Sunday, October 14, 2018

Responding to climate change deniers (or is it deny-ers?)

I was asked to respond to this article.

I've been wasting a lot of time on it over on FB, so I'm going to document my response.

This website called notrickzone has characterized a bunch of articles as saying that arctic  ice
has stabilized.  I have gone through these articles and find that, in many cases, notrickzone has mischaracterized what the article says.  In any case, none of these articles have concluded that the arctic ice or climate is stabilizing.  Instead, there may have been regions that were cooling -- or parts of years that were cooler.  There is always going to be some variation.  In other cases, notrickzone just completely missed the point of the article or section of the article.

This is my response to what notrickzone said about each article.
  • Just looked at item #1 -- completely mischaracterized. Notrickzone claims that the Lemos article says that ice loss has slowed. That's not what the abtract says at all. It says that the speed of ice movement in the glacier has slowed -- in other words it's under less pressure, possibly due to less ice. The abstract in fact implies just the opposite of what the notrickzone article claims it implies.
  • As to the An et al article, it says that two glaciers have been stable because they have retreated to a position where they are no longer in contact with the warming ocean, which presumably would otherwise be melting them. This describes two glaciers, not a trend.
  • As to the Kelley et al article, the authors completely accept the idea of climate change while explaining why certain individual glaciers remain stable.
  • The Tong et al article again talks about ice velocity slowing. To me that means that there is less ice pressure. To me that does not indicate that there is not warming. Notrickzone does not understand the difference between ice velocity and ice extent.
  • Ding et al totally accepts global warming. They say that a warming slowdown in the early 2000s lagged in reaching this particular arctic region. They don't say that warming has stopped. They say that there was a global slowdown (not stop) for a particular period of time, but warming was faster in this arctic region than in the rest of the world. This article does not support the idea that the arctic has stabilized at all. Notrickzone totally mischaracterizes this article as saying that there is cooling. It absolutely never says that at all.
  • Suvorov and Kitov: this is only an abstract of an article about a tree ring study. I can't see the whole article. The abstract says that summer temperatures have gone down in one region which affects tree growth. However, that does not mean that there is general cooling -- as trees mostly grow in summer. It could perfectly well be warmer in winter and not affect tree rings much.  Moreover an individual region is not dispositive of global warming.
  • With respect to Westergaard-Nielson, they say that the ocean has been warming, but from 2000-2015 there was a cooling away from the coast in Greenland; however, they do not expect that to be permanent. It should be noted that there is a 3 year publication lag here, so we don't know what has happened since.
  • The Kwon et al article again says that there is warming. It's just that there was unexpected cooling during the breeding season for these birds. That doesn't mean that the whole year was cooler -- just certain weeks. Notrickzone is again mischaracterizing the article.
  • Can't look at the Mallory article. It's not letting me in.
  • Levy et al do find cooling in one region. But local cooling does not rebut climate change.
  • Mikkelson et al: It's very hard to understand this article. It does not have an abstract or draw conclusions. However, notrickzone completely mischaracterizes the graph that they have taken from the article. The graph shows stability in temperature *anomaly* not in temperature. The graph does not say that temperature was stable. It says that temperature anomaly was stable.
  • Swart et al: again notrickzone mischaracterizes the article. The article says that the rate of change in the ice may be stable at times. It does not say that ice has stopped declining. Notrickzone does not understand the difference between velocity and position. The velocity of change can stabilize, but that does not mean that position is stabilized.
  • The Ronkainen seems to show that the ice extent of the entire Baltic Sea has decreased, while the thickness of the ice in one bay has been constant. They draw a distinction between extent and thickness. Again this is only one bay. It doesn't relate to the whole Baltic sea. There can always be local variations. Notrickzone is oversimplifying what is said here.
  • Stabeno et al are explaining that they had trouble taking some measurements because of a cooling in the southeast Bering Sea during 2007-2013, with some warming occurring thereafter. They do not conclude that there was not global warming. They are only looking at a small area where they were not able to take measurements.

So my interlocutor, who raised the notrickzone article as a topic, now points out that sea ice extent appears to be stable.  

Resulting in my wasting more time in the middle of the night reading articles on global warming.  Uggh.  Why do I get into this?  Here's my response.

First a handy page where you can find out about sea ice extent measurements:

This page allows you to specify times and locations of sea ice

It appears that Arctic sea ice is decreasing, while Antarctic sea ice is increasing. However, unlike the Arctic, the Antarctic also has land ice. 

Land ice is decreasing, tho apparently there is some controversy as to how to measure this.

 Still the consensus seems to be that total Antarctic ice mass (sea + land) is down. You should realize that the amount of ice in polar areas is not the only factor in sea level rise. Water expands when heated. Sea level rise can occur from heating of water alone. In fact, most predictions of sea level rising come from expansion of the water due to heating, not to melting of polar ice.

There does not appear to be any controversy regarding ocean temperatures rising.


My interlocutor also alleges that slowing of movement of glaciers means cooling -- and therefore notrickzone would be vindicated.

My response was:

With respect to speed of glaciers, this issue only affected some of the flaws in the articles cited by notrickzone — not all of the many points I addressed above. 

I just found an article about glacial movement 

As you will see, there are several factors in glacial movement. Warmer glaciers move faster, but so also do glaciers that are very heavy with new snow. Slowing of a glacier does not necessarily mean cooling. It could also mean less pressure from reduced ice pack.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Updates Summer 2018

This summer I appeared on The Perfect Murder, "Bizarre Love Triangle," on Investigation Discovery. You can stream the episode here

I hope to excerpt my part soon. I'll let you know when I've got that. In the mean time, I'm in the trailer

I also participated in a story slam. Here's my story

I also once again participated in the annual Randolph Mountain Club Charades

This is a live performance event attended by over a hundred people. I believe that this was the 106th annual charades. 

I got new headshots

I have migrated my website, to Google. My home page is now part of my blog. 

I also took a lot of took a lot of time away from the city in Northern New Hampshire. Here are some photos from my biggest hike

A more extensive list of vacation photos can be found here

I've also been doing some art and even sold some. Here are some of my drawings.

I also took CLE courses in Diversity and Ethics in IP law

As always, I keep an ongoing blog of my activities here

Friday, September 28, 2018

About Kavanaugh lying

I am copying and pasting a meme here. I hope it doesn't turn out to be fake news

Here's the content about how BK lies.

Citing Stanford University Professor, Joel Beinen, (after Kavanaugh's testimony on 9.27.18, and prior to the delay authorized on Friday, 9.28.18):

"Here are some of the major lies that Kavanaugh has told:

1. He lied about Devil's Triangle. A Devil's Triangle is two different kinds of sexual acts, involving either a threesome, or three types of sexual intercourse with one woman in one night. It is not a drinking game. He lied about this several times and his classmates have called him out.

2. He lied about "bouf," which refers to anal intercourse, and not flatulence. He doubled down on this lie several times during testimony.

3. He lied about "Renata Alumnius." That referred to him going on a date with the purported class "slut." It was not about being her friend (and she recently said she was horrified by his yearbook references.) His testimony directly contradicts a poem about Renata written by one of his close friends found in the same yearbook he refers to himself as a Renata Alumnius, portraying Renata as a cheap and sleazy date.

4. He lied that the "Beach Week Ralph Club," which refers to vomiting from drinking at a traditional beach week (which all the schools around here have--we all know the expression). He lied and said it referred to his weak stomach.

5. He lied under oath about not watching Ford's testimony. Today. Witnesses saw him watching it. The Wall Street Journal reported he was watching it with others in the Senate's Dirksen Office Building. There are many press stories on this.

6. He lied about not knowing about stolen emails from the Democratic members of the judicial committee. He knew the emails were stolen and confirmed it in the emails the Judicial Committee republicans tried to suppress. The Washington Post gave him three pinocchios for this lie.

7. He lied about witnesses supporting his claims. They did not support his claims as he characterized their testimony. They generally supplied brief statements through lawyers about not remembering the party. This was no testimony. This was no independent investigation.

8. More specifically, Ford and Kavanaugh's mutual friend Leland Kaiser says while she does not remember that party, but she believes everything her friend Ford said about it. She has stated this to the press and it came up in testimony today.

9. Kavanugh lied about his drinking. He drank a lot in the last year of high school and college (and several witnesses say he drank a lot for years afterwards). Several friends of mine who specialize in alcoholism said he exhibited signs of having drunk before this hearing. He was referred to by his college roommate as a sloppy and belligerent drunk. We saw glimpses of that belligerence today. Dozens of his contemporaries have confirmed how aggressive he becomes with drinking.

10. He lied that never drunk on weekdays in the summer of 1982. In his own calendar, he referred to "skis," which he admitted refer to "brewskis," with Mark and PJ on Thursday July 1 in a calendar entry that matches closely Ford's account. Most of the people in that list were the same mentioned by Ford in her testimony. He drank. On that Thursday night. After working out.

11. He lied about Judge not remembering what happened. Six weeks after the incident, probably mid-August 1982, Ford reported seeing Judge at the Potomac Safeway in River Road near where we live. Local newspapers have confirmed that Judge worked there at the time Ford said. No one has refuted her testimony that Judge was "nervous" and had "turned white." The committee is still refusing to interview or depose or subpoena Judge.

12. He lied that "100 kegs or bust" did not indicate a lot of drinking in 1982-3. He was part of a group endeavoring to drink 100 kegs that year, and his best friend became a serious alcoholic and admitted to sexual assault resembling this assault during that period to his girlfriend. His girlfriend was also not deposed by the committee.

13. He lied about Trump in the first line of his first press conference as nominee. He lied about Trump doing more vetting than for any other Supreme Court nominee in modern history. In fact, Trump vetted much much less than other modern President's, admittedly working from short lists provided by two conservative think tanks, which he announced in advance he would limit his choice to. Several books have confirmed that Trump spent little time on the vetting.

14. He lied that he is "open to any investigation." He is not and is actively participating in blocking the testimony of eye witness Mark Judge, his girlfiend, and other participants. Judge is hiding out in a beach house on the eastern shore and Judge being interviewed by the FBI. Kavanaugh is actively involved in strategizing about evidence suppression, at all day strategy meetings with Trump's lawyers.

15. He lied about the nature of Mark's book. He said that both it was part of his therapy and coming clean as an alcoholic and drug addict, and called the book "fictional." It can't be both a testimonial of a recovering alcoholic and fictional at the same time.

16. He refuses to answer the question again and again about whether or not there should be an investigation and whether or not his friend Mark Judge should be questioned, further belying that he is "open to investigation."

17. He is lying about whether he was the "Bart O'Kavanaugh" in Mark Judge's book. He knows the drunken and vomiting "O'Kavanaugh" is him.

18. He is lying about never having forgot anything about the night after a night of drinking. There are several testimonials from classmates to this effect.

19. He is lying that there is a conspiracy against him and that Ford's charges are trumped up and part of that conspiracy. The best evidence of no conspiracy is how his high school classmate Gorsuch--they were one year about apart at Georgetown Prep--was subject to no such conspiracy, in confirmation hearings just months ago. Gorsuch is honorable. Judge is lying.

20. Kavanaugh supporter Whelan helped concoct the story of other men taking credit for assaulting Ford. Whelan has deleted all of his tweets after being challenged on the completely bogus stories he was advancing by his colleagues. The dissembling tweets are gone.

Senator Blumenthal quoted the legal principle "Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which is a legal principle that dictates jurors can rule a witness to be false in everything if he says one thing that is not true."

If you believe any of the above is correct, you have to come to the conclusion that Kavanaugh is lying and should not be confirmed.

A Supreme Court Justice who can't keep it together during the biggest job interview in his life, and who cannot keep his facts straight and tell the truth shouldn't be hired."

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Animal House and SCOTUS

I am a graduate of Dartmouth College, which was, notoriously, the inspiration for the movie “Animal House.” I went there when it was newly co-ed, when the old contingent was not entirely sold on the presence of women, when alcoholic excess was still the norm in fraternities — the drinking age being 18 at that time.

I was and continue to be repulsed by drunkenness. I avoided fraternities. There was one that was sufficiently sedate that I might have joined, but then there was this story of a former love interest being a member… so that one was out as well. 

It baffled me why people were so attracted to them.  At our fifth reunion, one of the fraternities hosted us at an event. I went.  I told one of my friends, who accompanied me, that I had never set foot in that building previously.  He was quite surprised.  Tho personally very well behaved, he had been a great fan of those drunken jocks.  He couldn’t imagine never going into a frat, never attending a frat party.

What was most distressing to me afterwards, was that those participants in the frat culture, most of whom had gone through drunken and often violent hazing — and inflicted the same on others — ended up profiting economically. They were more likely to end up as highly placed business executives. Their connections helped them in the old boy network.

Those of us who paid attention to our studies, and hung out with others like ourselves, we ended up on the outside looking in.  

And now those same poorly behaved people are asserting their rights to be senators and SCOTUS justices, even after their drunken, violent behavior is exposed.

And people who speak out against this are getting death threats and having to go into hiding. 

I don’t like it.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Summer 2018 vacation photos

Some of these photos were posted as FB albums.  I've figured out how to embed FB albums.  Unfortunately, tho, I guess you can't really look at these photos unless you have a FB account and can click on the link

My June photos I only have as a google album.  I know how to post a link to a google album, but I don't know how to embed it in the blog so that you get a preview.  These are of Lookout Ledge, Pine Mountain and Mt Crescent

June 2018 hiking photos

My New Home Page


I'm a patent attorney transitioning to content creator.  I've just transferred my web hosting to google.  This is my new home page.

Contact me at

I'm using a graphic, rather than text, in the hopes that this will prevent me from getting spam.  I hope this works.

Here are some useful blogs with more information

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


I've always regarded art as a distraction, not even to the level of a hobby -- just something to do to calm down.  I never thought that I was good at art.  When I was a kid, there were art classes in school, and I never felt that my representational art was as good as that of many of the other students in the classes I took.

Also, my handwriting was very poor for a girl.  I don't think it was as bad as the boys' handwriting, but I got negative remarks for it.

I started doing calligraphy to try to overcome bad handwriting. I doodled a lot, the way one might drum one's fingers or crack one's knuckles, just to release stress.

I've posted some of my calligraphy on this blog before.

Then, recently, I started remembering my mother's doodles.  She doodled in the margins of shopping lists and newsletters -- abstract shapes. I remember thinking some of them were quite beautiful -- but I don't have any of them now, because they were all thrown away with the documents they were drawn on.

I decided to start doing doodles to give to friends, so that my doodles wouldn't suffer the same fate as my mother's.  Then I posted some on social media. To my surprise, people really loved them.  I've even sold some.  That's hard for me to wrap my mind around.  Someone bought art from me?  Curious.

In any case, I'm putting the links to my artwork here.

My artwork

Here's a recent example of my doodling style:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

May and June Updates 2018

This is a clip from my most recent webisode, “Answers to Everything: Episode 2” d Greg Lakhan, Amusement Studios.  It’s dark intentionally, because it’s a late night party.

Got some new headshots.  Feedback appreciated:

Getting back into improv shows, after taking the winter off.

List of performances

Movies I saw recently:
Ocean's 8 (which I was supposed to be background in, but I'm not visible)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (which I liked, tho I gather some hardcore Star Wars fans didn't)

Albums I purchased recently:
Peter Hollens: Legendary Folk Songs
Lucia Micarelli: An Evening with Lucia Micarelli (CD & DVD)

Photos I took recently

Monday, June 4, 2018

LGBTQ wedding cakes and SCOTUS

I sense that this is going to be one of those articles that I'm going to be editing afterwards, so you might want to check back and see what I change.  I do edit my blogs -- BTW.  They're not cast in stone. I change them.  That's one thing I like about this blogging service.  I can edit what I've written.

I try to be supportive of LGBTQ rights.  I feel strongly about that topic.

On the other hand, this recent SCOTUS case is so intriguing.

I went to law school a long time ago.  I took two semesters of constitutional law.  I haven't practiced in that area, but it always intrigued me.  I think it intrigues everyone -- especially the Bill of Rights.

Here you have two competing constitutional principles.

On the one hand, there is free speech.  I think most people would agree that no one should be compelled to undertake a creative effort in support of a cause that person doesn't agree with.  For instance, a person who is socially conservative should not be compelled to write a song or a creative sculpture extolling the virtues of marriage equality, when that is the opposite of what that person believes. I think most liberals would agree that that concept would be repugnant, even if they want this baker to be compelled to make LGBTQ wedding cakes.

On the other hand, there is the need to make sure that socially unpopular groups are not denied public accommodations, which is related to the 14th amendment.  We saw this most clearly in the Jim Crow laws.  African Americans were impeded in their ability to travel and to get food, because so many hotels and restaurants would not serve them.  That was a huge social stigma.  It significantly impacted their quality of life and their sense of personal safety. I think most Americans agree that this was a bad thing.

So there are two issues here.

1. Are LGBTQ people the same kind of group as African Americans?

I would personally say, "yes." I do not believe that these characteristics are a lifestyle choice. I believe that they stem from a physiological difference in people.  I believe that God made these people this way.

I do not believe that LGBTQ characteristics constitute sin.  I believe that Biblical and other scriptural pronouncements to that effect are historical errors, like believing that the Earth is flat.  Those errors should not be propagated into the law of the USA.

2. Is making a cake more like writing a song/scupture or is it more like renting a hotel room?

I would say that making a cake is less creative than writing a song or making a sculpture and more creative than renting a hotel room.  It's somewhere in between

Also, it's not entirely clear to me that a wedding cake is a public accommodation, like a hotel room or a restaurant. It hasn't been alleged that LGBTQ people cannot go into a public bakery and buy a donut that was pre-made.  The issue is whether they can demand that a cake be custom made specially to celebrate their marriage.

A lot of people don't really understand what lawyers do.  Lawyers are not there merely to tell you what is and what is not legal.  Lawyers are most useful in these areas of ambiguity -- being creative in coping with ambiguity and complexity.

In fact, the law is full of ambiguity.  It's a fundamental deficit in the nature of rational human thought and human language not to be able to perfectly model reality.  There was an intriguing book on this topic that I read when  younger called "Goedel, Escher, Bach."

Law libraries become larger and larger, as people explore these ambiguities.  It gets to the point where the law is overwhelmingly cluttered with the writings of so many people discussing these issues, with greater and lesser legal authority.

I believe that we have reached the point here in the USA where it is impossible not to break the law, not to get into legal trouble.  It's impossible not to get into legal trouble, because the law is so complicated and prolix that no one knows it entirely and no one can follow it entirely. The only people who do not get in trouble legally are people who do not stick their heads up above the crowd, so they're not noticed. As soon as you stick your head up, you can be shot down.

However, I digress.  I still love these constitutional amendments: especially the Bill of Rights and the ones that came into being as a result of the Civil War.  I still want there to be free speech and free press. I still want to protect stigmatized social groups from unwarranted discrimination.

Still, this situation is not entirely clear to me.  I'm not immediately angry at SCOTUS for siding with the baker, even though I'm sort of a knee jerk liberal.


Some hypotheticals:

A baker who refuses to use black frosting, because he does not like the color black.  He clearly states that this has nothing to do with race, but just that particular color.  -- My guess is that this is probably ok.

A baker who refuses to use orange frosting, because he does not like the color orange, even though his customers request orange.  -- I think is even more likely to be ok.

A baker who refuses to decorate a wedding cake with little statues of people having African American appearance, because he does not like the way they look, but he's willing to put on statues of people who look "Caucasian" (not that I like that term), but he's willing to sell wedding cakes to African Americans either with Caucasian statues or with no statues. -- My guess is that this is probably not ok.

A baker who refuses to make a wedding cake for an interracial couple, because he says his religion prohibits interracial marriage: I wonder if this case would have come out differently.  What if the Colorado tribunal made derogatory remarks about the baker's religious beliefs?  Would SCOTUS in such a case still decide that those remarks were relevant to whether the case should be overturned?

A baker who refuses to make a cake for Democrats, because he is a Republican.  My guess is that this is probably ok, because he is an individual, not the government, and Democrats are not a protected class for purposes of anti-discrimination law.

A government owned bus service that posts political ads for Republicans and not for Democrats. Definitely not ok

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Important: Bystander CPR

IMPORTANT: My kids and I all got bystander CPR lessons at the Tarrytown street fair today. The EMT who trained me said that, sadly, he has never come to a call with a cardiac arrest case and found a bystander attempting CPR. NEVER. Yet even an inept attempt could increase the person's survival chances from 10% (without CPR) to 50% (with CPR).

They've really simplified CPR now. Things that have been eliminated:
- rescue breathing -- hence you don't have to worry about their germs or their vomiting in your mouth
- tilting the head back

- checking for pulse
 putting glasses in front of the person's nose to check for breathing (instead you only look visually to see if the chest is rising and falling)

So the sequence is:
1. You see someone is down & seems non-responsive

2. You call 911 and you say you see someone down and you're going to start CPR. You give the location

3. You tap their shoulder and see if they will respond

4. if no, check to see if their chest or stomach is rising and falling

5. if no to 3 & 4, you start chest compressions. You do them 100/minute without stopping until the ambulance arrives. The correct timing is illustrated by the beat in the famous popular song "Staying Alive," which they played for us to help us see how fast to do this.

If you get tired and if someone else is around, you ask for their help. 

Again:no rescue breathing. The compressions cause the lungs to exhale and inhale.

If you start chest compressions promptly, in case of cardiac arrest, the individual will have a 50% chance of survival. If you just leave the person lying there, they have only a 10% chance of survival, by the time the ambulance comes.

They said that you can't hurt the heart by giving them chest compressions when their heart is still breathing. The heart adjusts.

Good Samaritan laws (at least in NY) protect you in case you injure someone. You don't have to worry about breaking their ribs, because that will heal, whereas the brain injuries from lack of oxygen will not.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Nostalgia -- New Haven

I've always associated Connecticut with my mother's family.  My maternal grandmother was born in Bridgeport.  She also retired there --in Old Lyme -- after the death of her husband.  My aunt Charlotte and uncle Hank lived in Old Saybrook during most of my childhood.  My Aunt Clare has a home in Guilford.  I actually lived in New Haven for a semester when my dad was a visiting professor at Yale. My 2nd cousin, uncle, grandfather, and great grandfather all attended Yale.  My father's former student, Bob Adair, was provost there. 

On 5/11/18 I had an audition in New Haven, so I decided to look up my old neighborhood.  

I remembered it was near a big red bluff.  I didn't remember how very close it was.  This is a view of East Rock, very close to my old house.

I didn't find the house using the bluff, though, I found it by searching for my old school, Worthington Hooker, in google maps. That's what led me there

As I approached the school, I crossed Whitney way.  That immediately rang a bell.  That was the large busy street nearby that I wasn't allowed to cross.

The school looked cheerier and better maintained than I remembered.  It looks like the bricks were recently cleaned and pointed and the windows look new.

I remember thinking it was a large school, but now it looks like it has about 8 classrooms, which seems small to me.  

When I was there, I was in second semester of 4th grade.  This meant that I missed learning Wisconsin geography back home in Wisconsin.  I seem to recall, though, that the math course was slightly more advanced than the one in Wisconsin -- that they were doing long division, which wasn't started until 5th grade back home.

There was a lady working in the garden there.  She said it's now a k-2 school and 4th graders are in an "upper school," whatever that is.

I couldn't remember the name of the street where I lived, but I did remember what the walk was like to get there, so I think I found it.  I think this was it, 165 Cold Spring St.:

It's a corner house.  I didn't remember that part, but it is the same color as it was.  I also remember that one of my schoolmates said it looked like a cuckoo clock because of the double doors out onto the roof over the front porch.  I don't think we ever went out those doors, though, because there was no railing around balcony.

It seemed like a very exciting house when I was a kid, because the whole third floor was a play area, with toys still in it, from the family that normally lived there.  In my home back in Wisconsin, the top floor was an unfinished attic, without a floor -- except for a very small area.  You couldn't really go up there.  It was dark, filthy, and dangerous -- as you could step through the ceiling below.

I guess going up to the third floor seemed like a huge adventure, because I seemingly never explored the neighborhood to discover the huge park only a block away.  More about that later.

I remember thinking that I lived 2 blocks from school, but if I went two blocks away I got to a very long block that I just didn't remember at all, so I think, when I said 2 blocks, I meant that I had to walk a very short distance along Canner St to get to the school.  I was very literal minded. Now I would say it was one block -- really very close.

The house also came with a white parakeet named Julius.  We left our own canary at home.  I don't remember the name of our canary, but I do remember Julius's name.  He was allowed to fly around the house -- or at least he sometimes managed to.  I remember him getting into my dad's hair.  He had quite a personality. Birds have always been my most successful pets. I have one now too.

On the way to my house, I think I noticed a significant house

I think this was Susan Pollack's house.  I wasn't a very social kid. I had a hard time making friends, but I wanted to be friends with her.  I remember thinking that she lived in a very large house indeed.  That made me feel she was important, I guess -- but, as I was driving around the neighborhood, I saw some amazing mansions not far away, across from the park that I apparently wasn't adventurous enough to walk to.

The other thing about Susan Pollack was that she had a microscope.

One afternoon, I managed to get in to see the microscope. I was really excited about finally getting to visit this possible friend. I forgot to call my mom and tell her where I was.  

That turned out to be the afternoon that my grandmother, my mom's mom, had a massive heart attack while visiting my mom.  My mom was frantic to find me and very upset that I hadn't told her where I was -- so my adventure turned into a major disaster.  I never visited Susan again.  This was before the days of cell phones. I would have had to ask Susan's mom if I could call my mom to say where I was and I was too shy to make that request.  

One of my reasons for posting this blog is to try to find Susan.  I wonder if somehow she'll hear about me through this. I've found that blogs sometimes do lead to finding people.

Later, though, the family we were renting from came back and we rented Susan's house.  I was disappointed that the microscope case was still out, but not the microscope.  I guess they were afraid that we would break it.  

Given that I was so fascinated with that microscope, I'm surprised I never got one.  My parents were normally pretty good about getting educational stuff like that for me.  I probably wasn't assertive enough to keep asking for it.  Maybe I would be a biologist or doctor now if I had been more assertive as a kid.

Anyway, now I am adventurous enough to go explore a park and I had a car with me, so I drove around and found a parking lot where you could hike up to the top of "East Rock," the big red bluff that I remembered. 

This was a copper beech, just getting its leaves in, near the parking lot.  

Copper beeches were a big deal to me coming from Wisconsin, because we didn't have them.  My mom said she had investigated getting one for our yard, but was told that Wisconsin was too cold for them. I wonder now, with global warming, whether you could get away with having one there.  They're magnificent trees.

There was actually a road to the top of East Rock, but I was in the mood for a walk

I'm usually in the mood for a walk.  

There were also trails, but I was wearing sandals that were only suitable for a road -- plus I had bare legs, which makes me worry about ticks, so I stayed on the road even though it was longer.  I didn't take one of the water bottles from my car, because I figured there would be a bathroom with water at the top. Also someone told me it would be only 20 minutes to the top. Mistake.

Well, there were chemical toilets at the top, which was some relief, but no water.  Also it was longer than 20 minutes, because I took the long way, and I couldn't walk very fast in those sandals,  They were slightly dressy.  I ended up very thirsty, but fortunately didn't pass out.

It was really a lovely day.  Here are some photos and videos from the top

And still photos

In the photo on the left, you can see the bridge over Mill River, that led to the parking lot where I parked.  Some of this stuff did look familiar, so I'm thinking my parents did take me to this park when I was in 4th grade.  Now, though, given that this was all walking distance from my house, I would have been going up on my own frequently on foot.

At the top was a civil war memorial

It looks like you used to be able to go to the top of this tower, but now it's gated off. Presumably it's too dangerous, or possibly they're afraid of vandalism. I think it may have been open when I was in 4th grade.  The view would be even better from the top of the tower.

So this little trip has turned into a rather long blog -- as if this was important or something.  I guess because New Haven is near Old Saybrook, and when we lived there we saw Uncle Hank, who just died,  and aunt Charlotte, and their children, more often -- it suddenly seems very relevant.  I've been to New Haven for an audition before and not gone to hunt up the old house.

My cousin Kate said she recognized the house.

All in all, it was a very short part of my life, but I reconnected.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

RIP Uncle Hank

My uncle, Hank Folsom, was my mother's younger brother, and the youngest of 4 siblings.  I believe he was 90 when he died 5/8/18, making him also the longest lived of the siblings.  He also has the most descendants of any of the siblings, including, 3 children;  I think 8 grandchildren and I'm not sure how many great grandchildren.

In recent years, he has been the glue that kept the family together -- as he made sure to see everyone as they passed through either of the two homes he frequented, one in Randolph, NH and one in Guilford, CT.

He was a retired Episcopal priest, and graduate of Yale.  He was atypical for an Episcopalian in being Evangelical and Charismatic in his beliefs and practices -- and in being a big game hunter, with a house full of hunting trophies.  He also wrote a book about hunting.  He was also an artist who liked to paint Eastern Orthodox style icons, again not typical for an Episcopalian.  His parish for the longest part of his career was in Old Saybrook, CT

He was a warm, charming, affectionate man and never unpleasant about how he advanced his views, which were contrary to those of many of our family.

His first wife, Peeko, predeceased him.  His second wife, Clare, survives him. I particularly want to thank my aunt, Clare, for the extraordinary care she provided him in his declining years.

My condolences to all family members.

There's a lot more to say -- and I may add to this blog.  That's one of my habits to keep editing blogs.

I chose spring colors because it is spring -- and also because of his strong beliefs in salvation, so that death is only a beginning.



Some trivia I know about my uncle
  • my grandmother was only in labor for 45 minutes during his birth. I referred to this in my YouTube video The Birth of my Second Child because my mom failed to warn me that there was a history of precipitous delivery in my family.
  • he played football in college at Yale
  • his father and grandfather were in secret societies at Yale.  I think they were called Wolf's Head and Skull & Bones, respectively
  • he inherited the family business, because he was the only boy
  • after the business failed, he found he had a gift for ministry, which turned out to be really good for him for the rest of his life
  • he had vacation homes in Randolph, NH and Nova Scotia -- and he later retired to Randolph.
  • he was a great hiker and jogger in his younger years
  • he administered the family tradition of the "oar," which my grandfather got from Yale and was to be handed over to the next person in the family who rowed crew at Yale -- OR who beat Yale at crew.  That turned out to be my first cousin once removed Kristi Stoddard -- a female from Harvard.  My grandfather would have been very surprised to learn this.  
  • I was always struck by his large, muscular calves, a nice family trait.  If we had lived in colonial times, he would not have had to put balloons in his stockings in order to look good in the knickers and stocking fashion that they had back then.
  • he attended Newark Academy, prior to Yale.  I once met a banker at my local bank who knew him there.
  • link to photos I took of his trophy room
  • He actually sort of arranged the marriages of his two older kids, by introducing them to attractive young women in his congregation.  Those marriages worked out very well, which is interesting for people who think arranged marriages are bad.  
My cousin posted a photo of him hiking on FB. He was really handsome, obviously.

I'm trying to improve my graphic.  Just a few subtle changes. I'm trying to decide if I'm printing this out on canvas or not -- whether I'm going to give it to someone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Set photos -- Villain Song shoot 180504

Set Photos
Villain Song shoot 5/4/18

I'm reshooting the music video for my single "Villain Song." My blog about this song is here.