The Kindness of Strangers

Just got a package from Amazon containing a CD by the rock band Clutch. I have no idea who sent it to me, but I do get the occasional item in the mail from readers (mostly books).

Anyway, thanks, whoever you are. This is not exactly the sort of thing I usually listen to, but it’s a nice gesture. Between the effects of the surgery itself, and all the drugs I’m taking, I have a very hard time thinking in a straight line for more than a few minutes at a time (or, for that matter, even staying awake), and listening to music is one of the few things I can manage.


  1. Is your home address publicly available information? Gah??!!

    Posted January 15, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  2. Never heard of Clutch. Hey, they’re pretty good.

    Posted January 15, 2016 at 3:02 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Hi Nick,

    Is your home address publicly available information?

    Why, yes, I suppose it is. I’ve lived at the same Brooklyn address for the last 34 tears, and I’ve always been in the phone-book.

    I’m that rarest of birds: the non-anonymous reactionary blogger.

    Posted January 15, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  4. “I’m that rarest of birds: the non-anonymous reactionary blogger.”

    I suggest this nom de clavier for you, Malcolm — Braveheart (i.e., that Scot Big Bill the Warrior NOT Mel Gibson).

    Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Why thank you, Henry, I’m flattered. As I wrote a little while back, though, I don’t consider what I do here “brave” at all, and I’d certainly never compare myself to William Wallace. (Nice to have someone else do it, of course, but until they start hanging, drawing and quartering American dissidents, I’m obviously not worthy.)

    PS: “nom de clavier” — nice formation there!

    Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  6. Modern standards for bravery do not rise to the level of risking the savagery of 13th-century Britain (except confrontation with Islamist savages). I think your two knee reconstructions qualify you for at least a purple- brave-heart medal.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink
  7. Musey says

    I’ll look you up in the phone-book. You need a present to cheer you up. I’ll have a think about what to send…it won’t be a book.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 12:29 am | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    That’s lovely of you, Musey, but you oughtn’t. I’m fine.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 2:08 am | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    How odd that it should be thought so unusual for one’s address to be findable. In my day pretty much everybody’s was, except for those reclusive sorts who took unlisted numbers. As I recall the general feeling, except in the most understandable cases, was that doing so was a little antisocial, a kind of snub-signaling.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 2:10 am | Permalink
  10. ted nuisance says

    Clutch is maybe the best rock band for the last ten years! I hope the album is Elephant Riders!

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink
  11. Whitewall says

    We too are publicly listed. Our community is in the county, and if someone has trouble finding me, I tell them to turn at the large pasture up from me. It is probably a hundred acres or so and at times there are black angus cows wandering about uncooked. Sometimes one gets out and wanders down my way.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  12. Back in the day (roughly before the 1990s), when everybody used their provider’s phone book, rarely did anyone need to look up a phone number or address that was outside the local community. On the latter occasions, one would call long distance information (411).

    With the advent of the Web, a person’s exposure has become global — somebody in Australia can reach out and touch someone else in Brooklyn. That argues for greater caution.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink
  13. Malcolm says

    Yes, Henry, you’re right.

    Are we loving modernity yet?

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  14. Whitewall says

    Henry, you are right. Those “Aussies” have to be watched closely. Entirely unpredictable. Probably something to do with everything being upside down and backwards maybe.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  15. I do love modernity, Malcolm.


    Posted January 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  16. To quote your grandma, Robert, those Aussies are “messed up”.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
  17. Malcolm says

    Yes, of course modernity has plenty of seductive and appealing qualities. How I ever lived without the Internet is hard for me to recall, and of course without it we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    All that gets me thinking again, in a drug-addled way, about how our society looks at change, and the tradeoffs that every change entails. Often such tradeoffs are completely unforseeable; others are easily predictable. Likewise, we call some changes “inevitable”, even though they clearly aren’t (e.g., the demographic changes now afflicting the West), while deluding ourselves that other changes are entirely within our power to control (e.g., the eternally varying climate of the Earth).

    Blah, blah. Just rambling… lying here flat on my back in a quiet room, with my left leg strapped into an Optiflex 3 CPM apparatus, and my brain scrambled by powerful opiates. The mind wanders.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  18. Whitewall says

    Malcolm, it sounds like you may be in the early stages of assimilation into an AI device with that Optiflex 3 CPM. Me, speaking of changes unnecessary, I am about to go to Office Depot to pick up my computer after yet another problem with Microsoft Edge. I like IE fine. The Edge can be pushed over the edge as far as I am concerned.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
  19. Malcolm, let your mind wander — that has restorative powers. It’s a good thing.

    Robert, have you tried Google Chrome? I’ve been using it for years. I love it.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  20. Malcolm says

    Mystery solved: the album was sent by a friend from Cape Cod.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  21. Musey says

    Oooh, is this Aussie-bashing time? Malcolm, if I want to send you a present, then I will. No badness or malice, no agenda, just a get well soon.

    Who is messed up? Henry, a person in Australia reaching out to a person in Brooklyn is likely to be friendly. Whatever, they’re too far away to be much of a worry.

    Don’t fret Henry. You’re safe.

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink
  22. Malcolm says

    Malcolm, if I want to send you a present, then I will.

    Well, that’s certainly nice of you, Musey. Thanks!

    Posted January 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
  23. Musey says

    Whitewall, I thought you were my friend. Sob.

    Posted January 17, 2016 at 1:28 am | Permalink
  24. Whitewall says

    Hi Musey. We’re friends, so don’t worry. Henry was picking up on my comment from the previous thread where I referred to him as “a mess”, a term my late Grandmother used to use. The rest was just tongue in cheek jesting. I trust you are enjoying the warm weather? It is snowing a bit here.

    Posted January 17, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink
  25. Musey says

    I’ll take your word for it Whitewall! I detected a definite edge to the comments.

    I’m English-born (like so many here) so my affinity with the Aussies is due to the welcome that we have received here and the beauty of the country. The patriotism of the average Australian is way beyond what I’ve observed in the UK. That’s okay.

    Yes, it’s warm but not too hot right now. Lovely. I’m glad we’re still friends.

    Posted January 17, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
  26. Whitewall says

    Glenn Frey has died–young. Too close for comfort.

    Posted January 18, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
  27. An Eagle “Already Gone“! Sigh …

    Posted January 18, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink
  28. Malcolm says

    Hey you Boomers: get used to this. We’re getting old.

    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  29. Malcolm says

    Crikey: Mic Gilette, from Tower of Power, too…

    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  30. Whitewall says

    I noticed the British actor Alan Rickman died a few days ago at age 69 I believe. He had a slow, deep voice that could deliver lines with clarity and the speed of molasses. The first role I remember him from was “Quigley Down Under”. A western style movie but based in western Australia. It also starred Tom Selleck. I bought the movie years ago and watch it about once a year.

    Posted January 18, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink
  31. The Iggles were my all-time favorite band. Do you know, Malcolm, why they broke up originally? They made such great music together …

    Posted January 19, 2016 at 12:36 am | Permalink
  32. Malcolm says

    I believe the name was just “Iggles”, Henry.

    As for why they initially broke up, I can’t say, but I’ll bet it wouldn’t be hard to find out.

    Posted January 19, 2016 at 12:40 am | Permalink
  33. I believe you’re right about their name being just “Eagles”. But I capitalized “The” because it was the first word in my sentence, not because I thought “The Eagles” was the band’s name. I suppose I could have written, “The band, Eagles, was etc.” but that seemed rather stilted.

    In any case, if you can find out what caused them to break up (Cherchez la femme?), I’d be interested to know.

    Posted January 19, 2016 at 1:42 am | Permalink
  34. Whitewall says

    Founding member and bassist Randy Misner had a bad falling out with the original Eagles. The blood was so bad that I seem to remember law suits.

    Posted January 19, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink
  35. According to Wikipedia, it was Felder who brought the lawsuits. Meisner quit the band because of health issues (to be replaced by Schmit).

    Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

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