Back to index of "this and that in my life" pages by Donald Sauter.

Conversations with me, No. 23
Email highlights, ca. Dec 1999 - Feb 2000

Dedicated to the proposition that every thought that's ever been thunk may be of interest to some crazy fool . . .

THEE: I enjoyed getting to know your writings.  Heck, you might 
be the next Cecil Adams....  You've certainly got the witty 

ME: In my Ebay ad, I try to scare people away from sending tiny 
checks by asking for an extra $1 for handling.  Think about the 
overall labor that goes into processing a check, and think about 
how rarely a piece of mail is actually lost, especially if the 
address is correct and legible, and there's a clearly printed 
return address.  

And one final favor: would you please list your various 
identifications together in one place?  For instance: 

  Name; Ebay ID; email address.  

It's very easy to lose track of who you're dealing with when 
someone goes by a name here, a user ID there, and an email 
address somewhere else.  Thanks! 

THEE: Came across your games page on the Internet while searching 
for information on Family Feud.  We'll be playing this over the 
holidays, and I made my own list of questions.  I was wondering 
if you could share with me some insight on how many points to 

Basically, I have 12 questions, which I have divided into six 
rounds.  Then I have 6 questions which I'm calling Bullseye 
questions, since the top answer for each is very obvious.  For 
those 6 questions, only the top answer will be accepted.  I'm not 
sure how many points to do for each answer, or for the bullseye 
questions.  I tried finding a board game so I could get the 
instructions, but didn't have much luck with the stores in my 
area.  Then I tried finding the internet version of the game, but 
came across many "page not found" messages.  

ME: family feud 

To be honest, I've never figured out what to do with "home-made" 
questions for Family Feud.  The problem is the questions have to 
be made part of a survey, and given to 100 people.  The point 
value given to each answer is just the number of people who gave 
that answer in the survey.  So, a very popular answer may be 
worth 65 points, say, and a poorer answer may be worth 5 points.  

All I can suggest is to sit down with some friends and come up 
with as many reasonable answers as you can think of, and give 
them each a point value you think reflects the goodness of the 

I've only ever played Fast Money rounds that used the same sort 
of questions with "weighted answers".  

Hope that helps some.  

ME: where do i live 

Had a good time the other night.  I really am very impressed with 
your guitar reading and playing abilities.  Without working at 
it, your reading is almost as good as mine, and better than 99% 
of guitarists, and your playing is better.  

One discussion point that needed another word: You strong-armed 
me into accepting that books I got after receiving Apollo 13 are 
not at all relevant to the question of why I haven't started 
Apollo 13.  But of course they are; they provide an explanation 
for the time period starting when I got them.  

I forget, do you know Straight Dope Cecil, from the City Paper?  
Among other questions I've tried to ask him, here's one I stuck 
at the end of a letter.  I'm curious about what your response to 
this is.  I suspect I know.  I suspect that, even though nobody 
knows what a city is, I'm the only one who knows he doesn't know.  
Here's my question: 

P.P.P.P.S  What is a "city"?  I've managed to get by all my life 
without knowing this - by always giving my post office whenever 
someone asks for "city", for instance - but things have changed.  
When I call my local directory assistance, they say, "What city, 
please?" as they have always done.  But now, they absolutely 
refuse to accept "Washington, D.C. metropolitan area".  They 
demand that you name a "city".  In fact, they generously allow 
you to guess at 2 "cities".  In Maryland, everybody lives in 
counties (except for Baltimore City, and I never understood how 
that is fundamentally different from a county.  Likewise, I can't 
see how Washington D.C. is fundamentally different from a state.)  
I understand that a miniscule fraction of place names one sees on 
a Maryland map are "incorporated cities" (whatever that means), 
but am I really expected to know which of those thousands of dots 
are true "cities", and which are just names of crossroads?  The 
other question, of course, is why, with our modern computer 
technology, can't directory assistance tell *me* where the 
requested party lives. 

Perplexed in PG County.  

THEE: Oh, Yoko 

So, when was Yoko on "Larry King" last?  What those guys said was 
no more outlandish than some of the things I get from my Arthur 
Conan Doyle discussion group, though the old boys on the ACD list 
watch their language more scrupulously.  

We went to Boyds this afternoon to get a Christmas tree.  it was 
fun and invigorating and all that, but it took half the day.  
Christmas sure does seem to take a lot of work! 

THEE: Re: where do i live 

Wedensday night was, as usual, very fun and much appreciated.  
thanks for your compliment re: my sight reading.  Again, I am 
nothing short of amazed at YOUR sight reading skills; recall the 
piece that I just couldn't handle, and you suggested we switch 
parts.  You then went on to effortlessly sight read for Part I 
(the part that I botched horribly within the first 8 measures!).  
Now, this is, for sure, a subjective experience.  But, your 
genorosity at my abilities and modesty at your own reading skills 
aside (to quote you, you state my reading skills are "almost as 
good as mine [yours]"  -surely an understatement of the 
century!), you have to admitt the disparity in sight reading 
skill after we switched parts was obvious and apparent.  You 
simply kick butt - please admitt this in your reply.  

RE Appolo 13:  My "strong-arm" tactic was to simply clarify with 
you the fact that you had started reading books you had recieved 
AFTER I had loaned you Appolo 13 - I was jokingly acting slighted 
(at least I hope it came out jokingly)!.  

Put definition of "cities" in your list of discussion topics.  

THEE: Re: family feud 

Thanks!  I did survey a pretty large group (an Internet playgroup 
I'm in, they all sent me their responses).  So I'll use the 
percentages for each question as the point value.  

Thanks again!  Loved your page and all the info in it! 

ME: what city please 

I lined up a job to play guitar music at a retirement home next 
Monday.  This'll be the first time I've played alone for money.  
Been spending some time putting a gig book together.  Non-players 
could never know the amount of labor involved in preparing even a 
short piece.  Never mind learning the thing - just solving page 
turn problems could take hours.  And that for a piece you might 
only play in public for a grand total of a few minutes in your 

Part of the reason for the impulse to send you that message was that it was by Fred Seaman.  
Regarding outlandish, believe me the next few messages in that 
thread go way beyond outlandish.  I don't even want to think 
about it.  Yuck.  

By the way, it's just about as bad in the classical guitar 
discussion group.  Maybe all the groups have been taken over by 
world-class jerks.  You can see my mild dig at the end of my most 
recent posting: 

Subject: The Beatles in National Geographic 

I've recently put up a page with a few Beatles mentions I found 
in National Geographic magazine.  In the same vein as my Beatles 
in Boy's Life page.  Nothing earth-shaking; maybe a little fun 
and interesting.  It's at 

By the way, before posting this, I looked over the current list 
of threads being discussed in  If you got 
here, it had to be an accident.  Sorry about that.  


Been plugging away trying to hear all my new records and tapes.  
Slow going - as you well know.  I liked a few songs on the 
Archies album.  The one that supposedly teaches you to sing a few 
songs in Spanish only succeeds in proving that you could never do 
it in a million years.  That one originated from Montgomery 
county, by the way.  Really enjoyed an album of turn of the 
century pop songs.  The carillon album is what record-collecting 
is all about.  

THEE: I am learning to play guitar,  I play by ear and 
tabulature, I was wondering if it's possible for you to explain 
to me how I can tune my guitar half a step down. Do I use a 
certain tuner ? from your page it seems that your an expert and 
the right person to ask.  


I. What a wonderful '54 gift! [a 1954 encyclopedia yearbook.]  
Sure beats those commercial year dated cards by a mile. Thank 

II. Politics 

Did you know we handed over 18 million acres of Yosemite to the 
UN Biosphere, meaning it is no longer US property, probably 
guarded and off-limits.  This happened a couple years ago, but I 
just got an E-mail address today.                

I've been told WTO is "THE FORCE" now  so it's good some citizens 
are actively paying attention. The few disruptives were not 
admonished by police thereby confusing any real message intended 
by legit protestors.                           

Maybe politics are designed to enervate through frustration.  

ME: Just listened to Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha tonight.  
Bought it at a library sale.  Didn't like it when I borrowed it 
from the library 25 years ago.  Enjoyed it very much this time.  
I got 26 other records at that sale, about half opera-related.  

THEE: Sanyo MBC-550 

I live in Central America. I read on a webpage (a poem really) 
that you used to have a Sanyo 550 computer back in the mid 80s. I 
was wondering if you still use that machine... You see, I have 
one of those machines as well, and I've been trying to do 
something useful with it. I've been looking all over the net for 
users groups, newsgroups, or anybody out there who still uses the 
little machine, in order to get ideas. Do you know of any users 
groups, web pages, or newsgroups about the Sanyo that could help 
me out?  

ME: Went up to Baltimore today.  Only one bingo in 2 games of 
scrabble: SHOOING. 

Had a mostly distressing and infuriating meeting with Hself's 
lawyers on Wednesday.  She needed a lift there, and I want to 
understand what's going on, anyhow.  The lawyers were very put-
offish and put-downy.  Don't understand why that should be when 
they get a big chunk of whatever Hself is awarded.  

Got a big surprise from my sister in Florida - an email.  I had 
set up an account for her and told her about it in a Christmas 
card, but didn't know if she had access to a computer.  I guess 
she used one at a local library.  

ME: yo es gringo 

Well, I played guitar at a holiday party today.  The place was so 
big!  And there were 200 people!  So my little guitar didn't get 
heard much.  Kind of ridiculous - a musician you can't hear.  Oh 

A huge branch fell off of a tree in my yard a few weeks ago.  It 
didn't land on my head.  I finally got it cleaned up.  

THEE: How?  

I don't understand computers at all. How did you manage to 
acquire these addresses and with such straight-forward       
names? Do you pay for these and  do they have a permanent life  
span? It's very considerate of you but I'm overwhelmed with    
not-knowingness (ignorance).  Just asked a ten year old playing 
Pokemon how to double space.  

Thank you for introducing all of this to me, 

THEE: Wanted! Guest lecturer 

33 years ago:  One of George Martin's proudest production moments 
occurs today as he and assistant Geoff Emerick splice together 
two takes of John Lennon's "Strawberry Fields Forever," and 
adjust the tempi of the two so that the splice is fairly smooth 

If you feel like it, you could rewrite this one to be included in 
tomorrow's mailing.  

ME: I spun up to Baltimore tonight to hear my niece play in her 
high school orchestra.  An added bonus was the school's steel 
band.  They burned up Drummer Boy for an encore.  You would have 
embarrassed everybody by jumping up in your seat and dancing.  

ME: sff forever 

There lives a man who wonders if the edit was such a miracle.  
Were the two versions in different keys to start with only 
because tape speeds were fiddled with?  In that case, you would 
*expect* the keys to match up when the speeds are corrected.   
The question is, did John record his song in different keys?  

Poking around again, I see that Francie 
Schwartz is actively involved in threads that discuss Body Count.  
She also has a website, and there's an interview at the mining 
company.  Is she in one of your fairly recent Beatlefans?  In any 
case, she seems to have mellowed since the time frame of her 
book.  Seems quite human, in fact.  

ME: Re: How?  

>How did you manage to acquire these addresses  and with such 
straight-forward names? Do you pay for these and do they 
have a permanent life span?

It was easy, and it didn't cost a thing, and that email address 
could very well serve you for a lifetime.  The point is, even if 
you get another email account somewhere, like with a business or 
a provider like AOL or Prodigy, you can keep using, and just set up that account to forward your 
mail to your new account.  (I think I just made that sound a lot 
more complicated than it is.)  That's very handy - you don't have 
to send out "change of address" notices to everybody.  You're forever!  [yeah... right.]

>It's very considerate of you but I'm overwhelmed with not-
knowingness (ignorance).  Just asked a ten year old playing 
Pokemon how to double space.  

People think they "know" or "don't know" computers, but keep in 
mind what we're really dealing with is the minds of the people 
who program the interfaces of computers with people - what you 
see on the screens, and the various commands and prompts, etc.  
It's a matter of getting on these people's wavelengths - and that 
can never be completely done since everybody has different minds.  
For instance, on the web, there's always an element of guessing 
what you might get when you click on a link.  

>Thank you for introducing all of this to me, 

I don't feel like I've taught you anything, and you're an 
instant pro.  If I were to say what the typical person needs 
most, computer-wise, it's 4 things: 

1. learn a word-processing program.  

2. email 

3. make your way around the web 

4. discussion groups ( is all you need here.) 

ME: If I want to tune my guitar down a half step, it's pretty 
easy.  Just tune the high E string to the 4th fret of the 2nd 
string.  Then I tune the low E string down to match the high E 
(which is now an E-flat).  Then I just tune all the other strings 
to those 2 as you normally would - match the 2nd string, 5th 
fret, to the open first string, etc.  

THEE: Re: Sanyo MBC-550 

I used my Sanyo 550 until about 2.5 years ago.  It developed a 
problem and I did everything I could to find a user group that 
might give me some advice on fixing it, or replace it cheaply.  I 
had no luck.  I'm afraid there's probably no more Sanyo user's 
group.  Good luck, though.  At the time I moved up to a 286 - now 
I have a 386! 

THEE: Re: Sanyo MBC-550 

I have my Sanyo 550 on my desk right now, but I can't get it to 
boot. My main computer is a Pentium II machine, but I also have a 
Linux computer and thought it would be interesting to turn my old 
Sanyo computer into a dumb terminal for my Linux server... so far 
I haven't had much luck.  

p.s. I also have a Sanyo 555 computer in my closet. What was the 
problem that killed your computer?  

THEE: Re: Sanyo MBC-550 

Ha, ha, ha!  ROTFL!  Ha, ha, ha!  ROTFL!  (Revenge for the time 
you fell down laughing at me on the tennis court.)  The MBC-550 
Lives On! 

Hself writes: 

 =>... I've been trying to do something useful with it.  

Is that possible?!  I hope you helped him out.  

HAVE YOU HEARD THE WORD was definitely done by the Beatles.  
(I've been listening to a tape of it on my way into work the past 
couple of days.) Dudley Moore could have done the vocals perhaps 
and the Lennonesque piano, but the backing vocals, etc.?  Has 
Dudley Moore ever admitted to being the one to do the song?  

Merry Christmas to you and your family.  You'll probably do that 
crazy Yankee Swap thing again, another idea, like the Sanyo, 
whose time has come and gone.  Have fun anyway! 

P.S.  Poor George Harrison - has he completely dropped out of 
the music picture?  I've been going the rounds of the CD stores 
(Best Buy, etc.) and I think I found *one* BEST OF-CD at *one* 
store and none of his other albums at all.  

THEE: You ask about Francie Schwartz.  Coincidentally, I'm 
currently reading the March-April 1999 "Beatlefan" (I'm slipping 
again) and today I read in "Devil's Radio":  "Former Dakota go-
fer Fred Seaman has been posting lots of controversial bits on while ex-McGirlfriend Francie Schwartz stirred 
up the Macca-L mailing list by joining.  Meanwhile, Francie says 
she's working on a new book, 'The War on Sex: Life After Paul 
McCartney,' that will include previously unpublished Beatle 
reminiscences, 'with emphasis on John Lennon, Yoko Ono and, of 
course, my former lover, Paul McCartney'..." 

ME: close encounter 

I played guitar duets for a tea at Strathmore Hall in Rockville 
today.  We got lots of nice comments.  I goofed up bad once and 
skipped a line in Greensleeves - it was the dim lights! 

And guess who I saw in K-mart?  Our lawyer pal Mr. Hself! He 
didn't seem to recognize me so I didn't say anything and snuck 

ME: Mostly, I still want to prove or demonstrate that the main 
charm, if not value, of the web is what people say about 
themselves.  Spend a few minutes at Hself's new website [GONE 
WITH THE WIND/Barbie Fan Page].  Note that only one of the links, 
"all about me", from the main page works.  

ME: a nice letter; must be christmas 

I enjoyed Hself's page immensely.  She sounds like an adult (so 
I know you didn't help her with it!)  I forwarded your letter 
with the url to my sister.  

Changing our tune on geocities, eh?  Won't even let your own kid 
use a crumb of your website, huh?  

Hey, I can't remember the tennis court incident of which you 
speak.  I'm sure I would never humiliate anyone, 'specially in 
public.  Did you dream this thing?  

You know, I've gotten very rusty on a lot of Beatle issues.  I 
forget what the finally agreed upon status of HYHTW [have you 
heard the word] was.  I know that nobody thinks it's the Beatles.  
You know, it was a real record release, and the label credited 
the Futz.  

I played my first-ever solo guitar job a few days ago for a 
holiday party for a new retirement home.  The room was way to big 
and there were way too many people for a puny wood box guitar.  

I wouldn't worry about George; he'll do whatever he wants.  

About those JOVE keystrokes...  Now I need some that will go 
forward and back a word, and BOL and EOL, and page up and page 

What's your opinion, does Y2K start in 2048 or 2049?  

THEE: Greenfleeves 

My dad always calls it "Greenfleeves," in honor of the old-
fashioned "s" that looks like an "f."  I think he stole that one 
from Bob Newhart.  

I was just reading a July 1958 review of Keely Smith's "I Wish 
You Love" LP, which I have.  They love it.  They also say it's 
available in mono on LP or stereo on real-to-reel tape.  That's 
an interesting transitional measure, I thought.  

ME: christmas stories 

Here's a page with some Christmas stories.  The Happy Prince is 
good.  How Billy the Elf Saved Christmas is for plumbers.  The 
Selfish Giant has a surprise ending. 

ME:christmas in honduras (kaboom) 

After just learning about firecrackers in Honduras at Christmas, 
I stumbled on this web page: 

                           Christmas in Honduras 
                             By Alex Inestroza 

   Christmas in Honduras is very different from Christmas in the 
States.  First of all, we really party in our homes, jobs, clubs, 
bars, and even in churches. It doesnt matter what your social 
position or religion is, people everywhere prepare for several 
weeks before Christmas Day. They prepare parties for their 
families, friends and co-workers. We have several traditional 
foods like pork, tamales, eggnog, beer and Aquardiente.  

   We usually have a dinner with the family. Then we drop by the 
homes of our friends and neighbors to drink, eat and dance. We 
usually end up stuffed with delicious food and drink. Then, at 12 
oclock we all hug and say "Merry Christmas!" to each other. At 
the same time, firecrackers and cherry bombs are exploding 
everywhere. It looks like a battlefield. There are usually little 
boys who are responsible for all this noise, but they are the 
ones that really enjoy Christmas because they only eat and 
explode firecrackers.  

   After 12 oclock, the young people usually go to bars to drink 
and dance until the sun comes up. The preparation before 
Christmas is usually made in homes and stores. Everybody cleans 
their homes; some even paint. But we all set our Christmas tree 
up and adorn it with lights and many other decorations. We also 
put little light bulbs outside our homes. And, of course, the 
kids make their list to Santa.  

   For all these and many other reasons, Christmas in Honduras is 
different from the ones in the states.  

ME: christmas stories 

The cookies I brought were true-spirit-of-Christmas cookies.  I 
don't know if you know, but Lanham has a beggar man.  He stations 
himself at the bottom of the hill before you get back to the 
beltway.  I was stopped at the light, and I found I could reach 
my cookie tin in a bag on the back seat.  When he looked my way, 
I showed him the opened tin and he came on over very 
enthusiastically.  I invited him to take a handful, but he said 
he would just take 2.  Then, guess what I said?  "Merry 
Christmas."  Ok, so it's not Charles Dickens, but at least it's 
all true.  

THEE: Christmas! 

I got two neat gifts for Christmas.  Hself bought me an original 
Yellow Submarine Corgi toy on eBay, but before she did that, she 
bought me a reissue.  So, now I have one to play with and one to 
start a Beatle Museum with.  I was completely caught by surprise 
by this gift, even though one night Hself said "Yellow Submarine" 
in her sleep.  

The highlight of the season was a tour of the inlaws' old 
neighborhood in northwest D.C. yesterday, a neighborhood that's 
seen better days.  It was their 40th wedding anniversary and we 
wound up at Mass at the church where they were hitched.  We were 
treated like returning heroes by the priest and some of the 
parishoners.  It was very nice! 

THEE: Brain teaser: rolling one quarter around another 

Last I checked, the SAT is given to 11th graders as a step to 
getting accepted to college.  I don't know why you keep 
mentioning that 300,000 7th graders were taking this test.  

ME: Last night at my brother's place I emceed a couple of 
rollicking Family Feud games.  

Today I picked up Hself from Providence Hospital where her mother 
is in for a mild stroke.  She wanted to go to the Catholic U. 
Cathedral, and there was a mass just starting.  The reason for 
the visit was her former husband's birthday.  More evidence that 
Hself's headed for sainthood, considering the evilness of that 
man.  She even observed the tradition of making some of his 
favorite foods.  All of this was unquestionably heartfelt, and 
not out of any sense of obligation.  

I suspect we're at opposite ends of the opinion spectrum 
regarding the significance of the Brittanica goof on Sherlock.  I 
figure it would take a lifetime to thoroughly fact-check any 
single sentence - if it can be done at all.  Anybody who writes a 
true sentence should get a Noble *and* Pulitzer prize, combined.  

I came close to buying a battered Yellow Submarine at a Beatles 
convention once.  Does Hself really talk in her sleep, and, if so, 
how often?  

Thanks for organizing the, to me, much anticipated reunion 
tomorrow.  (Now that you've turned me on to this, to me, new 
sentence structure, I can't figure out how else to say the same 

ME: major news in the scrabble world (rotten) 

Another holiday activity that I forgot to mention was playing 
scrabble with former scrabble friend Pat Cole on Monday from 2 
until about 9:30.  The impetus for getting back in touch is that 
she's recently found out she has cancer.  It's gotten to 
everything and I'm told she only has a few months left.  She's 
just about my age.  She has a big reputation in the online 
scrabble world.  Although we went down different paths scrabble-
wise, she credits me and my little New Carrollton scrabble club 
with getting her into tournament scrabble.  

Cancer stinks to high heaven.  

THEE: Survey says! 

The, to me, pleasure is mine, re: reunions.  

That sentence from "Sister Carrie" has been a topic of our 
conversation for about 10 years, since her professor pointed it 
out.  Thanks to the search key and a complete e-text, I was able 
to finally find it in the novel after only a moment's looking 
(and it occurs two other places in the novel).  

Hself talks in her sleep constantly, and always has.  Her sister 
used to interview her while she slept when they were children.  

ME: a grammar thesis 

Had a nice New Year's Eve in Greenbelt.  The fireworks were great 
- maybe best ever for me.  The countdown clock was off by a 
minute, or a minute and twenty seconds, depending on what 
reference you were using.  I told you I had called TIME that 
morning, but I have reason to believe they lied to me by 20 
seconds.  Even on the television coverage, there were conflicting 
countdowns.  I don't get it.  Even if setting clocks were a 
problem, which it's not, wouldn't you think people would have 
made an extra effort for this particular occasion?  

If we had played 5 more seconds of my tape in your car, we would 
have gotten to a beautiful music Don't Worry Baby.  

Doesn't the sentence, "The, to me, pleasure was mine" need an 
adjective before "pleasure" for the adverbial participial phrase, 
", to me,", to act on?  What do the perfessors say?  

ME: Re: monopoly 

I think the first scenario you describe is actually the proper 
one: Joe *must* sell houses back to the bank (they can never go 
from one player to another), and he mortgages all his property 
and hands the money and mortgaged deeds over to Mary.  

As far as I know, the boxtop rules still allow the "ugly" 
scenario you describe.  I think it's completely unacceptable.  
That's why I insist on the house rule described in my web page: 
transactions must be handled in the order in which they occur.  
If Joe owes money to Mary, he has to face that before getting 
involved in any other deals.  

THEE: We jumped in the car, raced home, grabbed the puli, and 
headed east.  We might have made it by midnight except that we 
ran into a lot of fog, which made driving tough.  We were about a 
half hour from our destination when my digital watch sounded.  
That's OK.  We achieved our goal of being on the beach when the 
sun came up in the morning, and it was as beautiful as we could 
have hoped for.  

ME: proprieta artistica e letteraria riservata 

Glad you got a nice New Milennium sunrise.  

I believe telephone time is off because I can't believe my watch 
gained 20 seconds in half a day.  Admittedly, I can't know which, 
if any, of all the different times I saw New Year's Eve was 
right, but none agreed with my watch.  When I went to the 
community center office to report the countdown clock was off by 
a minute, a guy there said he knew it was off by 1:20.  I can't 
face calling TIME again to run some tests on their times.  

I mentioned I tried a number of modes of attack on the yellow 
jackets making their home at the bottom of my lamp post, one of 
which was my wet-dry vac.  I finally got up courage today to 
empty it out.  I counted 25 yellow jacket carcasses.  So I can't 
say I decimated them, but at least it makes up a little for the 2 
kamikaze attacks on me this summer.  

Been making good progress on the DChron tape series.  You wrote 
you almost forget why you included Judy Collins' "Anathea".  I 
think you told me that you either played some of that early Dylan 
tape for some friends, or maybe Sebastian Cabot's great album, or 
somehow the plot-line to Seven Curses came up in conversation, 
and a friend identified it as "Anathea".  Sound about right?  I 
think that "Farewell" only appears to this day by Dylan on my 
tape, which was from an Italian album called "A Rare Batch Of 
Little White Wonder".  They call it "Farewell Angelina", which is 
a different song, of course.  I don't know why it seems to have 
fallen through the cracks.  

You know, The Gunfighter has a great Dylan tie-in.  His biggest, 
most cinematic song, Brownsville Girl, makes big references to 
the movie.  The song is about acting of all sorts.  I like the 
line: "There was a movie I seen one time; I think I sat through 
it twice." It wasn't until I saw the movie that I understood the 
line quoting Gregory Peck: "Turn him loose.  Let him go.  Let him 
say he outdrew me fair and square.  I want him to know what it 
feels like to every moment face his death." 

Notice that does 
not list any albums that contain it.  

Got a kick out of Principal Skinner imposing metric time and 
dates on Springfield.  (Does that have anything to do with me?) 

Did I ever mention that my sisters Hself was horrified that I got 
her an email address?  I'm trying to get 
deleted now.  

ME: p.s.  

who is dabney coleman 

THEE: Time in its tide 

I think you have to face your demons and call TIME again.  I 
wonder how successfully you can link your computer to the 
observatory's clock.  Supposedly, I have a software program that 
does it for me when I boot up here at work.  It seems to work OK.  

I'm sure I put that metric reference from "The Simpsons" in for 
you just because you are of a scientific bent.  

PS.  Tell me what you know about Alvino Rey.  

PPS.  Dabney Coleman is an actor who usually plays meanies in 
movies and television.  His biggest role was probably as the boss 
in "9 to 5."  He was in an amazing sitcom called "Buffalo Bill," 
which was canceled, probably because it was the only show ever to 
feature a thoroughly mean man as its hero.  

THEE: The song "Ben Bolt" was written by Nelson Kneass.  He was 
the mayor of a town in West Virginia.  Do you know (or can you 
find out) what town he was mayor of?  

THEE: The raves are pouring in! 

Hself particularly liked your question about the 1964 Kansas City 
concert (or non-concert, I can never remember).  He adds: 

Charley O. Finley was the owner of the KC Athletics, which he 
would later move to Oakland.  He was a colorful, if tyrannical, 
owner, outfitting his team in white shoes and encouraging long 
hair and mustaches (HOF reliever Rollie Fingers had an awesome 

Finley also tried to bring hockey to Oakland with the NHL 
expansion Seals.  First the Oakland Seals, then the California 
Seals and finally the California Golden Seals, the team was 
notable for its white skates (another Finley innovation) and 
little else.  Doubtless, those skates discouraged better NHL 
players to sign.  More than one player, I belief, remarked that 
they made the Seals look like a squad of figure skaters.  Learn 
more at 

THEE: Happy New Year 

Hself surprised me at Christmas with a diamond ring and asked me 
to marry him. I said Yes, even though I had resolved never to 
do it again. He is a good man and I am happy.

ME: do not inhale 

Thursday I went in to James McHenry Elementary because the 
superintendant of PG schools, Iris T. Metts, was making an 
appearance to present a check to the school.  I shook hands and 
said hi, but didn't identify myself as the person who wrote the 
letters she got recently with my radical ideas.  

Just finished a very interesting book, The Neck Of The Giraffe, 
by Francis Hitching.  It's amazing how badly Darwin's theory 
stands up to observation (like not at all), and how people still 
cling to it.  

Today In Pop indicates Gregor Mendel is Austrian, which is 
confirmed by my dictionary, but the above book says he taught in 
Brno, Czech., and delivered his paper there.  If Darwin had known 
about it, it would have saved him much handwringing.  

On my latest bank statement I got hit with a service charge for 
using the bank's phone line to transfer money from my savings to 
checking account.  How many things are wrong with that picture?  
I went in to the bank today [friday again], naively figuring they 
would waive the charge (for one reason, since the never told me 
they had implemented such a charge), but they stood their ground.  
Truly, I would stick my money in a shoe box and buy $.25 money 
orders when necessary, except for one thing.  Without a bank 
account, what do you do with checks you get?  

Oh yeah, about Skinner and his metric system, I don't know if you 
know how close to home you hit.  One of my soap box issues for 
decades has been the superiority of the base 8 system.  Not that 
we're likely to change now, but those Sumerians or whoever really 
messed us up big time with base 10.  

I still claim whenever you mention "superstar" Donald Fagan, you 
should say briefly who he was.  I mean, *I* know he was the 
genius behind the Flying Burrito Burger Brothers, but I doubt the 
rest of the world does.  

THEE: Hang Eight! 

I know NOTHING about mathematics.  However, I do know that I was 
born with 10 fingers and 10 toes and that base 10 is therefore 
good enough for me.  I have a feeling that the Sumerians and I 
think alike on this point.  

THEE: Your Candidacy 

We recently learned that you are running for the office of 
President of the United States this coming November.  As editor 
of 'Smearm,' a nationally recognized commentary and humor 
magazine, I'm very interested in your story.  If you would grant 
us an interview, your candidacy would be known to an additional 
five thousand politically consciencious voters, and with only ten 
months remaining until the election, underdog candidates need all 
the help they can get.  If you are interested, please let me 

ME: Re: Your Candidacy 

Thanks for your interest.  My policy is "no interviews."  If 
there are outstanding questions that haven't been addressed at my 
web site or, I'd be happy to answer those.  

My position on everything is the same - every presidential action 
will be dictated by majority will.  If any members of the media 
feel that idea is worthy of coverage, it's up to them.  Thanks 


The reason you "know nothing" about mathematics is *because* of 
base 10!!!  Actually, you've always impressed me with your 
ability to do mental calculations.  

My flu is now mostly a painfully raw throat and runny nose.  I 
tried NyQuil Monday night.  I still claim there isn't a drug ever 
created that could alleviate any of my ailments.  I'm afraid you 
have to be a believer for them to work.  And I hate that feeling 
of drugs in my system.  Want a slightly used bottle of NyQuil? 

I've been eating mountains of ice cream.  

What do you know about Smearm?

THEE: Smearm! 


Dunno what that means!  But I like saying it.  


I finished reading "Beatlefan" 117 (March-April 1999) this 
evening.  It's another goodie.  The highlights were articles on 
missing video footage of a "Double Fantasy" recording session and 
an article on Vee-Jay's release of "Introducing the Beatles."  
Also, in a review of a video, Al Sussman says that Francie 
Schwartz "now looks disconcertingly like Barbara Bush." 

I finally made it to side 12 of "The Swing Years."  There's lots 
of good stuff on it but it's taken me forever to get through.  
Next album on my backlog is "150 Songs, Ballads, Jigs and Reels 
of Ireland," also from my sister-in-law.  That's five LPs! 

ME: Subject: NPAT answers for Donald Sauter 

I just checked over my NPAT answers online this evening.  It's 
almost perfect.  In the category, "Budget, Spending and Tax 
Issues: Part 4 Taxes (b)", my answer was missed.  The web page 

 8) Other: Did not answer.  

What I had answered was: 

 8) Other: Presidential action concerning taxes will be dictated 
by majority will.  Regarding super-majorities in Congress, it 
seems unlikely that a populace that chooses majority rule in the 
executive branch would want minority rule in the legislative 
branch.  But you never know.  

I hope it's not a problem getting that in there.  Other than 
that, I was slightly disappointed that in all of those lists that 
requested a 1 to 6 and ended with "Other Other Other", my 
descriptions of the "Others" are not included.  This makes those 
answers completely valueless.  I did enough poking around to find 
one other instance of a candidate supporting "greatly increased 
funding" for an unspecified "Other", so I'm presuming your web 
format isn't designed to present what the candidate wrote on the 
hard copy NPAT.  That's unfortunate.  

I'd hoped my answers would look something like, 

n) Greatly increase funding - as dictated by majority will.  
o) Greatly decrease funding - as dictated by majority will.  
p) Eliminate funding - as dictated by majority will.  

although I see now they would have come out, 

n) as dictated by majority will -- Greatly increase funding 
o) as dictated by majority will -- Greatly decrease funding 
p) as dictated by majority will -- Eliminate funding 

which is ok, too.  In any case, consider this note one vote for 
working the expansions of the "Others" into the web format.  

And, if feasible, could anyone correct the spelling of 
"questionnaire" in my Presidential Priorities category.  Some 
people make such a big deal of typos.  

Thanks again for all of the hard work.  

ME: Subject: baby dolls 

The doll store sounds neat.  I'd like to hear more about it 
sometime - although email is such a miserable way to actually 
communicate something.  Takes ten times as long to say a tenth as 
much in speech...  

I had a nice holiday season. Saw great fireworks on New Year's 
Eve.  Still think about Ashton...  

About Hself's story, she hasn't gotten to the incredible stuff 
yet.  Did your high school Spanish get you to her story where, as 
a little girl, her mother cut off all of her hair as punishment 
for something?  

ME: What's the use of getting caught up on email when you only 
get behind again?  

See if you think this is funny.  I'd been getting some family and 
friends a good email address of the form 
(like mine).  I got for (guess who?) I told her 
about it in my Christmas card.  Well a few days later a get a 
call from Hself which starts, "Are *you* in *big* trouble!!!"  I 
figure that's what's in store every time my phone rings anyway.  
It seems that she doesn't want an email account - too dangerous 
or something, I dunno.  So I got it deleted for her.  

THEE: Subject: webring 

Thanks for the invitation to join the Meet The Beatles Webring.  
This is the page that has the webring html.  Check it over: 

ME: blueberry swirl 

What the heck is "Il Pagliacci"???  Ohhh, you mean "Pagliacci".  
*Now* I understand.  (One must be careful when one talks to 
experts in their fields.)  That radio broadcast historical note 
intrigued me.  I wonder what the quality of radio was in 1910.  I 
know in the mid '20s it knocked the stuffins out of the record 
industry, it sounded so much better.  Did the quality get better 
and better, or did it just take that long for people to get 
radios?  And did our buddy Mapleson plunk any cylinders on Lee's 

Started "The Beak Of The Finch" today.  In spite of the flow of 
the titles, it "proves" the exact opposite thing as The Neck of 
the Giraffe.  Review so far: lousy and blah.  Doubt if I'll stick 
it out.  

Still sick, but on the upswing.  Eating regular foods is starting 
to cut into my ice cream consumption.  

THEE: Subject: Addition to Meet The Beatles 

Your site has just been added to WebRing: 

      Ring: Meet The Beatles (beatlefan78) 
   Site ID: 28 
     Title: A bunch of Beatle goodies.  

To edit your site information, enter your Site ID and password at 
the URL 

Meet The Beatles 

THEE: Any luck solving my two fuses/wicks riddle?  Want my 

ME: fake trees 

Your Christmas tree story reminded me: I had forgotten that I 
even had a little one stored away until a week or so after 
Christmas.  I put it up and decorated it Jan 5 2000 when a couple 
of friends visited.  I bet that was the latest one the got put 
up.  You know, it just occurred to me - I bet I was the *first* 
person to put up a Christmas tree this *millenium*! 

Maybe it has part to do with being male, but I can't figure what 
everybody is so afraid of.  Like I told Hself on the phone, 
somebody doesn't have to know my email address to sneak in my 
house at night and slit my throat.  They don't even have to know 
my name - or address.  All these psychos running around out there 
have to do is think, hey, there's a house.  Must be somebody 
inside.  Might as well go inside and kill him.  

A while back I had four instances in a few days where I asked 
somebody for somebody's phone number - and their eyes go all big 
and they start backing away like you're the incarnation of 
Jeffrey Dahmer and Gary Gilmore combined.  Criminy, what are 
phones for anyhow???  What is this big "privacy" thing?  I guess 
it gives people's lives meaning.

ME: Subject: submittal from candidate Donald Sauter 

Dear SelectSmart, 

Thank you for your invitation.  Here's the information you 
requested.  You made it very easy and painless.  Thanks again.  

Donald Sauter (no party) 
CANDIDATE'S PHOTO (not available) 

Abortion issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Affirmative action: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Campaign finance: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Crime: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Defense spending: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Drug policy: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Homosexual issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Education money: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Environment: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Evolution: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Foreign policy: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Gun control: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Health care: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Moral issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Social security: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Tax policy: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Trade issues: Presidential action dictated by majority will.  
Notes: none.  

THEE: plastic is better 

As you may know...plastic is better.  A real tree dries up and 
drops needles all in the carpet..UGH.  NOT to mention the real 
fire hazzard it is!!  A neighbor of a former co-worked was burnt 
really badly when their old tree caught fire.  She was a young 
kid...and might have been playing with matches...young teen I 
think, but she was damaged badly.  Plus, I always got a rash when 
we carried those real christmas trees up from the field, so I'm 
probably allergic 

Congrats on being the first person to put UP a Christmas tree in 
the new millenium! 

E-mail stuff doesn't freak me.  Phone numbers...that's something 
else.  Did you ever notice how Pizza places KNOW where you live 
once you give them your phone number.  ALL our vital statistics 
are easy to find with a phone number and SS#.  Shades of the 

So, giving out a phone number without the person's permission has 
become the same as using your feet to hold your fork.  No, 
wait...worse.  People would probably enjoy the feet tricks.  

'Spying' on AOL members.  What I mean, is that if you know 
someone extra screen name...and you have an extra screen can follow them into chat rooms...see how they talk 
when you aren't around.  Stupid...huh...  

THEE: Gourmet Peanut Butter 

Dear Donald, I read your notes and would like to send you a 
sample of the first Gourmet Peanut Butter.  Please send me your 
address,  You can visit our web site  
to read about our history.  We are just bringing our product to 
market and we have won raves from peanut butter lovers 

Herb Dow 
Chairman of the Board 
Sorrells Pickard Gourmet Peanut Butter Company 

THEE: DNA swirl 

We had to put off going until Saturday morning, because Hself had 
got us tickets for the latest pantomime from the dreaded British 
Embassy Players for Friday night.  

The Embassy Players gave us "Dick Whittington."  It was silly, as 
expected, but amusing.  The cast did give us a round of "WCWIO," 
[we can work it out] which is the least they could do, 
considering the beastly way they treated the Fabs at the embassy, 

I'll testify that I've heard of "Pagliacci" referred to as "Il 
Pagliacci," but, heck, you're the opera guy.  

My source for the 1910 radio broadcast said that it was 
experimental, and that such broadcasts didn't catch on until the 
'20s, when radio technology had significantly improved.  

ME: Yeah, I guess I'll never quite figure out what world 
everybody is living in.  I guess things are different for people 
like me who have never ordered a pizza.  If I protected my phone 
number, the *only* people who would have it would be the 

And my SS# is 214-63-3493.  How's that for guts!!!  Now that 
that's out somebody's gonna club my head in for sure.  

A new Gourmet Peanut Butter company found my web page and wants 
to send me a sample.  Now I'm sure there are about 99,000 reasons 
why I shouldn't give those psychos my address, but for some free 
peanut butter (gourmet!), I figure it's worth the risk! 

My little tree is down now.  The record, as far as I know, is my 
grandparents Sauter left a tree up till Easter once when Pop was 
a kid.  He mentioned this once and nobody believed him so he 
managed to get my sister to bet him and they called our 
grandmother who confirmed that they left a Christmas tree up till 
Easter one year.  I'm sort of proud of that, even though I wasn't 
there then.  

Not experiencing big regrets, but wondering if I want to stay 
connected to the Beatle ring.  The pro is more traffic (maybe), 
the con is being associated with a bunch of crummy sites.  It's 
rough being an elitist!  :) 

Make no mistake, I am amazed and impressed with your email speed 
and quality.  My friend Hself is the same way - it's apparently as 
easy and natural as talking.  I've probably mentioned, when I was 
in school, if I had to write any sort of essay or report for 
homework, I could stare at a blank page all night.  

ME: Subject: pb 

I mentioned the new Gourmet Peanut Butter company who got in 
touch with me tonioght.  Guess what?  Nothing is Beatleproof - 
not even peanut butter.  

The full name is the Sorrells Pickard Gourmet Peanut Butter 
company.  The name registered with me as a country music star, 
but I didn't give it further thought, figuring it wasn't the same 
guy anyhow.  Then I visited their site and found out it was none 
other than Ringie's own Sorrels Pickard!  He wrote some of my 
very favorite songs on Beaucoups of Blues.  

Here's the lowdown:  

ME: Re: Gourmet Peanut Butter 

Dear Herb, 

I had to write again after visiting your site.  I've been a big 
Beatles fan all my life.  I bought Ringo's Beaucoups of Blues 
back when it came out.  I always liked that album - and my 
favorite songs on it were by Sorrells!  It's so crazy crossing 
paths like this 30 years later because of peanut butter.  

Tell him I said hi and good luck.  If he has any little, nice 
memories of the sessions with Ringo, prod him into putting them 
up on the web.  Or I'd be glad to put them in with my Beatle 
pages.  I was always wondering if he wrote that line at the end 
of $15 Draw, "I got my dawg, and he's reeeal mean!" or whether 
Ringo was goofing around.  That's cool.  

THEE: Hmm...putting your SS# in an email...on the internet.  
Probably the beginning of the End.  In 2010...when Eddie Vedder 
has 'predicted' ...'watch it go to fire'...they'll be able to 
trace the chain of events back to that simple action on your 
part.  YIPES!! Just teasing of course...though he does have those 

Talk about a fire hazzard!!  Was it a potted tree that your 
grandmother left up?   I don't think they had fake trees when 
your father was a kid!   Hope Easter was early!! Was it in the 
same house that I was in a couple times?  Does you father remember 
WHY they left the tree up?  Pretty funny story.  

About your beatle ring, I guess you are promoting crummy 
sites...but just imagine how uplifting it will be for people who 
arrive at your site from these crummy sites.  

I find emailing EASIER than talking.  Don't have to worry if 
stuff is stuck in my teeth...if I'm dressed ok (touch of 
insomnia...I'm in my nightgown now)...I don't end up staring at 
the stuff in the other person's teeth.   Course, my emails depend 
on the other person's response too.  The easier they are to 
write...the easier it is for me to write.  If I feel respected, 
and free to say anything...I do.   You're very good at emails 

THEE: Incidentally, I gave the game to my daughter, who is the 
Beatle Fan Extrordinare, and she was most I on 
the # of ?s that she got right.  Her comment was, "Awesome".   
You can pass that on to whoever needs a recommendation about the 
games'  worthiness.  

THEE: Subject: PB, read it, eat it! 

I just listened to disc one of "150 Songs, Ballads, Jigs and 
Reels of Ireland."  Side two clocked in at almost 36 minutes.  
Surely that's some sort of record.  

THEE: Significa 

Just finished watching an "Avengers" episode called "Dial a 
Deadly Number."  I pulled out a book called "The Avengers 
Dossier" and learned that the episode first aired on Dec. 4, 
1965, and what's this?  

"Incidentally, Philip Norman's 'Shout' describes the Beatles 
watching an episode of 'The Avengers' at Newcastle City Hall in 
December 1965, and it is most probably this one." 

Wow, "Shout" keeps tempting me to give it a reread.  Confirmation 
of this claim about "The Avengers" could be something to do 

THEE: Re: Gourmet Peanut Butter 

I called Sorrells and he was happy to hear someone remembers the 
album that well.  Ringo added that line to the end of $15 Draw.  
And I agree how amazing it is crossing paths over peanut butter 


ME: psychic?

Played another lunchtime session at Strathmore Hall today with my 
guitar partner.  The stage is tiny and the sweat was running off the 
walls.  [cavern reference]

Got an answer back about Ringo's last line in $15 Draw.  How's 
that for first-hand Beatles research?  And who was that dumbell 
who once laughed off the internet as "the CB of the '90s"?  (Oh 
yeah, that was me.  You win some, you lose some, I guess.) 

ME: Subject: guitar music?  

Are you looking for guitar music on-line?  Try the American 
Memories area of the library of Congress site.  Also check the 
Levy sheet music site.  

If you're wondering where my music is, it would take over a 1000 
Mbytes and an army of people to put it online.  It would also 
take a lifetime to print out, would be extremely expensive and 
still wouldn't look as good as a modern photocopy.  Not the way 
to go yet.  

THEE: I fear that Tuesday's traffic nightmare might pose a challenge 
to your famous Snow in Washington, D.C. page.  I've been telling 
everyone that I didn't have a ruler small enough to measure the 
accumulation but that my 15-minute bus ride took an hour anyway.  

Speaking of pages, it would be improper to refer to your take on 
Evolution as a "page."  I printed it out--it's 40 pages.  I'm on 
page six.  

PS.  Dunno nothin' about the history of basketball.  That bit was 
from the Library of Congress, which should be reliable, however.  
One of the teams' coaches had known inventor Dr. Naismith a few 
years earlier.  

ME: pratie fries 

Enjoyed the Beatlefan.  Was quite surprised to see that VeeJay 
stamped records in Owosso, MI.  I just heard of it a few weeks 
ago in an editorial by the president of the Gazette, Chuck Lyons.  
He was waxing nostalgic about Christmastime in his small Michigan 
hometown, which we only found out via a letter to the editor in 
the next issue was Owosso.  The editor of a paper there who was 
visiting here saw Charlie's editorial and provided an update.  
Neither article mentioned Introducing The Beatles.  By the way, 
Owosso is just west of Lennon.  

I happened to be out in that snow on Tuesday, and I'm here to 
report that depth and frictionlessness do *not* go hand in hand.  
In fact, I'm sure there's an inverse relationship.  Not only did 
I do plenty of sliding myself, but I saw cars that couldn't make 
it up the gentlest inclines.  Believe me, it wasn't in our heads.  
Still, I'm an open-minded sorta guy.  When somebody can explain 
how (or just demonstrate that) northern cars can drive normally 
on frictionless surfaces, I'll shut up.  

I looked out the window about 11:10, but couldn't see the moon.  
I'm doubtful that it's because it was eclipsed, though.  

ME: christmas in april 

Whaddaya mean how did them gourmet peanut butter guys find my 
site?  I've had a boss recipe for the stuff up since the 
beginning of time, and I guess these guys needed to check out the 
competition when they went online.  Now that they see somebody is 
giving out a *free* recipe to the world, I suppose they want to 
butter me up.  

About the infamous, 4-month Christmas tree, I'm sure it was your 
standard, lopped-off-at-the-bottom, in-a-red-and-grean-stand 
model.  It wasn't till decades later when people started putting 
up potted trees.  I thought it was kind of weird when we did it 
when I was younger.  The tree in our front yard was a Christmas 
tree once, maybe some others.  

THEE: My dear boy! 

I forgot to tell you that my current read, "The Fall of Saigon" 
by David Butler (1985) sports a back-cover blurb from Gloria 
Emerson.  How do I feel about Ms. Emerson?  

Me the Beatlefan:  An old fogey whose close-minded debate with 
John and Yoko redefined the term "square." 

Me the student of Vietnam:  Perhaps our most perceptive critic 
on one of the nation's biggest modern tragedies.  

(A friend of Hself's, who knows all about the internet, assures me 
that, yes, the JPG format is the format of choice these days 
because you can keep a lot more photos of nekkid gals in the same 
amount of space.  Porn drives the technology, he says.)  

ME: from this valley they say we are coming 

I heard a discussion on WAMU this morning (because that's what I 
get now when WMUC is off the air) about the amazingness of web 
radio, and how it will only get more amazing.  Bring this topic 
up in non-cyber discussion some day.  

Guess who I talked to tonight - my buddy Sorrells!  We talked for 
about 25 minutes.  He has lots of fond memories of the sessions 
with Ringo.  He referred to them as "hard work", though, so it's 
nice to know that cranking out 25 new songs in 3 days is at least 
a small strain on country musicians.  Wish I were better at 
taking notes.  Don't know if I caught enough to put up a web 
page.  One interesting little tidbit was that "Bolton City" in 
the song $15 Draw was supposed to be Bossier City, which is 
across the Red River from Shreveport, La.  It has a strip of juke 
joints and honky tonks and is "on the circuit".  Sorrells wasn't 
aware or had forgotten that Ringo sang "Bolton", which is also 
what the printed lyrics say.  Keep in mind that Sorrells knows 
his lyrics.  For instance, he was a little bemused when another 
performer changed "when I get to the club" in the last line of 
the same song to "when I do the club".  He also filled me in on 
the latest developments in fat-free peanuts.  

ME: You know, once I filled up a whole 90-minute tape with 
country and rockabilly songs that have some involvement or 
another by the Beatles as a group or individuals.  I thought it 
was great.  Even sent it to a local country station, figuring 
that almost all of their listeners now are people who grew up on 
'60s' pop and can't belly the current pop music.  The station did 
not smother me with eternal gratitude.  How do you figure?  

Also got a call this morning from a man in Houston who was 
excited about my pages describing all the guitar music I got from 
the Library Of Congress.  The web's kind of amazing, no?  

I heard a discussion on the radio this morning about web radio.  
Even so, I bet it will be 1000 years before even a web radio 
station would play a single cut from any of the albums I've 
played at home in the last 3 months.  

Well, it's either a red letter day, or maybe the beginning of the 
end of civilization as we know it.  I added some graphics to my 
web site today.  I know, I know, now I'm just like everybody 
else.  Read 'em and weep: 

ME: thanks and thanks 

Thanks for the jars of peanut butter.  

And thanks for inviting me to call Sorrells for a little chat.  I 
enjoyed his stories about the sessions with Ringo.  I wish I were 
a better interviewer - and knew how to take shorthand.  

I have some Beatles-related web pages, and I'd like to put 
Sorrells's anecdotes in a web page.  I don't really want to 
bother him again by phone, so could I drop him a note by mail?  
I'd like him to have the chance to correct or embellish anything 
I wrote.  

Also, he knows so much about country music that I was kicking 
myself as soon as I hung up.  I didn't think to ask if he knows 
anything about a country singer named Paul Puckett - somebody my 
family is very curious about.  

ME: I've been sledding two days in a row.  Yes, it's a rough 
life.  Tuesday was all by myself, which isn't quite so much fun.  
Also, it's a lot more work blazing a run all by yourself.  You 
get lots of snow in your face.  Today there was a family (mother, 
father and little girl) who got there a minute before me.  And 
then a bunch of neighborhood boys showed up.  We had a great 
time.  Some of the kids I met last year when we made a huge 
snowball.  Tried to get a Gazette photographer to come out for 
that, but they must not have a nose for news.  

I'd be happy to share my peanut butter with you before you spring 
for your own.  By the way, there's something down in the 
ingredient list that scares me.  The dreaded *coconut*!!!  I'm 
hoping it doesn't cut through - but coconut always does.  

THEE: Re: Welcome to my evolution FAQ - round 3 

Donald, I wrote and you commented in square brackets: 

jw> However, Darwin thought that incipient species first arise as 
varieties within species. Consider the dog (Canis familiaris) - 
high degree of morphological variation, low degree of genetic 
variation. If proto-giraffe and proto-okapi are members of the 
same species, and the proto-giraffe morphology is genetically 
dominant (or even if it is recessive so long as there are enough 
copies in a given population), then that morph can exist long 
enough to breed up a respectable-size population of "true" proto-
giraffes, and they can remain "true" if separated geographically, 
ecologically or behaviourally until they lose the ability to 
breed back. 

[DS: If I follow you, you are saying the "upcoming" species is 
programmed into the genetic material of the parent species. In 
fact, some members of a species may be programmed to evolve into 
one species (proto-giraffe), while other members are programmed 
to evolve into another (proto-okapi). Is there general agreement 
on this?  It sounds so unlike what anyone else is arguing in this 
discussion. What happened to random mutations? Has anyone 
theorized that the blueprint for the evolution of all species was 
programmed in the first simple life form?] 

No I am definitely *not* saying that upcoming species (the phrase 
is incipient, or in statu nascendi if you like Latin) are 
anything at all.  Being of a novel species is something that you 
can only tell after the event, just as being the First World War 
is something that only occurs when the Second World War is on the 
way, ie, much later.  

And genes are not programmed. They exist and those that do well 
in the relevant developmental and ecological circumstances get 
spread about, subject to the exigencies of chance. Some members 
of the proto-okapi species may become ancestors of the okapi, and 
some may become members of the giraffes, and some may not end up 
as leading to any species at all. That's all.  

Reproductive isolation occurs when the overall biological 
processes of organisms in two distinct populations are so 
different they cannot breed fertile progeny. This happens due to 
the accrual of small variations.  The morphs may have come first 
and the isolation followed, or the isolation first and the 
adaptive evolution later. But in the end, the morphology is 
secondary to the reproductive isolation, and many closely related 
species aren't even that different morphologically.  

jw> So your "calculations" of probability of these events is 
unnecessary.  The probabilities are quite high: that variations 
will occur and that they will spread, in the right conditions of 
population structure, through a breeding population. 

[DS: The probability that the variation will occur is "quite 
high" if, as you say, the variation was pre-programmed. The 
probability is near-zero if it requires a random mutation. In 
either case, I'm not signing off on how rampantly such an 
insignificant change can spread due to natural selection.] 

I am *not* saying that the variation is preprgrammed. Variation 
happens, for good physical reasons, but the *particular* 
variation is not predetermined. But if the likelihood of a 
*given* mutation is low, the likelihood that there will *be* 
mutation is quite high, and over the numbers of generations and 
individual lifecycles we are talking about, there is a very high 
likelihood that some will be better for local conditions than 
already exists.  

So when you later wrote 

[DS: My reaction is interspersed with your explanation 
above. I may have missed your point, but what I get is that new 
species come about in one big, genetically pre-programmed jump. 
I'd be interested in everyone else's reaction to that.] 

I insist you have missed the point, due to this idea that 
mutation is somehow preprogrammed. This is called "orthogenesis" 
and is well abandoned. Evolution is not providential.  

-- John Wilkins Web page yet to come 

THEE: TOO COOL that you talked to Sorrells Pickard!!   You do 
realize that you are technically 2 degrees of separation from 
Ringo.  Hey, that means I'm only 3 degrees from Ringo.  Small 
world...huh.  Hope you got enough notes to recreate some of your 

That's a cool idea to make a tape with country songs/Beatles 
influence.  Dumb radio station though. give me your SS#...and now you add graphics to your 
web site!  No wonder we got snow dumped on us!!! 

ME: Just out of curiosity, do you know who Sergei Prokudin Gorsky 
is off the top of your head?  I had forgotten his name, and tried 
to find him on the web based on what I think he is known for, but 
to no avail.  

Was Fred Bolt John and Jimmie's teacher?  

I've been told, and like to believe, that the great blue heron is 
indigenous to all 50 states.  

ME: request 

Sorry about the "technologist" fuzziness.  I never was any good 
at titles.  At GE I was a programmer/analyst and I never knew 
what an "analyst" is.  I'd think every job there ever was 
involves some degree of analyzing.  

Yep, me and my buddy Sorrells talked by telephone.  Not only was 
he happy to give out his number (850-592-6300) to a psycho such 
as myself, but now I hear (from Cousin Herb Dow, Chairman of the 
Board of the peanut butter company) that he enjoyed the talk and 
wouldn't mind me calling again.  He also gave me his address.  

Let's see, what do I want to hear on web radio?  The paradox is, 
I can only think of things that I've already heard and have 
access to.  I guess the real question is, what do I think is cool 
that the rest of the world *needs* to hear?  Hmmmm... there's 
that Christmas carillon record I bought for a quarter.  Maybe 
Scott Joplin's opera Treeemonisha.  The 1899 recording of 
Miserere.  Um, there were some neat things on that Hammond organ 
record played in the style of Ken Griffin.  Oh yeah, how about 
Dmitri Shostakovich's comic opera Karyomushki?  And side 2 track 
2 of my 25-cent Archies record.  Oh man, I almost forgot, my 95 
cent Minimum Wage EP cassette!  And they gave me 5 great bonus 
tracks on side 2.  There's the band I followed in my college 
days, Musica Orbis.  I'm afraid there's a long way to go before 
we get to the normal stuff, like Cambridge 1969 by John and Yoko, 
and "Without Her" written by my pal Sorrells and sung by Ringo.  
Is that enough to tide your dj friend over with for now?  

THEE: Re: request 

Did you ever read anything by F.Paul Wilson?  I just read the 
last book in his 'Adversary' series...'Nightworld'.   As the 
world falls apart...people turn on each
jacking..e.t.c.  As I tried to leave work Tuesday in that mess, I 
got so scared.  Think that book influenced me.  

I can send your list of music to my online DJ, but I can't 
guarantee he'll play that stuff.  I was thinking more like the 

THEE: Re: evolution "FAQ" 

I appreciate this, and your overall honesty. If I think you have 
misunderstood the ideas, that is only because you are getting 
into this topic from a particular direction, one that I too came 
from and so I am sympathetic.  

ME: mascagni's intermezzo 

Prokudin-Gorsky (Prokudin-Gorskii) went around Russia on a train 
in the 1910 time frame taking spectacular color photographs.  I 
was totally knocked out by an exhibit at the Library of Congress 
in 1986.  Since I never knew that color photography went back 
that far, and since some of his subject matter was already 100s 
of years old, my brain kept wanting to think it was looking at 
*500-year-old* color photos.  Later, I saw the book Photographs 
For The Tsar, which has everything, and more, that the exhibit 
had, I guess, but somehow didn't have the same mindblowing 
effect.  Jaded by then, I guess.  

Anyhow, I absolutely could not find the guy on the web searching 
for things like "color photography" "early" "history" "russia" 
and "czar", etc.  

We even have blue herons in my neighborhood.  

THEE: My Quasi-Baroque Guitar 

I'm glad people are still experimenting with such things.  I 
completely forgot about the old article Richard Jensen and I 
wrote for Guitar Review.  

When I have more time, I hope to spend more time on your site.  

THEE: Football 

I have to agree with the other comment on the page. This has to 
be one of the dumbest things I've heard anybody say in a long 
time, maybe ever.  Your right about needing another name for it 
because if you made the changes your talking about then it would 
no longer be football and football players play football not most 
"normal" people. So far after thousands of kickoffs very few 
players have been injured due to running at full speed and 
hitting someone else. I'm sure it would kill you but then again 
your not a football player or a normal person are you?  

THEE: Subject: Football 

Oh and here's a quote I found I thought you might like.  

"Any idiot can find something wrong with anything. That's what 
makes them idiots!" 

THEE: dictated by majority will 

I would like to know how you are going to find out what the 
"majority will".  

In my life time, I have not seen an acurate way to establish 
majority opinion yet.  

Any survey or polls that I have seen are not and will never be 
acurate until everybody's opinion is accounted for.  

If you have a method of finding out what the "majority will" is, 
I would like to know how. As it is I think that you are dreaming.  

THEE: And another license plate 

The guy who bought the year 2000 Volkswagen and got the plate 
"Y2K Bug" was thinking.  

ME: I'd be glad to check the Prokudin-Gorsaky photo book out of 
the library.  In fact I almost did the last time I went in.  I'm 
afraid putting it back on the "Do Not Reshelve" table may have 
drawn attention to it, though.  

I tried out some Justin Holland songs with a new singer friend I 
crossed paths with at last year's Black Composers Concert at 
Catholic U.  She had shown some interest at that time (although I 
don't know if she remembers that a year later.)  I took a closer 
look at the songs and found one with a main character named 
Donald.  There's something you don't see every day.  

Yes, I have a collection of 3 Emitt Rhodes albums.  They don't 
*quite* knock me out, which is high praise, relatively speaking.  

That terrible split pea soup was actually pretty good the next 
day.  I was inspired to try it again, and I bought an 8 pound 
Smithfield spiral-cut, honey-baked ham from Shoppers.  I thought 
the price had to be a mistake, and told them so.  They said, no, 
that's the correct price.  It was 59 cents a pound, *plus* an 
instant coupon for $3 off.  That brought the price down from 
$4.72 to $1.72! 

ME: old england is dying 

I made another person really mad with my football page.  That's 
not my intention with any of my web pages.  Maybe I need a second 
opinion on that one.  

Oh, so your dj friend wants Waterboys requests.  How about The 
Pan Within and Eleanor Rigby back-to-back to show the 
similarities.  And The Whole Of The Moon for its Penny Lane-like 
trumpets (and vocals near the end sounding like David Bowie's 
Fame.)  And "Trumpets", which has the lines "please don't wake me 
no don't shake me" from the Beatles "I'm Only Sleeping".  

I found a pop song from the 1860s in my collection of guitar 
music with a main character named Donald.  There's something you 
don't see every day.  ("Hself"s, yes.) 

THEE: 'Donald, Donald, bo bonald..fee fie foe Mo Monald... 

WHAT did the old england subject mean??  

I don't think I know any songs with Donald in them...unless it's 
a twisted tune about Donald Trump...or Donald Duck.  

Mary is a great name for songs, cause it rhymes with tons of 
stuff.  WHAT does Donald rhyme with anyway?  Ronald?  

ME: vanilla, too 

Don't worry, I never thought for a moment you were forwarding my 
crazy requests to the dj guy.  I was just trying to make a point 
about the staggering quantity of different kinds of music out 
there, about .000000000000000000001 percent of which might ever 
get airplay, even with 20000 channels of net radio.  

About the Waterboys, I was just trying to show off, babbling 
about a bunch of Waterboys tunes to make it sound like I *know* 
something about pop music since the 60s.  It's really just a 
fluke that I have a Waterboys album.  All the songs I mentioned 
are on This Is The Sea.  Those 3 Beatle connections really are in 
there; they jumped right out at me.  (But then, I'm the guy who 
heard the backing to Rain in Jeremy.)  My subject line "old 
england is dying" is a line from the song on that album called 
Old England.  Downer lyrics but a good sound.  

Went up to see the family on Sunday and had the grand opening of 
my gourmet peanut butter.  It's sort of strange.  You can taste 
all the ingredients way down the list, like cinnamon, coconut and 
lemon.  Different flavors hit you on different bites.  The lemon 
gives it a strange sort of fruity quality.  Some family members 
quite enjoyed Ringo's country album, too.  There were requests to 
keep it going when I tried to take it off.  

Went to the local library the other day.  I spun through the used 
book store they have on the lower floor, or thought I was going 
to spin through it.  I found a goldmine in the record bins - 7 
big, ol' boxed sets of operas from the early 1950s.  They would 
have cost only 25 cents per *album* on the second day of a big 
book sale, but I couldn't risk letting them get away.  They were 
too cool.  I've only listened to Trovatore so far; listening to 
operas is slow going.  What's funny is these big boxes have small 
7" booklets (still, a lot bigger than CDs!) in them because back 
then, the albums were released in 2 formats, LP and 45s!  The 
version of Trovatore with 45s had 9 records! 

ME: uline ice arena

Gave Hself and two of her kids who got in a little trouble a 
ride to the department of juvenile justice the other day.  I'm 
afraid one day I'm gonna blow my stack watching our justice 
system in action.  Talk about a bunch of tin-pot dictators who 
aren't qualified to judge a donkey race...  

I did blow my cool in the bank the other day.  It became quickly 
clear that I had jumped to a conclusion and I felt so rotten.  I 
guess with banks, utilities and the government I'm always 
expecting them to pull another little trick on you, and I get so 
tired of always having to keep looking over my shoulder to see 
what wild jackals are snapping at my heels now.  

I guess I should pay a visit to the Washington Coliseum tomorrow 
(Friday, Feb 11). 

THEE: We watched a 1967 movie called "The President's Analyst" 
last night.  We're not sure if it was OK or really rotten.  I say 
OK, Hself says rotten.  It did feature a gang of Canadian secret 
agents disguised as a British rock band called the Pudlians.  
That was clever.  


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Abbreviations: Hself = generic name, male or female (Himself, Herself). lc = library of congress/.

Parents, if you're considering tutoring or supplemental education for your child, you may be interested in my observations on Kumon.