As the snow melts, revealing the leaves below that we didn’t have time to rake, my wife’s frozen herb garden continues to hold on to its pristine snow cover. ❄️

LEONARD COHEN QUOTE

To keep our hearts open is probably the most urgent responsibility you have as you get older.

Interview magazine: November, 1995, being interviewed by Anjelica Huston.

My wife returning from her two mile walk (each way) to her school, first time in the snow. She arrived ten mins early for the class, one minute before the teacher. At the start of class, they were the only ones there, three others arrived later. She insisted on walking, as usual.

Turning Points

I’ve noticed a good thing about growing older. You begin to get some interesting perspectives about one’s own life. For me, turning points in my life began to stand out. When you’re young, you may not have had many turning points yet, or you haven’t yet recognized they were turning points, and you’re mostly looking forward, toward the future. Now I can look back over MANY decades and I recognize important turning points.

Sticks and Stones
In first or second grade someone said something that embarrassed me. I came home and told my mother about it. Maybe I had been teased or bullied a little bit. My mother immediately taught me the principle that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This was not a silly little ditty to me! It was a guiding principle for living my mother had given me and I immediately memorized it, for ever more. It made total sense to me and what a useful concept to learn at such a young age! It sure did make me willing to experience words, very useful for someone concentrating on getting an education.

The Golden Rule
This was another wonderful guiding principle for living, probably learned in Sunday School or perhaps from my parents or grandmother. It was my first experience with empathy, a skill in communicating that I became aware of sometime in junior high school or high school. Some classmates told me that I had a reputation for being a good listener. I had learned empathy from trying to apply the Golden Rule to my life.

The Scout Law
I was very active as a Boy Scout for several years. We were required to learn the Scout Law and perhaps 60 years later, having not thought about it even for a moment in decades, I could immediately rattle it off. “A Boy Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” What a great set of high standards to provide for a youngster to aspire to! And I did.

Do people still teach these kinds of things to their kids? I hope they don’t just seem old-fashioned, out of style, or unnecessary.

The Sound of Silence
The best kind of turning point is one that comes about from a life-changing epiphany, sometimes extremely emotional, a moment when you directly experience some important TRUTH. This happened to me at a San Francisco Symphony performance of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. The result of this was that I wrote the first article that I ever published to the world. It was originally an email to a very good friend, but I eventually sent it to many of my clients and later published it on my Dylan bibliography website and then fifteen years later to my music lover’s blog on the Internet. Three years after the last posting and nearly twenty years after the original email, I got a big thank you from someone who had experienced the same thing at another performance of the great Mahler masterpiece and then had read my article.

During that transition period, it gradually dawned on me that I enjoyed writing and had some talent in that area. This came as a very big surprise to me! In school I had mostly avoided English classes and never would have dreamed I had any talent for writing. I never would have started blogging without that turning point. And now I like to write a blog post about any turning point when it happens, a way of recording the moment so I can remember it again later. Now whenever I read my Sound of Silence article, it reminds me of so many great feelings I had that night. I can re-experience many minutes after the conclusion of that symphony, enjoying the awe and exhilaration once again.

Epilogue
Just after sunrise, a fireball on the horizon had begun to be a sun in the sky. As we drove along, we looked out over the fields in all directions & mist was floating up, as the sun warmed the night moisture & turned it into a fog. Not for long, but I still see it in my mind.

Mitch Blank, well known Bob Dylan archivist in his West Village apartment
Enjoy a five minute video of this man, who begins with interesting comments about the importance of transistor radios. I certainly had one in the 50’s. I was an early adopter, even then.

Fall Stage 2 Has Begun
Very cold at night. Then bright sun in the morning beating down on our 90 ft tree with the bright yellow leaves. They began to let go & filled the air with Leaf Flurries. A huge steady shower of leaves for hours, piling up in the yard! Raking next!!

First Snow
Yesterday we drained the fish pond of water & leaves in early preparations for winter. This morning we woke to a light dusting of snow on rooftops & on our front yard here in the Midwest. Last year the first snow appeared much later, on 23 December. ❄️

Amazing Grace, one of the most famous films to never be released is finally coming to theaters. The film documents two nights of gospel music performed by Aretha Franklin at a Baptist church in Watts in 1972. The concerts were a huge hit on vinyl & will be in theaters too.

At the grocery store, the lady 2 cars down had 72 as her license plate number. “You the mayor or governor or sumpin’?” Nope, she’s our Representative in the IL State House, 72 being her seniority ranking! She called & got details on how I can register to vote tomorrow! Nice!

Spent a long time on Apple site looking at AirPods for my iPod Touch. Reviews are all over the map. My concern is whether they would fit my ear. The earpieces that came with the device are not so hot. I could find NO info about what their return policy might be. Anyone know?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Among the Finest Inventions of the Human Mind

“What a thing it is to see the order which prevails throughout his business! By means of this he can at any time survey the general whole, without needing to perplex himself in the details. What advantages does he derive from the system of book-keeping by double entry! It is among the finest inventions of the human mind; every prudent master of a house should introduce it into his economy.”

From Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Book 1, Chapter X, published in 1795–96.

Perhaps some of you could offer advice on the best way to Value & Sell a Domain Name. I’m a tax accountant & own the best domain name in the tax field. I’ve had 100’s of emails over the years from people wanting to buy it. It’s nearing time to sell. Any advice? TIA.

A friend brought us a pumpkin from her garden for Halloween, then my wife noticed that some critter has been nibbling on it. Much better baked in a pie, I think.

I’m seeing more kudos for iPad Pro than anything else at the Apple event today. I still have a lot to learn about my very basic iPod Touch. I installed Libby on it yesterday, as a friend told me it is good for listening to audio books. Today I started my first audio book.

With the World Series & then a visit from friends of 40 years I lost touch about things here. A week or so ago @manton was about to release major upgrade(s), but I can’t now figure out what they were/are. Can anyone update me about them? Are they really good ones?

Dodgers, unable to score any earned runs in 15 straight innings, decide to wear out the Red Sox so they’ll have no players who can even make it onto the field for Game 4. So far their new strategy is working. Longest game of batters’ futility in WS history. ⚾️ 😵

When Words First Appeared, Episode #2. Here’s the word that first appeared in print the year I was born that surprised me the most: TV. And clearly men had it better before that because Dear John had not yet appeared in print. Maybe NOT, as a new word was: superorgasm!

Thanks to Jack for this great tool for finding when words first appeared in print. I may incorporate this into my About page. These words say a lot about life in the year I was born.
A-bomb, cold war, fissionable, guided missile, Pentagon. Are you seeing a theme here?