The Rain In Rein Falls Mainly On The Reign #socs

I have a pet peeve: it’s free rein, not free reign. “Free rein” is an equestrian term; the OED says it means “a rein held loosely to allow a horse free motion; the freedom that this gives a horse.” When applied to humans, it means “autonomy,” as in “You have free rein to go where you want to.”

Sorry to go all Sister Mary Antagonista on you, but man! Drives me nuts.


As for “rain,” everyone knows by now about my YouTube “Rain” playlist, so we don’t have to talk about that. We’ve been having some incredible rain this week, thanks to Tropical Storm Cindy, which hasn’t caused as much damage as we believed it would. The forecast for here tells us the remnants of Cindy are going to join forces with an incoming cold front tonight, and the results could be exciting, as in “hurry up and get in the basement.”

(I probably should mention I’m writing this on Friday afternoon, because I’m at Starbucks and Linda has been kind enough to get the prompt out there early enough)

Has anyone else noticed that TV meteorologists get really excited when there’s severe weather and they get a chance to show off all their tools? We missed most of Jeopardy! last night because there was the threat of tornadoes in a county about fifty miles away from where we live. The guy was practically hopping up and down when he said, “we have to stay on the air with this until the storm passes!” Great. Let’s go watch The Munsters. Guess we’ll find out tonight who won yesterday.

It’s been a busy week. We had our six-month tooth cleanings on Monday, and it appears we’re in for a lot more time at the dentist than usual. Oh, joy. On Tuesday, we had the roofer come out because, thanks to the heavy rain Monday, we seem to have a leak, and that will probably result in men climbing around on the roof and banging on it in the near future. I was back to physical therapy for more lymphatic drainage on Wednesday, because last year’s efforts didn’t last. I’ve got a different therapist this time, and we’ll see how well this lasts.

So, that’s it from my end…


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now, a word from our sponsors.

We Now Conclude Our Broadcast Day #socs

It wasn’t that long ago that TV stations in the United States, and probably the rest of the world, had a definite broadcast day. The station would fired up its transmitter in the morning and sign on, then at night they would sign off and turn the transmitter off. In the early days, stations might sign on and off several times during the day, maybe sign on at 7 AM and off at 10 AM, then on at noon and off at 3 PM, then on at 6 PM and stay on until sometime after midnight. Gradually, stations would sign on once in the morning and stay on all day, signing off in the early morning hours the day after.

Here is a sign off from WBBM Channel 2 Chicago from the late Seventies.

The signoff was like the station saying, “TV’s over for today, go to bed.” If you fell asleep with the TV on, you woke up either to the color bars or static, i.e. the “ant races.”

Now, stations are on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (366 in leap years) and sign ons and sign offs are an oddity from the past, of interest only to weird people like me.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now here’s Betty Furness for Westinghouse televisions.

More Internet Follies #socs

I finally got Comcast to admit that the problems I’ve been having are at their end, and they agreed to send someone out Tuesday to figure out what’s wrong.

Naturally, the Internet is working fine now, but I’m going to have them look anyway, because as sure as God made little green apples, it’s going to go out again, and damned if it hasn’t happened again. No, never mind, it looks fine now.

It’s the weirdest thing. When it’s cloudy (even raining and storming) and/or cool outside, it seems to be all right. When it’s hot and sunny, we have trouble. We’ll be going on fine, suddenly nothing seems to be getting through even though all the lights on the modem are burning bright, then the modem resets and it goes through the process of restarting, and it takes a number of tries by the hardware to establish a connection to the Internet, and often I have to do a hard reset by pulling the plug and plugging it back in after a minute. They say “you can use the Xfinity smartphone app to send a signal to the modem,” and I tell them I do that and nothing happens.

So we’ll have to see what they say on Tuesday. I’ll be working from Starbucks tomorrow, so I can get a lot done then (I can usually knock out three entries in an afternoon). Stay tuned for further updates.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from our sponsors.

Hey! What’s The Weather For The Weekend Gonna Be? #socs

Will it be hot? Cold? Rain? Snow?

I write a lot about the weather, whether it’s good or bad. I’ve done several posts of songs about the weather, including this, this, this, this, and this. I’ve also talked about wanting to be a weatherman, here, here, and here. I don’t know whether you want to go back and look at the posts; I did, and had a lot of fun doing it.

Do you ever do that, go back through your posts and get lost re-reading them? I know I do. Maybe on days when I don’t feel like doing this, I’ll start re-running the old posts. Hasn’t happened yet. You know what else I find when I do that? People who haven’t commented in a while. I need to go back and try and catch up with them. I wonder if any of them are still blogging.

Speaking of commenting: One of the biggest problems I’ve found is commenting on Blogger sites. Not leaving comments, mind you, but getting the replies. Let’s call it an inconvenience and a hassle. You can check a box on the form that says “Email me followup comments,” but then you get every comment, starting with yours, in your email. You then have to figure out whether the email you get is directed at you or someone else. I think I have a pretty workable solution: when I leave a comment on a Blogger site, I put the article in Pocket and tag it “comment.” That reminds me to go back and check the comment and see if there are any replies to it. You might want to try that.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from OnTV, Chicagoland’s first pay TV.

Smell You Later #socs

Saw this on Instagram shortly after learning this week’s word was “smell.”

😏😏😏 #uberfacts

A post shared by UberFacts (@uberfacts) on

Ever notice that, smell is good, it’s an “aroma,” and when it’s bad, it’s an “odor”? Like the aroma of coffee, but the odor from an outhouse? I mean, no one ever talks about the odor of Chanel No. 5 or the aroma of a corpse flower…

I worked for a man at a department store once who smelled like he never bathed. I feel sorry for the guy now, but back then, everyone in the department laughed behind his back. One day a customer said something to someone in the office, and they transferred him to a position where he had no customer contact. It was probably a cultural thing; the guy was from Eastern Europe and probably moved here sometime around World War II. Maybe he knew he smelled bad but not what to do about it. On the other hand, maybe the people in the office had spoken to him, and he didn’t do anything about it.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Jell-o.