Snowstorm eve.

Sorry no blogging last night. Other stuff, etc. So it’s linkalicious Thursday today.

It’s been a tough week in many ways, and I don’t think anyone is having a particularly good one. So I was in the right mood to read this short essay, on a particular passage from William Blake. Blake is one of my favorite poets, and the author of this piece was interviewed on the radio this morning, so I’ll take it as a sign. Won’t take long.

David Brooks on data. It’s not as awful as you might expect, but I confess, when I read this passage…

Over the next year, I’m hoping to get a better grip on some of the questions raised by the data revolution: In what situations should we rely on intuitive pattern recognition and in which situations should we ignore intuition and follow the data? What kinds of events are predictable using statistical analysis and what sorts of events are not?

…my immediate answer to the question is, “when David Brooks has a book of sweeping generalizations about people he knows little about, to flatter the self-perceptions of his smug readership, that’s when!”

From the Now I’ve Seen Everything file: Drive-through Ash Wednesday. Just give me the bullet points and the smudge — I’m in a hurry!

Good day to all. Snow expected here, but not as much as some places. The air smelled a little springlike today, but I’m sure it’s just the moisture bearing down on us. We shall see.

Posted at 8:14 am in Current events |

44 responses to “Snowstorm eve.”

  1. Danny said on February 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Correlation does not imply causation.

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  2. uncle rameau said on February 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Can’t have causation without correlation, eh?

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  3. coozledad said on February 7, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I always liked the story of visitors finding Blake and his wife in their garden, reading selections from Homer. Both of them naked except Blake was wearing a Greek war helmet (must have been a loaner). That’s some seriously hippie shit for the Napoleonic era.

    We got our flimsy Harbor Freight greenhouse finished yesterday, and sat (clothed) in it enjoying the heat.

    It’s not Blake, but I had this song in my head the whole time we were putting the thing together:
    Do you wonder why I look so fresh?
    Do you wonder why I look so tall?
    Do you wonder why you’ll never ever move me?

    Life is good in the greenhouse
    Rather be a plant than be your Mickey Mouse
    Life is good in the greenhouse

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  4. LAMary said on February 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

    After what has been a pretty much shit year I had one day of small victories this week so I’m less bummed than I was a week ago. Less bummed is about as good as it gets these days. The god stuff this week? I’m probably able to get an FHA mortgage so I can buy out the ex if he backs down on his more ridiculous claims. Other good stuff? Younger son is going to graduate from high school, completing a year of work in five months with a 3.7 gpa.

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  5. Deborah said on February 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Good for you LA Mary. It does get better. Hang in there.

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  6. brian stouder said on February 7, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Mary – here’s wishing you well, and CHEERING you ON!!

    One would like to think that you ex would get his head handed to him in court, if he was stupid enough to take you there, given that you’ve (literally) borne all the expenses and – not for nothing – raised some fine young A1A citizens….but that presupposes you going to court and missing work and paying a lawyer, all of which makes a person just want to scream! (as Captain Binghampton used to say)

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  7. annie said on February 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

    After reading the sublime words of William Blake “Joy and woe are woven fine” what popped into my head was the unsublime 1980’s song “Joy and Pain, like sunshine and rain (pump it up, pump it up)…” by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. Now I can’t get that song out of my head. Why does the brain do that?

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  8. Prospero said on February 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

    When afflicted by an earworm, I find singing this to myself a few times rids me of the annoyance:

    This is a brilliant cabinet appointment. I’ve been an REI member for a long time, and this woman is outstanding. If you buy outdoor gear and don’t at least check REI, you’re probably wasting money on inferior goods. What will the GOPers find fault with?

    This shit about cutting Saturday mail service pisses me off immensely. More privatization voodoo from the GOP. requiring USPS to fund pension and health care 75 years in advance is the political equivalent of malicious little boys pulling wings off of flies and burning ants with magnifying glasses. Let’s see Fed Ex do that and operate within the USPS price schedule.

    On William Blake, don’t forget he provided Jim Morrison and Robbie Krieger with the name for their band:

    If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.

    ― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

    And the story of the Blakes entertaining themselve at home? Sounds to me like they were eating bread that harbored rye ergot.

    I wonder if drive-through ashes come with a PowerPoint presentation on a laptop. And doesn’t Our Miss Brooks come dangerously close to Ted Stevens buffoon territory in that column?

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  9. Charlotte said on February 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I’ll always be fond of William Blake for taking in Mary Ann Evers (George Eliot) when her family threw her out. Of course, hanging out with naked hippies really sealed the deal on that family issue … and kind of freaked her out … but good on you William Blake.

    Funny or Die takes on the Ram truck ad: God Made A Factory Farmer:

    And have you ever seen Dead Man with Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer — searching for William Blake among the spooky forests of the Pacific Northwest?

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  10. Catherine said on February 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I missed the Superbowl and only just now finally saw the Ram ad about farmers. Holy crap, that was distorted. One woman, one girl, one African American (man) and one possibly Latino family. And like a dozen white men. Where were my grandma, my Great Aunt Harriet and my Aunt Norma in that ad? On Marketplace this morning, they gave the statistic that 75% of farm workers in this country were born in Mexico. Where were they in that ad?

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  11. Charlotte said on February 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Hmm. NY Times profiles a guy living in the Packard Plant:

    Ruin porn? This time with colorful characters?

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  12. Julie Robinson said on February 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

    This winter does seem to be dragging along. We meant to take a trip to somewhere warm and just never got ourselves organized around all our commitments. Now we are regretting it and can’t even find a weekend to get away. Must practice this word: no.

    LAMary, that’s good news, and I’m hoping it means your employment has also stabilized. And congratulations to your son, which of course also means good going, mom!

    From my facebook feed, a new and horribly wrong version of Anne of Green Gables:

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  13. JWfromNJ said on February 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I miss snowstorm eves, or even varied weather in any form.

    I’s have a pot of soup or stew simmering, and revel in that calm, still air just before the sky opens up. I’m making a sympathetic soup even though it’s in the mid-70’s and bone dry here in Vero Beach. But New England Clam Chowder called my name.

    For the record we’ve had a few cold nights – like below 40, but we haven’t turned on the heat at all this winter, and we’ve had the air conditioner set at 74 since July.

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  14. Prospero said on February 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Dead Man is a very fine movie indeed. Directed by Jim Jarmusch, one of his best. Cast also includes Iggy Pop, Crispin Glover, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt, Alfred Molina, Robert Mitchum, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi. That’s a fascinating assemblage in any movie. Crispin Glover is worth the price of admission in anything he’s in, although he’ll always carry the creepy baggage of River’s Edge.

    I started reading William Blake with The Tyger and was captivated by Blake’s drawings as well as the simple elegant formality of his poetry.

    I realize that many believe that the Doors were named for the Aldous Huxley book, but I stick with the William Blake reference based upon statements by the Lizard King himself.

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  15. Peter said on February 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Drive through Ash Wednesday? YEAH BABY!!! I like!!!!

    I mean, other than the exhaust, how is that different from the assembly line handout at the church before or after work?

    Prospero, I second your comments on REI and the new appointment. She ought to say that “what’s good for REI is good for the interior” and see if anybody at Fox picks up on it.

    I was talking with a lady this morning at City Hall and she was going on about the evil looney president of Argentina. Of course, I had to ask – How evil/looney is she? The reply: Dick Cheney with a period evil looney.
    I’m sure the usual suspects will hiss and scream, but she’s a businesswoman, for chrissakes, and whats good for the environment is good for REI.

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  16. Peter said on February 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    OOPS – sorry for the bad edit on the last entry.

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  17. Sherri said on February 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    An antidote to the Paul Harvey Super Bowl ad:

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  18. Dexter said on February 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    “Feck! F-E-C-K !? It’s me Layne, Feck! C’mon Feck, open the door, it’s me, Layne.”
    I liked River’s Edge a lot, Prospero. It’s one of those movies you quit surfing for and watch it to the end.

    I never saw anyone at the factory walking around with ashes applied, but over the years I have noticed plenty of well-dressed folks with ashes on their foreheads. I never knew Methodists applied ashes, and I was raised a Methodist.
    I approve of drive-by ashing. C’mon…they have had drive-by corpse-viewing for years, at least in LA. I was unnerved when that started, a loved one displayed in a drive-by viewing pose in a big window.

    My only pre-lent ritual is, of course, paczki. Just five more days.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    “Feck! F-E-C-K !? It’s me Layne, Feck! C’mon Feck, open the door, it’s me, Layne.”

    Ah, memories…

    Whatever happened to Ione Skye, the hottie from that movie? She was in one other (“Say Anything”) and then kind of dropped off the radar, as far as I can tell.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Oops. Tagfail. Click on the word “hottie” if you want to see a picture of her.

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  21. Connie said on February 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Growing up in Dutch country I never knew any Catholics. The only thing I learned about Catholicism was that they worshipped idols.

    My first year in college I remember sitting in the cafeteria and asking why all those people had dirt on their faces.

    The coolest trendiest Dutch Reformed churches -that’s an oxymoron- have added Ash Wednesday services and ashes to their programs.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    As a never-Catholic kid, what I liked about Ash Wednesday is that it reminded me that winter’s end was in sight.

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  23. Prospero said on February 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Am I hearing the RAM ad incorrectly or does it start out with Paul Harvey saying God looked down on his “planned paradise”? So God’s a commie with a plan for a centrally directed socialist Utopia?

    And Bobo Brooks needs to learn that data is plural and takes a plural verb form. Six years of Latin and that crap really bugs me . The data is? The media is? Come on, NYT must employ editors that are better educated than Bobo.

    Ione Skye’s full name is Ione Skye Leitch. She’s the daughter of Donovan “Cosmic Wheels” Leitch, spiritual descendant and fellow traveller of William Blake.

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  24. John (not McCain) said on February 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    “Whatever happened to Ione Skye, the hottie from that movie?”

    She married the recently deceased MCA of the Beastie Boys (but they split up long before he died). The last movie I saw her in was David Fincher’s Zodiac.

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  25. John (not McCain) said on February 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Oops, sorry. Skye married Ad-Rock, a different, and still breathing, Beastie entirely. Definitely in Zodiac, though.

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  26. Prospero said on February 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Two new books I’m anticipating enthusiastically:

    Ribald Woody Guthrie novel, and

    One last Maurice Sendak, another modern William Blake incarnation if there ever was one.

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  27. Prospero said on February 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    According to IMDb, Ione Skye’s first movie was…tada…River’s Edge. I also thought River’s Edge was very good, but it sure was depressing as far as kids these days are concerned.

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Propsero: I believe she dropped the “Leitch” years ago, probably because she never had much of relationship with her dad, and now just goes by Ione Skye.

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  29. Deborah said on February 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Loved the movie Dead Man, I’m a big Jarmusch fan ever since Stranger Than Paradise. Also Blake has been one of my favorites since college, I minored in English Lit.

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  30. MaryRC said on February 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    That Anne of Green Gables cover that Julie linked to … I don’t think I could put it better than the first reviewer on the page: “Anne of Green Gables had RED HAIR!”

    The reviewer also points out the EWWW factor: at the beginning of the story, Anne was 10 years old.

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  31. Deborah said on February 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    It’s snowing beaucoup in Chicago right now after a miserable day of wintery mix. Oh how I hate February. Less than a week before I arrive in Santa Fe where it’s in the high forties during the day and sunny.

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  32. Prospero said on February 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Yeah, the singer was estranged from Ione and her brother, also named Donovan Leitch, but she used her surname in her first few movie roles at least, which is why I was aware of the relationship. I read the credits, invariably. After he spit with their mother Donavan married someone else and has been married for about 40 years with two new daughters. One of them is named Astrella (you can take the boy out of hippiedom, but you can’t take the hippy out of the boy), and Astrlla decided to wage a campaign to bring the entire extended family back together:

    I was always a Donovan fan, from the first time I heard Colours, beautiful finger style guitar playing and better than average poetic lyrics. What I really liked were his electric jazzy and psychedelic electric tunes like Hurdy Gurdy Man and Atlantis, and Riki Tiki Tavi (which, strangely, comes across as something like a Libertarian anthem).

    What I thought made Dead Man magical was having the mistaken identity of this William Blake made by an American Indian ESOL speaker. Here’s a very good trailer for the movie:

    I also really like Down By Law, which is free online with a HuluPlus subscription. A great Tom Waits performance.. Dead Man bears a resemblance to Luis Bunuel desert movies, I think. I first watched Dead Man because the cast is astounding, and I’ll watch anything with Robert Mitchum, Johnny Depp, or Gabriel Byrne. All three in one movie. Must see.

    Funny comment from that Anne of Green Gables page:

    This book is supposed to be Anne Of Green Gables NOT Anne Does Green Gables!

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  33. Prospero said on February 7, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    And watch this terrible two shoot hoops:

    Probably being recruited already.

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  34. Charlotte said on February 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Deborah — that’s why I wouldn’t move back east of Denver after my first winter in Telluride. I remember being on the top of the ski hill one day, in February. The sky was blue. It was in the 30s. There was sunshine. I was Never Going Back.

    Of course, it’s gloomy in Livingston right now, and the wind, the wind she is a blowing as always … but still. More sunny days than the midwest (probably why town is full of transplanted midwesterners).

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  35. Sherri said on February 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    We had a sunny day today in Seattle! In even better news, the Seattle mayor shut down the Seattle Police Department’s drone program after many protests at hearings:

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  36. LAMary said on February 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I was in Seattle for a week this time of year a couple of years ago and it was drizzling and dark the entire time. I’m not complaining, just reporting. I’ll be there again in a couple of weeks for two days of “team building.” My teeth hurt just typing that.

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  37. Sherri said on February 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    LAMary, drizzling and dark is the norm for Seattle this time of year. As I was told when I moved up here, the rainy season ends July 5th. July and August are glorious months, September and October are mostly nice, but the rest of the year is pretty gray.

    Team building always made me want to kill the other members of the team. I don’t think that was the goal.

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  38. Sherri said on February 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    So God made a banker:

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  39. Connie said on February 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    As to team building, there’s nothing I hate worse than “Let’s break up into small groups.”

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  40. Danny said on February 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    My wife is doing a girl’s night out Saturday, so planned a team building event for my work group at my house. But it’s non-mandatory and involves pizza, beer/wine and an Alien movie marathon. Should be fun.

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  41. Catherine said on February 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    “Let’s think outside the box.”

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  42. Dexter said on February 8, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Yeah, Prospero, and one can watch most-all of “Down by Law” in segments on YouTube, and over the years I have linked quite a few of those clips here at nn.c.
    Once again, a favorite…

    Last night I watched a movie starring Ethan Hawke, “The Woman in the Fifth.” The critics hated it, but I highly recommend it. A confusing plot, but if you watch it closely it makes sense, sort of. Beautiful cinematography as well, shot in the seedier side of Paris.

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  43. Linda said on February 8, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Connie @ 39: You mean the small groups that sit in silence and squirm, while some other small group (never the one you are in) is working like beavers and turning out the exact output that the leaders had in mind? The small groups where there is one person who ends up doing all the work/talking/planning/explaining to the whole group? Put me down for some of that hate.

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  44. Linda said on February 8, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Re: Ash Wednesday. When I lived in Memphis, very few people knew what it was about, and a few helpful Protestants would see a smudge on my face and discreetly whisper that I needed to wipe something off my face. For the few who know WHY I had a smudge, it was like we were in a secret club.

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