Top Five From WCFL On This Date In 1973

Another departure for the Rainbow Bridge today (our Devon Rex, Milton) means I’m feeling a little down, so if it seems like I’m mailing it in, I probably am.

One of my friends in ’73 was the son of the station manager at WCFL, so today’s survey is from that year.

#5: Three Dog Night, “Pieces Of April” Only reached #19 nationally, and I can’t remember hearing this one. This was their song between “Black And White” and “Shambala.”

#4: Jethro Tull, “Living In The Past” Title track from their 1972 compilation album, this originally appeared on 1969’s Stand Up.

#3: Billy Paul, “Me And Mrs. Jones” Billy was another victim of 2016, if you want to look at it that way. He died in April from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81. Love the way he smokes the cigar and sings at the same time.

#2: Timmy Thomas, “Why Can’t We Live Together” Title track from his 1972 album. It was just him, singing, playing organ and programming the drum machine.

#1: Carly Simon, “You’re So Vain” I don’t think Carly has ever really revealed who this song was about. I always heard Mick Jagger, but then I hear Warren Beatty, David Cassidy, and a host of others. She’s said it was about three different men, but hasn’t said who they are, and personally, I don’t care.

And there’s our Friday Five for January 20, 2017.

Transcendentalism #JusJoJan

Today’s secret woid for Just Jot It January was selected for us by Deborah Drucker, who blogs over at Notes Tied On The Sagebrush, and it is transcendence.

Naturally, I thought immediately of Transcendentalism, which became popular in the Northeast in the mid-19th Century. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were two of its more famous adherents, as well as Walt Whitman and Louisa May Alcott.


Ralph Waldo Emerson. Source: Wikipedia

Wikipedia tells us “Transcendentalism was rooted in English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, the skepticism of Hume, and the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant and of German Idealism. It was also influenced by Indian religions, especially the Upanishads.” It also tells us “Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual, and had faith that people are at their best when truly ‘self-reliant’ and independent.” (Emphasis mine.)

One of Emerson’s essays was “Self-Reliance,” in which he says “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” Read the whole thing, and think to what extent our institutions (the political parties, government, the news media, academia, etc.) have “corrupted” our “purity” as “individuals”…

The Last Time I Dressed Up (Writer’s Workshop)

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I don’t do dressed up. Neither does Mary. Jeans and polo shirts for me, jeans and a knit top for Mary. Before the stroke, it was khakis and polo shirts. Even when I was working. For a while, I had to wear a tie, so then it was a light blue Oxford cloth shirt and one of my five ties. I had six, except I taught a class in Hawai’i and one of my students, telling me that no one in Hawai’i wears a tie, cut it off me. Just as well. I didn’t like that tie.

The last time I can remember wearing a suit and tie was after I was laid off in 2008. I had put resumes out and got a call from an insurance company who said they needed trainers. This was post-stroke, so I had to get a clip-on tie and dig my one suit out of my closet and have it cleaned and altered. I got all dressed up and Mary drove me to a location way north of where we live, to a small office, where someone read questions to me and took down my answers, then asked me to show up for a training session that evening. I walked out after the interview, got in the car, and never looked back. The whole thing had an “Amway” feel to it. (With apologies to people who work for Amway.) I was a professional trainer, they wanted an insurance salesman. If I wanted to do that, I’d walk into traffic, praying for someone to put me out of my misery. (Again, with apologies to insurance salesmen.)

We did stop at Walgreens for chocolate bars and other stuff on the way home. So the trip wasn’t a total loss.

Kat’s prompt was, obviously enough, “Tell us about the last time you dressed up. What was the occasion?”

Rubbish, Trash, Garbage, and Refuse #JusJoJan

“Rubbish” isn’t a word that gets used much in the United States or Canada. We have “trash” and “garbage” instead. So what’s the difference between “trash” and “garbage”? I always think of garbage as food, things like bones, orange peels, coffee grounds, stuff that molded in the refrigerator that we find when we’re playing “What Was This?” Also things like cat litter, cat food cans, bags, and boxes. Trash is anything else, like lawn clippings, stuff you clean out of the basement or garage, things like that.

Back in the days of the old Yellow Pages, they would have a section on city, county, and state services, and one of the services was “rubbish removal.” I got the impression that this was for big things, like furniture. Other than that, we rarely used the term. And “refuse”? I guess it could encompass all three of these.

“Refuse” is one of those words that can be used as a noun or a verb. As a noun, you pronounce is “REFuse,” as in “Take out all this refuse.” As a verb, you pronounce it “reFUSE,” as in “I refuse to take out the refuse.” That’s confusing…

My wife told me, “Take out the garbage.” I said, “I already took out the garbage.” She said, “Then go out and keep an eye on it.” – Rodney Dangerfield


“Rubbish” was suggested by Wendy over at Wendy’s Waffle. Linda Hill runs Just Jot It January from her blog, so hike over there if you want to play.