Daily Archives: October 28, 2023



If you’re a Baby Boomer like me, mass shootings and war in the Middle East are both, depressingly, old news.

If you are a Millennial or Gen Z, you might be hopeful that there are solutions to both problems. That’s a good thing. We need hope and solutions.

Or you might simply be hopelessly naïve.

I hate to say this, but as an old dude who’s been reading about war in the Middle East for my entire life, and about mass shootings for most of it … I give up.

Good luck, younger people.





Good Halloween viewing: The Traitors


Second-rate celebrities mix with regular folks to play a murder game at a cool-as-fuck Scottish mansion. I thought I might hate it. But I am four episodes in and very much hooked.






Bad Halloween viewing: Malignant


James Wan has directed some great horror flicks (the first Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring), and this movie is never boring. It’s just stupid. Very stupid.

Let me count the ways it is bad: continuity errors (daylight in one shot, nighttime a shot later), special effects that look like special effects, hackneyed dialogue, and too damn many jump scares.

If you want to see a better movie with a similar theme, check out Brian De Palma’s Sisters.






Proper way to eat with a fork?


It doesn’t seem possible that I have lived as many years as I have, yet only recently have I noticed so many people eating food with their forks turned the wrong way.

I use my fork the way the lady does in the picture above, not the way it’s used by the dude.

Have I been wrong all these years? Tines up, or tines down? Important question.





I have yet to see Old Dads on Netflix, but I do enjoy Bill Burr’s stand-up routines and his podcasts. The headline above irritates me.

It implies that critics are to be trusted and the viewing public is a collection of dopes. Makes me want to see the movie even more.


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by Leo Tolstoy


Prior to reading this novella, I’d read just two books by the great Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy’s gargantuan War and Peace was, in my humble opinion, much more entertaining in its “peace” parts than in its “war” parts. I remember thinking Anna Karenina was very, very good … but I recall absolutely nothing about the story. (In my defense, it has been many years since I read these books.)

I suspect that The Death of Ivan Ilyich, weighing in at less than 80 pages, will stick with me much longer than will the two Tolstoy magnum opuses.

The story is simple, yet concentrated and vivid. In it, a Russian judge develops an incurable illness and then slowly and oh-so painfully, expires. That’s it. Yet Tolstoy successfully puts the reader in bed with poor Ivan and forces us to endure all his pains, physical and psychological.

The big question that Tolstoy asks us to ponder is whether there is truth in Socrates’s dictum, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”


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