Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mark Shea Reluctantly Finds Agreement With Jonah Goldberg

In a recent post, Mark Shea reluctantly finds himself in agreement with conservative writer, Jonah Goldberg. I say reluctantly because I suspect that Shea does not normally agree with Goldberg on very much, but now, because Goldberg is being critical of Donald Trump, Shea gives Goldberg faint praise.

I've been a fan of Goldberg for quite a long time. His 2008 book, Liberal Fascism is a favorite of mine. Goldberg's criticisms of Trump do not surprise me at all.

In Shea's blog piece - linked to above - he mentions re-reading Perelandra. My immediate reaction was that it's so typical of Shea to reference "sci-fi nerdy stuff" when trying to make a point. In all fairness, I haven't read any of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy and I should give it a shot before being too harsh toward the work. I'm hoping that the trilogy is better than Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. I read that book in 2016 and was sadly disappointed.

The books in the trilogy - Out of the Silent PlanetPerelandra and That Hideous Strength - are in the public domain in Canada, and are available as pdf at a Canadian website. A Google search of each title, plus "pdf" will lead one where one wants to go in order to download the books.

Today's Piglet Report


Although not ripe, the fruit growing on the tree at our apartment complex has begun to fall off the tree at a pretty steady pace. It doesn't take long to collect a small bag full. After taking my son to school, and taking my morning walk, I drove out to the property in Magatas to take the collected fruit to the pigs.

My wife's papa had already fed the pigs, but being pigs, they were ready for a snack when I arrived. The adult pigs see me arrive and it's like Pavlov's dogs......they're so used to me giving them a bite to eat, that they begin squeeling right away.

I divide the fruit; I pick madre de agua leaves. The adults appear to like the leaves and the fruit equally. The piglets seem to prefer the madre de agua.

The mama pig has been removed from the pen where ahe gave birth to the piglets, and returned to one of the older pens. For the time being, the five remaining piglets will remain in the new pen. They will have to be moved, however when the now pregnant sow is ready to farrow.



Friday, July 21, 2017

Comedians' Theme Songs


In my recent post on Al Bowlly, I put up a Youtube video of Bowlly's recording, with Lew Stone's orchestra of  Love in Bloom. The tune is best remembered today as the theme song of comedian Jack Benny. It was only during these days of Youtube that I learned the song actually has lyrics.

Growing up during the early days of TV, I received a heavy dose of old radio comedians such as Benny, Bob Hope and Burns and Allen as they made the move over to television. Unlike comedians today, these comedians had "theme songs" which became identified with their persona. Benny had "Love in Bloom, Hope had Thanks for the Memory, while the theme song for Burns and Allen was The Love Nest, written by Louis Hirsch.

I learned yesterday - thanks to the Internet - that the Benny theme and the Hope theme song were both written by the same song writing team, Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin. Having died in 1924, Hirsch would not reap the financial benefits of having his music played on radio and TV every time Burns and Allen made an appearance. Likewise, Rainger died in 1942 - long before Hope's heyday on television.

Leo Robin, however, lived until 1984 - dying long before Bob Hope, but ten years after Benny. I'm hoping he was able to live comfortably on the residuals.

Problems With Facebook

Unlike probably everyone else on the planet, I still prefer to take photos using my DSLR over photos taken with a Smartphone. To me, the quality of the photos is superior when using the DSLR.

If I have a reason to edit or enhance the photo, I find the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) downloaded onto my PC to be all I need.

Generally, this has worked well for me when uploading images for this blog as well as Google Maps and until recently, it has worked well when uploading the occasional photo to Facebook. I say recently, because about two weeks ago, I began experiencing problems using Facebook on my desktop computer.

I'm not quite sure if my problems involving Facebook stem from a shoddy Internet connection or the fact that my operating system is pre-historic. Could be a combination of the two. I can access pretty much every other site I need - with few problems. My wife has continued to use Facebook on her Smartphone with no problem, so I suspect the main culprit is Facebook cookies putting a burden on my pre-Facebook PC.

I don't really like using a phone for Facebook, but if I want to use Facebook at all now, it has to be with my iPhone. It's actually for the best, I'm sure. I find I don't bother to use the website nearly as much as I once did. I liked to "share" my blog posts onto Facebook, but I can do that well enough with the phone. I don't leave as many comments on other folks' posts as I might have in the past, and that's just as well.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Recent Brown-outs


Electrical power outages - known as brown-outs in Philippines - are not uncommon events, but here in Sibulan we've seemed to have been having more than our regular share this month. For the past ten days or so, we've had at least one, sometimes two, every day.

Not so many days ago, the scuttlebutt going around was that the increase in the number of brown-outs was due to damaged transformers resulting from an earthquake the first week of July. I wasn't buying into that because most of the damage from the earthquake was in Leyte with hardly any tremors being felt on Negros.

Today, while driving out to the property in Magatas I spotted workers, in two locations, putting up new power poles. One on the old Magatas road, and another where the new diversion road meets the old road.

I suspect that this new project could somehow be related to our outages. I don't know how long this work has been going on along the diversion road, and while this seems reasonable to me, we're in Philippines, after all, and the real reason for the recent brown-outs could be something totally unreasonable.