Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

Evacuation Day, Removal Day

March 20, 2018

March 17th is not only St. Patrick’s Day, but also, in Suffolk Co., Massachusetts, Evacuation Day (of Lord Howe from Boston). And March 15th is not only the Ides of March, but in the Trazwicky (Transue + Zwicky) household for many years also Removal Day (from Palo Alto to Columbus OH). Days for leaving.



March 14, 2018

Today’s Zippy has our Pinhead in thrall to books:


My houses have always been like libraries; my Staunton Ct. condo in Palo Alto is in fact labeled Kirjasto Zwicky (‘Zwicky Library’ in Finnish, with kirjasto, lit. ‘book-place’). But for almost two years now, I’ve been abandoning the many thousands of books and dozens of file cabinets of papers there, to transform the place into something like an ordinary house. Still, both that place and the Ramona St. house I live in are distinctly bookish (though no longer with bookstacks).


Call me by your name

March 1, 2018

The Mother Goose and Grimm, from February 21st:


A joke playing on use and mention: Grimmy mentions the name of the Oscar-nominated movie Call Me by Your Name, but Ralph understands him to be using the expression call me your your name, so he calls Grimmy Ralph.

That leads us to the movie and so to a thicket of issues about language, sexuality, gender, and the law.


Nanette Fabray

February 28, 2018

From the NYT on the 23rd on-line, “Nanette Fabray, Star of TV and Stage Comedies, Dies at 97” by Anita Gates:

(#1) Fred Astaire and Nanette Fabray on the set of The Band Wagon

Nanette Fabray, whose enthusiastic charm, wide smile and diverse talents made her a Tony Award-winning performer in the 1940s and an Emmy Award-winning comic actress in the 1950s, died on Thursday at her home in Palos Verdes, Calif. She was 97.

Warm memories for me, since I came to know her first in the 1953 movie musical The Band Wagon, which I saw as an impressionable young teen at the Radio City Music Hall. (I have the DVD and watched it again last weekend, with great pleasure.)


Mary Jane comes to Palo Alto

February 9, 2018

(One in a series of postings about my neighborhoods here on the SF peninsula, especially featuring food, plants, art, and architecture, and especially focused on things within two or three blocks of my house. Notes of a flâneur.)

Caught on the street yesterday at the Palo Alto Tacolicious (on Emerson St., around the corner frm my house), this announcement:

(#1) Photo by Kim Darnell

The first two events featured crab plus CBD cocktails, made with Sonoma Hills Farm fruit juices infused with cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil.


With an ax(e)

February 9, 2018

The Zippy strip from the 5th:

(#1) Alfred Jarry?

A Muffler Man-style fiberglass figure: a lumberjack with an ax(e) slung over his shoulder.


Tulip trees and magnolias

February 3, 2018

Two days ago, in my posting “Some winter flowers”, I looked at the saucer magnolia tree, Magnolia x soulangeana (pictured in #2 in that posting), currently in bloom all around me on the SF peninsula. The large cup-like blossoms (purple, ranging from purplish-pink to reddish-purple) appear before the tree’s leaves do, making the floral display even more impressive.

When I posted about these trees, Kim Darnell objected, saying that they aren’t magnolia trees, but tulip trees.

It’s important here that Kim lived for two decades in Atlanta, where (as generally in the southeastern US) unmodified magnolia refers to Magnolia grandiflora, also known as southern magnolia, a large evergreen tree with glossy green leaves and stunning fragrant white flowers. Meanwhile, somewhere she picked up the name tulip tree for saucer magnolias —  a natural label, given that saucer magnolia blossoms look like pretty tulip flowers. But not  a common name that I’d seen reported before; instead, the common name tulip tree generally refers to magnificent trees in the genus Liriodendron; a giant specimen of L. tulipifera towered over a yard halfway between the house I lived in as a child and the grade school I went to, so I’m familiar with its leaves, flowers, and fruits, all of which I played with as a kid.

Finally, also in bloom now in my neighborhood, Magnolia stellata, or star magnolia, which like saucer magnolia, blooms before it leafs out.


The BP amputee

February 3, 2018

Today’s Zippy takes us to Elmsford NY, a village in Westchester County, just across the Tappan Zee Bridge from New Jersey and not far from Connecticut, and home to a BP gas station with a startling fiberglass Muffler Man mascot:



Four more recent cartoons

January 28, 2018

Four cartoons yesterday that present interesting challenges in understanding. Now a mixed set of four more — a Zits, a Zippy, a One Big Happy, and a Dilbert — that have accumulated in my posting queue.


LGBT news from Stanford

January 19, 2018

(A posting delayed by assorted computer upheavals at my house and a monster cold, which has caused me to sleep 11 hours a day. In any case, LGBT news bulletins, but no sex at all.))

News from Wednesday the 10th, the monthly Happy Hour! of Stanford’s QUEST group:

(#1) Logo provided by Ryan Tamares for the QUEST website

The gathering (almost all staff these days, and very heavy on librarians of various sorts) was our 8th anniversary event, a return to the Old Pro, a sports bar just up Ramona St. in Palo Alto from my house (yes, a sports bar, but it’s convenient to Stanford, lots of parking, and the CalTrain).