/16/23.
I am considering campaigning to make Kate Upton’s birthday a national holiday. I love women, so I wrote The Pantheon of Hollywood Women, not yet with current entries. As a retiree, I spend enough time writing sweet nothings to these women on Instagram. Why? Why the hell not. Regulars, they know. I’m a regular, above average intelligence, who has writing chops. Do the math.
(Sarah Jessica Parker did write that she “looked forward to my posts.”
“We don’t believe you.” “That’s too bad.”) 5/12/23...
Very few U.S. presidents, or presidential hopefuls, of draft age during the Vietnamese War, actually went overseas and served there. The following is a list of presidents (or presidential candidates), and the reason why they served or did not serve.
Did anyone see Rachel Maddow, near midnight, two nights ago? Didn’t she say that Trump was arrested? Was this story retracted? Was it suppressed? Did it even happen? I’m fairly certain that I saw her say that Trump was arrested. Was she doing a spoof? I don’t know. It would look good for both Biden and Trump: Biden would look like Mister Clean; and Trump would look like the victim of excessive, executive persecution. 11/25/23.
Very surprisingly, Trump was arrested, for the fourth time. 11/25/23.
Apropos of very little, here are important phone numbers from the American Civil Liberties Union:
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is a luxury provided to every United States citizen by the Founding Fathers (this right has the comfort of a luxury). This guarantees freedom of the press: Iran and China do not have this luxury.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Satire, and parody are protected speech, lying about someone is not protected speech. Yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater (the standard example of a free speech exception) is obviously illegal.
As for Other Letter detractors: Hey, these are just words. (I just checked, I get 35 readers a day, so no one gives a hoot what I write.)
There’s much to commend America: The national parks; incredible variety and availability of food; Hollywood cinema; and professional sports; to name just a few highlights. Yet, the shining star in the land of the free, is 1A, the First Amendment, which provides for freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.
Hate speech is the power base of evil. Most lives have had to deal with this hate. This is how to deconstruct it, and effectively deal with these words of destruction and devastation. This is not ribbing (as in “you’re silly”), this is hate. (And I’m not even from Boston.)
I am very hesitant to recommend this, you assume all risk here, but this is the short of it: If you have an analog stereo, there’s no way you can get a remote control to work with it, right? Wrong, use banana (RCA) plugs to connect a Bluetooth enabled stereo, to the auxiliary input port of your analog stereo receiver (WITH BOTH STEREOS SHUT UFF!)
Then pair in settings your mobile device, your iPhone, say, to the Bluetooth stereo. Then your phone controls the input, like YouTubes, as well as the volume.
Here’s a great entertainment center project: a client-server MP3 entertainment center.
You’re thinking one of two things. That you are not a geek, so this is impossible. Otherwise, you’re thinking, just jot some notes, and I’ll have this all good to go in a month.
I have a Synology server, with mirrored, two, 2TB Western Digital disks, one is redundant for backup. This backup is just a purchase decision, and not such a big deal. Install the DS, disk station on the server. MP3 your entire vinyl, cassette, and CD album collection. Use Audacity freeware to do this for the cassettes and albums, and Apple iTunes for the CDs.
In the Music folder of Windows (I never had a Mac desktop), right-click, and select “Copy to Synology server.” Right click and “add to audio player,” on the Synology file explorer. Add playlists, and add MP3s to playlists. Install Disk Station to every mobile device, and voila, you have your entire record collection available to be played on any stereo. Although you’ll need a stereo with Bluetooth — built-in, or after-market with an adapter by Harmon Kardon (like I have, I paid something like $55, now they’re about $25), or a similar brand.
Regrettably, I don’t have today’s prices to recreate my client-server MP3 player. But I did pay approximately $245 for the server, where the server was $125, and the disks $60 apiece. Your music collection, you might have already. Audacity and iTunes are freeware. The stereo Bluetooth adapters are $25 apiece, and newer stereos often have Bluetooth already.
Your server is hard-wired to either your gateway, or a WiFi extender. Newer TVs can be set up with a WiFi, Roku HDMI dongle, and its Media Center. If you don’t have a HDMI connector (as in an older TV), you need to buy an HDMI to RF (radio frequency) converter, which goes into your TVs coaxial, antenna connector.
You can also just skip the server stuff, and copy your MP3s onto a USB drive, and put it into a smart TV with a USB connector. These newer TVs likely have a media center app, which will likely launch with the USB drive put into the connector.
I originally bought the Synology server as work backup, but now I use it mostly for the purposes mentioned here.
If this sounds like a lot of gibberish, don’t bother, you’re probably find this too frustrating to complete. Otherwise, a lot of bang for the buck, eh?
T-Mobile has a great deal on Internet service. For $50 per month, you get a 5G Internet gateway for the entire house. It can be placed anywhere as it is not installed by a technician. You pay nothing for the gateway, although you have to return it if you cancel service. The plan can be quit at any time. I am very satisfied with both the cost, and the quality of service with the Internet connections.
[Editor’s note: I am not reimbursed for this recommendation.]
If you live in an area where most of the television stations are East or West of your home (as I do), then positioning your over-the-air antenna on a North or South wall will produce poor results, you will receive few stations.
Positioning the antenna on a East or West wall can make a tremendous difference. With a North-South orientation, I received four sub-channels even affixed to a window, but with East-West positioning, I received over thirty subchannels.
Reception is best past sunset, when the ionosphere is less active.
Use random passwords generated by a password manager such as Lastpass. The problem being they can be a pain to reenter and remember, because they’re gibberish. The plus side being, baddies cannot hack you, ever.
Two words: Dedicated hotspots. Your library probably has them. These can be used to get the internet free for up to fifteen devices.
I own a Synology client-server arrangement with the music app, Disk Station. This allows every iPod, iPhone, Roku television, and Fire Stick in my home to connect to MP3s digitized via Audacity. The MP3s are all stored on the Synology server, and distributed via wi-fi.
I greatly increased my signal reception of my stereo receiver by flattening out, and lengthening, my antenna cable. I was very surprised by the increased number of stations with much better reception.
When hooking up an antenna to a stereo receiver, choose 300Ω (ohms of resistance), not 75Ω, if amplifying the signal. You will need the greater impedance because the amplification will drown out the entire FM spectrum. 75Ω can still be used when: away from the city; the signals are weaker; there isn’t antenna amplification; so impedance of the signal, electrical resistance, needs to be less. You can play around until you maximize signal strength (antennas do not draw house current).
One night, I had a local radio station be the entire band of reception, until I suppressed the signal with 300Ω.
I just got a great deal from knarith15 on eBay, for a Denon DRW-660, Dual Deck cassette player. I paid $36, and $30 shipping. $30 shipping may sound steep, but it was really well-packaged for any weather.
At first, it wasn’t playing any cassettes, and I thought that I bought a lemon. But as more and more cassettes successfully played, as the cogs started moving again after a probable long respite, I was extremely impressed, especially the high fidelity at full volume (I bought a hi-fi deck, to be played with the analog Vector Research amplifier, hi-fi).
Audio cassettes are at least a forty-year-old technology, and I wasn’t expecting too much from the product. Yet, I was duly impressed. Unlike phonographs for vinyl records, tape decks can play media indefinitely, without interruption.
Denon is a Japanese, high-end manufacturer of audio products that has been in business since 1910.
How this headstone was finely engraved, with font fidelity, in 1764, in the Colonial era, is a real mystery. There weren’t any power tools, and Long Island doesn’t have a steel quarry to make chisels. Did the headstone maker bring the tools over from the Old World. And why does the angel look like an alien from outer space? Many headstones have that sculptured image of an angel with wings.
Have you ever taken “The Tour”? For years now, you’ve put off going to the local cemetery. Not to channel your loved ones with a box of tissues, but rather to investigate life antebellum as evidenced through headstone inscriptions. Well, now you don’t have to slog the family to the gravesite, kids and beach chairs in tow, for their history lesson. I have done all the legwork for you, free of charge, for a limited time only. Visit the dead, they must get mighty lonely, and you don’t want any Halloween-spirit, tumultuous, Dawn of the Dead-style rebellion, do you? 5/03/23.
By the way, if you find a headstone whose lettering is in relief, above the stone, and not engraved into the tombstone, you are hallucinating. Either that, or the stone was engraved by another civilization, not our own. A tombstone with raised lettering is impossible, even today. If you find a tombstone with raised lettering, the grave is of an alien life form. Just sayin’.
I hope that you enjoy reading the Other Letter, as much as I enjoy writing this. That said, I do not have an editor, so please take this website, as is, with typos, incomplete exposition of thesis, etcetera. It’s just my hobby, and with thirty-five visitors a day, my appeal is rather limited, but I do enjoy creating this. In terms of quality control, my motto is the same as Uncle Sam’s: “Good enough for government work.” (No offense towards government workers.)
Here’s a pointer: Read this while sober, or you won’t pick up on some of the nuances in the writing.
As seen on my most recent, weekly web statistics, I received sixty visitors a day.
I never have any intention of offending anyone, but I do hope people think in newer, more humanitarian ways upon reading what I write here. I am on the left side of the political spectrum (some might say far, far left), but not always. Trump’s skepticism towards COViD-19 I found to be very refreshing, but I do believe he was a fish out of water once he left the business world for Washington.
If you do not like what I have on offer here, I understand there are other websites available that you can read.
The Other Letter is a web log, or blog. I log what goes on in my life, be these events, or ideas, be they consequential, or not so consequential. I don’t always avoid the esoteric.
I sometimes write tongue-in-cheek, or apropos of nonsense, prompting the reader to exclaim: “Is he serious, or is he making light of ultra-serious topics. Hey Other, cool it about Trump’s hair being day-glo orange, we all got hair, okay?! You think your hair color is so great for godsakes?!” The intellectual level of my readers varies alot.
Also, before you hire a hitman to “correct” a piece about church attendance, actually read the article about church attendance (which I haven’t yet written, but likely won’t, hitman are a dime a dozen in a weaker economy.)
I enjoy irreverence. If discussion of slave-laborers use of a appallingly stingy, $2,500 stipend for dessert Fridays, rubs you the wrong way, call on Martha Stewart (of all people) who learned well the prohibition against insider trading, to save you from liberal expression. (If this last sentence is gibberish to you, I don’t know what to say other than consider purchasing a newspaper, they are available every day at convenience stores, and libraries.)
a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.”
I am a blogger, one who blogs. (Having written eight screenplays, I would hope to be a produced screenwriter, but that remains to be seen.)
Use parental controls, if you feel this website is inappropriate for your Junior. I would try to translate this caveat into other languages, but I’m pretty sure the English translation is all that is necessary.
Nice to begin on a snide note, isn’t it? I get the impression that parents despise a website that doesn’t have any porn, drug references, or profanity, so I am more than a little concerned that the American body politic has gone mad (although I do have frank discussions of gender and race relations).
How many times do I need to say it — a hundred times?
The Other Letter is anti-drugs, anti-pornography, pro-cops, and anti-police brutality, as well as being pro-religion, or more accurately, pro-spirituality.
This webzine is designed for adults with an open mind, it is not meant for the close-minded, the drug-addled, teenagers, or those looking to file lawsuits. Anyone else, enjoy a nineteen-year effort without any cost to you.
Try to keep in mind that this blog is not the Harvard Law Review. It is written solely by myself, without input from any other human being. If you do not appreciate the content here, visit The New York Times (although they charge beyond ten articles a month)...
The latest complaint about this website is that I am not qualified to write it. Admittedly, I am a four-degreed super-genius (two degrees, the M.B.A., and the M.S. in Computer Science, are advanced), with a wide variety of interests that I regularly research and explore. There isn’t any truth to the rumor that I have spent my life knocking back brew, smoking dope, and frequenting prostitutes. I do enjoy thinking about topics outside of everyday concern.
The EULA: I assume no legal responsibility for anything written here. If you do not like the content here, find another source of content. (Hey, the biggest players have their end-user license agreements absolving themselves of all resposnsibility for their Corvairs.) I am a whistleblower, and a muckraker. On May the 10th of 2023, according to my web host, I had 55 visitors. I have a very small readership, but writing is a big joy I have in life, so I keep at it.
I, as well as the Founding Fathers, endorse the free exchange of ideas.
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(Incorporated since July 28th, 2010; domain registration, September 1st, 2004.)
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