November 2020


As enjoyed a drive across the prairie on Saturday I couldn’t help but marvel at the “pink layer” in the sky at sunset. In the photos we are looking to the east and the south. Behind us the sunset was a glorious red and orange, but the reflection against the haze on the eastern horizon was quite impressive as well.

Mother Nature can be so beautiful.


One of joys I have about meandering around rural areas of the country is taking photos of things I find interesting. Yesterday my husband and I drove across this railroad crossing at 55 MPH as we made our way along the county maintained roadway. But something caught my eye.

I did a U-turn and safely pulled off into a pullout alongside the crossing.

The photo above looks to the east of the roadway. The following two photos look to the west.

The railroad tracks go nowhere. There isn’t even room to park a rail car to the west of the crossing. The county went through the expense of building the cross, complete with warning lights (that are covered) for tracks that come to an abrupt end mere feet from the roadway.

I found this very interesting.

Where were the tracks headed? Is this a future industrial area that will be served by a big loop of railroad tracks?


One of the things that drives me crazy about the world today is the altering of history because folks don’t know what really happened. For example, when a person watches “Bewitched” through a streaming service or Me TV, they’re seeing the version someone edited down for 21st century commercial loads.

The theme music on the current viewings (or the official “archives”) of seasons three through five is completely wrong. Back in the mid 1990s Columbia Pictures took the theme music from the first season of “Bewitched” and matched it up with the animated opening from seasons three through five and called it history. It’s not. The first three color seasons of “Bewitched” (seasons 3 through 5) had a completely different arrangement of the familiar theme song. There were musical flourishes, vibrating vibraphones, and bings and bongs reminiscent of the vibe of the show. These were scrapped with the editing for DVD and streaming and someone just plopped season one’s intro music in place. It was easier. It didn’t require much effort.

So millennial.

On DJ and other music boards, I often read of millennials talking about the use of auto tune in the 1980s on the likes of music by Pet Shop Boys and The Human League. While I’m sure The Human League could have benefitted greatly with the use of auto-tune, the horrible, robotic, gentrification mechanism for music wasn’t invented until the late 1990s and didn’t come into widespread use until Cher’s “Believe”, which thrust this atrocity into the mainstream until no musical artist would be caught dead without the digital fakery this hideous invention affords us. I still consider auto tune to be one of the worst inventions in the history of mankind. Any “artist” that uses it is no “artist”, they’re a corporate sellout.

I’m digressing.

I guess my point is, I’m tired of people rewriting history based on loosely associated facts that have absolutely no merit being belched out on the Internet with some air of authority. I told my husband earlier today that one of the worst things about 2020 is that computers have become way too easy to use. You no longer need smarts to operate a computer. Send your social security number to an unknown author of an email and hope you get your millions. Idiots.

With all of this ranting going on, I will end this with two thoughts:

  1. “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie” were NEVER in the same league when it came to quality or ratings. “Bewitched” put ABC on the map and was in the Top 10 for years. “I Dream of Jeannie” never cracked the Top 30. It ranked somewhere around “The Mothers-In-Law” for NBC. Stop comparing the two series; they were never in the same league.
  2. The episodes of “Bewitched” you see today are nowhere near complete. They’ve had at least four minutes per episode yanked to make room for 21st century commercial needs. The versions you get on the DVD are the closest thing you’re going to get to complete, but they’re still not completely accurate and quite frankly, I’m sad the original versions are lost to history.

Shifting Searches.

Has anyone noticed the shift in Google over the past year or so? Back in the day of an informative Internet, one could search on a subject and get results back from fellow users on that subject. For example, a search for a Netgear network card would return results on reviews and blog entries from geeks who wanted to tell you how to get the Netgear network card in question working properly.

Today, a Google search on that same Netgear network card will return a Pinterest page to show you what network cards looks like when collected by someone using Pinterest, followed by a bunch of links as to where to buy the network card in question. Three or four pages deep into the search results you might find a blog entry or something describing a geek’s experience with said network card, but Google is going to do its best to hide that information from you. Google wants you to view an ad and buy, not read about other geek experiences with this particular piece of hardware.

This is what keeps the United States of America running, right? Buying things. Think you have COVID-19? Buy an oximeter. How effective are the proposed COVID-19 vaccines? You can get them at your CVS Minute Clinic when they become available. Do you want a review on “The Mandalorian”? Subscribe to Disney+ to see what all the hype about “baby Yoda” is. The biggest concern with the pandemic has been the blocking of the ability to buy things and keep the economy moving. Dead Americans? They don’t count; they’re closing down restaurants.

I actually tried to do a search on AltaVista tonight just to bring back the good old days. AltaVista is long gone and the replacement site wants to buy Christmas gifts.

We’re not doing Christmas gifts this year.

If you’re wondering what I’m blathering on about around this “AltaVista”, it’s one of the original search engines from the late 1990s. Originally released by my old alma mater, Digital Equipment Corporation (or DEC), AltaVista allowed you to search the web without telling you what to buy. There were others; Excite comes to mind as well. Like AltaVista, Excite is long gone. They didn’t tell us what to buy. They didn’t encourage us to keep the economy moving. So they’re gone. It’s the American way. Buy something. Buy your health insurance. Not working? Die.

You know what I miss? The free exchange of information by reputable geeks that weren’t out to make a fast buck and more important, reputable geeks that wouldn’t think of populating the Internet with falsehoods, lies, and other forms of misinformation. Google doesn’t like the old ways, Twitter doesn’t like the old way, Facebook doesn’t like the old ways. Spend money, make the investors and shareholders happy, the truth is not important. Commerce is important. The economy is important. Nothing else is important.

Spend. Money.

My husband and family and I were talking about where we’d like to live if we decide to leave Chicago. I mentioned that I dream of leaving the continent, but no one else in the family has an interest in doing so.

I guess I can Google about what it’s like living in Europe or Asia or Antartica. I’ll probably have to buy something to make it worthwhile.

Twitter Jail.

One of my Twitter accounts is currently in Twitter Jail for 12 hours. I responded to a woman claiming COVID is really no big deal because 330 million people die per year on U.S. roadways. I called her incredibly stupid and asked her to put her head in a microwave.

She reported me for encouraging self-harm.

Despite the fact that you can’t run a microwave with the door open, you must be incredibly weak and fragile to be insulted by something that was fun 35 years ago on The Golden Girls.

I used to get upset about getting thrown in Twitter jail because I felt I was being a bad Internet citizen. But since Twitter is so incredibly arbitrary with their rules and guidelines these days, I am happy that someone noticed my attempt at humor.


One of my favorite songs of all time, here’s an amazing “2020” cover of Swing Out Sister and “Breakout”.


We are having a small Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. My husband has already baked multiple pies, carved up the first of an assortment of turkeys, and apparently has five loaves of bread waiting for something spectacular tomorrow.


The neighbors down the street have opted to go with a pink motif for their holiday decorating. There’s a part of me that’s wondering if this associated with the Christmas movie being filmed in the neighborhood, as this house is just a couple of houses down from the house their using as a film set. (Hence the cone on the street).

This was taken at 5:00 PM in the afternoon and it is quite striking. I don’t really think of this color as being all that Christmas-y, but it is certainly festive.