My personal tsundoku

Once you truly accept the fictional chaos wrought by the alphabet, it’s hard to take a forceful stance against any other organizing principle. Books designed with the same color jackets are more likely to have things—themes, moods, genres—in common than books shoved together by their authors’ last names. Retellings? Coming of age stories? Books you read in college? Why not put them in clusters? Why not put a book by another book that it feels like, shelve Angela Carter where she can argue with the Grimms, leave Lev Grossman buddied up to C.S. Lewis, or put every book you read in middle school into its own shelf? (I keep being tempted to reshelve my books in the order in which I read them—a High Fidelity-esque notion that would probably end in tears and a large glass of whiskey.)

Your books are your books, and you get to decide what to do with them.

(Via Molly Templeton at

Mine are a roughly clumped collection of broad topics: container gardening, science fiction, philosophy, poetry, Japanese spas, thrift store finds I’ve yet to process, &c.

We might never get past classic rock

The reasons [for the new music market shrinking] are complex—more than just the appeal of old tunes—but the end result is unmistakable: Never before in history have new tracks attained hit status while generating so little cultural impact. In fact, the audience seems to be embracing en masse the hits of decades past. Success was always short-lived in the music business, but now it hardly makes a ripple on the attention spans of the mass market.

(Via Ted Gioia’s The Honest Broker)

Based on the expense I’m incurring to reestablish my physical media library, especially with music, this rings true.

Me v49.0

I hit another annual milestone the other day, pushing my release version to 49.0.

V48 was surprisingly good given the current state of things. In no particular order:

    I moved out of my sister’s family’s house
    I moved into a rental house I adored with my son
    I went to Seoul for work 2 times for a total of 5 months
    Fun weird layover in San Francisco where I got to hang out with my sister-in-law
    I got out and away with my SO as often as practical, including a surprisingly delightful trip to Huntsville, AL
    I stayed in school … barely
    I bought a house that I love
    Lots of quality family and SO time including a zany Thanksgiving in Connecticut

What does v49 hold in store?

Who knows. It’ll be a journey, that’s for sure.

I want the island to be an island

Thor Vikström has gotten countless calls from developers wanting to buy his seven-acre island that he can see from his Quebec home. He has owned the island since the 1960s, and fiercely protects it as a natural habitat.

Developers pleaded with him to sell so they could build roads, high-rises and bridges on it, he said.

“You think you’re going to destroy my island with that stupidity?” he recalled responding to the developers, who opened their bids decades ago at $500,000.

(Via WaPo 🎁 article)

Where I live developers are running roughshod over local governments, community groups, neighborhood associations, and any opposition to their unquenchable desire for more and more land under their terms.

Thus I love this story.



Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.

— Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) French Mathematician

Eighth-grade student launches a book club to discuss banned books

Eighth-grade student launches a book club to discuss banned books:

Joslyn Diffenbaugh, an 8th-grade student from Kutztown, Pennsylvania started the Teen Banned Book Club to discuss books that have been banned by the local school district. Nine students attended the first meeting on January 12 at Firefly Bookstore in Kutztown. They discussed George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

From Pennsylvania News Today:

In November, there was intense debate between parents and school board members at several meetings about LGBTQ + -themed books that would be available to high school library students. Worried parents said the book contained adult content with inappropriate graphics and demanded that the book be removed.

Director Christian Temchatin confirmed that the books in question were purchased by the district, but they were not placed on the shelves of the school library or made available to students. School officials did not specify the title of the book.

Following a challenge to the material or topic policy procedure, the book will be evaluated and will not be distributed until the process is complete. No further updates have been announced since then.

Damaging one bag of Doritos (unknown what flavor)


Police were called to the 7/11 at 3504 Hixson Pike on a call of an intoxicated woman. The clerk said a white drunk woman came into the store acting erratically. The clerk said the woman caused a disorder by yelling and bothering several of his patrons while damaging one bag of Doritos (unknown what flavor). He said the woman left prior to police arrival. The clerk said he would like to report the damaged Doritos (unknown flavor) caused by the unknown drunken woman.