When October Goes

Fall tree foliage. Birght oranges and reds.
Fall color in the Crescent Hill area of Louisville, Kentucky

It has been a beautiful October, not only in my own backyard but also in the colorful pictures many of my social media friends shared from across America and Europe. I hate to see it go.

Lyricist Johnny Mercer left behind a portfolio of unfinished songs. Mercer and his wife were fans of the song “Mandy” by Barry Manilow because they had a daughter named Mandy. So, Mercer’s widow gave the songs to Manilow. “When October Goes” was one of them, and you can undoubtedly hear the Manilow style in it.

Lost love was the subject Mercer had in mind when he said farewell to October. Manilow, of course, has a version of this, but I like Kentucky’s own Rosemary Clooney’s recording of this bittersweet reverie from 1987.

Thought In Memory Of Thomas Brown

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.



Jasmine Roth of HGTV’s “Help, I Wrecked My House!”

It has been a long time since I’ve watched HGTV. A few years ago, the big thing was that Joanna person and her shiplap. She loved that stuff so much that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see her bring back “woody” station wagons by hanging shiplap on the side of her Chevy Suburban.

We’re in the middle of some renovation here at Squirrel Manor, so I gravitated toward HGTV once again. The formula hasn’t changed. Like all reality TV, there is little real about it, and nothing much happens during the hour-long episodes. They seem to exist merely as vehicles for Home Depot and Lowes commercials. But, there is now a whole new cast of people with sledgehammers busting down drywall and breaking up tile. I’ve also noticed shiny, brass plumbing fixtures and kitchen hardware are the hot things. I keep expecting to see one of the designers install a solid brass toilet.

I seldom see shiplap on the newer shows where the latest buzzword is “beachy.” If you are into alcohol, “beachy” could make a good HGTV drinking game. Watch out, however, you’ll get sloshed! My wife and I just shout out “Beachy!!!” every time we hear it.

Amanda Mull’s article for The Atlantic has some observations on The HGTV-ification of America.

Thought In Memory Of Thomas Brown

A flower blossoms for its own joy.

Oscar Wilde

Snapshot Of Happiness

Barney Fife impersonator at Mt. Airy’s Mayberry Days

Memories. A solo trip to Raleigh, North Carolina in my new 1991 Ford Probe. There, I met one of the computer scientists who developed digital audio. He had worked on the team that made the IBM 704 computer sing “A Bicycle Built for Two,” and he had built one of the first Windows-based digital audio workstations in the US.

After just five minutes of a demo showing me the miracle of non-linear audio editing, I knew I had to have it. For me, and the rest of the audio industry, this was the dawn of digital. No more tape hiss. No more razor blades and splicing tape. Unlimited “undos” with non-destructive editing. As many tracks as I’d ever want. This, and machines like it, changed everything in audio production.

Driving home through the Blue Ridge Mountains, filled with excitement about how I would put this new technology to work in my little business, I pulled into a small diner in Mt Airy, North Carolina. There was a Blue Plate Special, a plastic checkered tablecloth, and a waitress who told me I might want to drive into town and catch “Mayberry Days.” I did.

It was Andy Griffith’s hometown, all done up with reminders of the TV series their favorite son had made famous. I saw a small crowd of people walking behind a fellow who looked just like – – could it be? Is that really Barney Fife? No, but he was a damn good impersonator. He even had the walk down pat. I slowed to gawk and wave. Then, “Barney” yelled at me in that high, excited Don Knott’s voice “Get that car outa’ here!!” I obliged before he could pull out his citation pad and lick his pencil.

It was one of the happiest moments I can recall, as the past, present, and future seemed all wrapped together in that moment of laughter.

Thought In Memory Of Thomas Brown

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

J.R.R. Tolkien