It snowed, and then it stopped. This left a five inches of fluff on the gazebo roof. Even though it’s metal, I’m not taking any chances. Oh, I know you’re waiting for another gazebo disaster story; it’s been a Bleat mainstay for a decade, if not more. If ever this one goes down, you won’t know about it, because a meteor will have struck the block.

Usually I get up on a ladder and pull the snow off with a big broom. This means dumping it on myself in the process. It brushes off. It’s not like scooping leeches on yourself while you’re wearing a Speedo. Sure, some goes down the front of your coat. Sure, it blows in your face. But we’re hardy idiots up here. We laugh at things like this. We also laugh at the monkey wearing pants. ha ha he thinks he’s people

Anyway. The big broom was gone. The handle had been loose for years, and I guess I made a command decision last year to toss it. Did I get another one right away? Oh no. So I used a pathetic little scrubbing brush about a foot wide, and it took forever. At least the snow was gone!

And then it snowed again. Five inches of new fluff on the roof. This means I must get another broom, and if I’m smart, I can draw this out into a multi-hour Saturday errand. Off to Home Depot; got a nice one. INDUSTRIAL GRADE. Got all the snow off.

And then it snowed again.

I was en route to Orchestra Hall to MC the second concert of the season. As I said in a tweet: when I first started this, I was concerned about the shine on the tips of my shoelaces; now, 22 years later, it's eh, my fly's probably zipped up. It was a fantastic concert - one of the kids did a marimba concerto movement. A five-octage marimba. You could land an F-22 on that thing. By the time I got up to announce the last piece, the concert had been going for 2 hours and 45 minutes, and I said "it's been quite the concert, eh?" Applause and cheers. "We're going to close now with the entirety of Wagner's Ring Cycle. Good news the snow will be gone by the time we're done."

Ha ha I kill myself, I know. Hardy har.

Here's how utterly hiliarious I was:


Speaking of music - I’ve been thinking about this story today: "Average person stops seeking out new music by age 28: survey"

Not true, in my case. I find all sorts of current music I like. This makes me unusual? Yes! Statistics!

Brazilians reached musical paralysis the earliest, at 23 years and two months, while Germans stayed curious the longest, hitting paralysis at 31 years old.

A majority across the five countries said they wished they could encounter more new music.

If only there was a way they could find it

Demanding work schedules were the top reason given for having closed ears, with others cited including child care duties and a sense of being overwhelmed by musical choice.

I wonder if the people who hit paralysis really want to encounter more new music, or if it's something they feel compelled to say to sound cool. You have to be up on the latest to be cool, and this condition must persist your entire life.

Not necessarily.

1. It is possible to stop listening to new music because the new top-40 music not only sounds worse than what you like, it is objectively, empirically, actually, provably worse than 20 years ago. Pop music has been meticulously produced for decades, but the recent examples are so removed from the act of performing that you’re struck by the artifice before anything else.

If the hook’s good, it’ll draw you in. But if there’s no hook, just bass and samples and some one talking quickly about their various incontrovertable atttributes, it’s junk. It may have sociopolitical importance for future historians, but it’s narcissistic anti-music. Ninety-nine percent of everything is crap, as the saying goes, but of the 1% of rap that's good, 99% of that is crap. Says me, anyway.

2. There’s more good stuff than ever, and if you’re still listening to the stuff you liked when you were 28, you’ve failed yourself. It’s a small failure. But a failure anyway.

3. Your musical tastes do not make you special. The fact that you like music does not make you special. The fact that you like musically generally regarded by smart, tasteful people doesn’t make you special. Your preferences have no moral component. The fact that I appreciate classical music means I have more sophisticated tastes than someone who just listens to headbanger rock. (I also like some headbanger rock so you can’t get me there.) But it doesn't mean I'm a good person or even an interesting person.

There is a heirarchy; Beethoven is better than Bob Marley. People who get annoyed by this assertion find it a personal attack. It's not. It's just a fact. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with listening to Marley. But don't expect everyone to participate in the delusion that it's somehow all the same. If it sounds good, it is good: I agree. We can leave it at that.



This year Black and White World will do some TV, because it was Black and White as well. Still is, if you fiddle with the controls.

What's this one? You may know right away, but don't shout out the answer. Let the rest of the class get it.

A hellish future battlescape, with light beams scouring an empty world:

It’s one dead-souled future soldier . . .

versus another.

They’ve been trained to feel nothing but the desire to fight and kill. They have never known love! And now they must fight, because this is 1964 and everyone knows the future is going to suck.

Hey, he’s got one of those high-def Radio Shack watches:

Ah, but sometimes when they touch, the honesty's too much:


They end up in Our Time. One of them is arrested by the police, and taken to the psych hospital. A kindly scientist who’s an expert in languages is sent to help out:

Michael Shayne!

The future soldier, can’t abide noise, because he’s used to wearing a helmet that muffles everything except the commands to KILL and KILL NOW. Soon Lloyd realizes he is a soldier, because he’s just repeating his name and serial number.

Eventually, they communicate, and Dr. Lloyd realizes he’s from Earth’s future - and that there’s another future soldier out there coming for him. BZZZT and he appears:

Does any of this sound familiar? Two warriors from a horible future, sent back to track each other through the past?

It's the Outer Limits. Good thing the author wasn't known for his contentiousness:

The rest of the story:

Most damning, though, was a quote from James Cameron — which was supposed to have appeared in a magazine called Starlog — in which the director gave an interview about The Terminator ahead of its release. When asked where he got the idea from, he said: “I ripped off a few Outer Limits segments.” This sentiment was apparently repeated when a friend of Ellison’s visited the set of the film and Cameron said that he’d “ripped off a few of Ellison’s short stories” to make the script for Terminator. Now, the quote above is NOT in the final interview (I have the physical issue, plus you can read it here), because purportedly, the editors of Starlog were asked (forced?) by one of James Cameron’s assistants to alter the piece before it went to print. Still, it’s widely acknowledged that the studio paid Ellison something in the range of 65,000 as a settlement.

It's pretty good, and One more thing: the doctor's house has a magazine:

ABUL? ABUI? It's obviously a prop intended to make you think "It's Life, but it's not".

Which could be the motto for this February winter.

Well, here we go with another Tranch O'Bleats - see you tomorrow! Or today, on the Twitter. Have a fine Monday.




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