Featured Posts

Tuesday in Mooseville – Pod People 10/1/19

Logo from a Portuguese podcast, because pod people are everywhere.

I’m not technology-averse, but neither I am a first-adopter. I had a flip phone long after everyone else had moved on to smartphones, and I didn’t add texting to our phone package until 2009, when the Kiddo begged and pleaded with me, using the rationale that her work study boss expected to be able to contact her via text. (I still don’t know if that was true, but she got extra credit for creative persuasion, which tipped the balance to a yes on text capability.)  Part of my reasoning for waiting until new tech isn’t new is that I want to wait until the cost of the technology comes down; part of it is a show-me-why-it’s-better attitude; and yes, some of it is resistance to change.

But sometimes that change is forced upon you. When I recently got my new-to-me car, it came without a CD player but did have bluetooth. I rarely listen to the radio, so my music choices had always been dependent on which CD I pulled from the stack in my center console. Without a CD player and with no intention of keeping Sirius radio once my complimentary trial ran out, I was faced with a dilemma. I immediately consulted my personal tech gurus (Kiddo and SIL), and they had two immediate solutions. They added me to their Google music subscription, so I could stream whatever music I wanted. In addition to that, they suggested I might want to add podcasts to my listening choices. Of course, I was aware of the existence and popularity of podcasts, but I had never listened to one. Directed to a podcast app (they suggested Podcast Addict), I was able to search by categories, by what was new or trending, and even for free audiobooks. It was a revelation. I know there are a number of you thinking, “Oh, Do, you really need to start living in the 21st century,” but I bet there are also a few of you who are thinking that maybe now is as good a time as any to explore podcasts. Below are some of my current favorites; please add any of yours in the comments.

Entering the Quiet Time as We Leaf the Light Behind

An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The latitudes +L and -L north and south of the equator experience nights of equal length and the celestial equator has intersected the ecliptic in the axial precession.

This year’s Autumnal Equinox, when the light and dark are equal – but moving towards dark – arrived at 2:50am Central Time on Monday, September 23rd.

But seasonal celebrations should not be bound by dates and times and such. In fact, it is a good idea to pre-celebrate Equinox so that you do not miss that last fleeting moment when light and dark have equal time. So …

Let the Fall Celebrations Begin !!

Hey, this one’s not about the debate! AIDS Walk Austin has another match today

Matching donations begins at 10am central

I don’t know who won the debate. I think they all made some good points, and there’s not a one of them that I wouldn’t vote for. But today, or lucky Friday the 13th, there’s $13,000 in matching funds for the AIDS Walk & I’m asking for donations to get some of that money. My goal is to raise $5,000 & I’m almost to $3,000 with 9 days left. So any amount you can give — starting at 10am this morning, will be doubled. And if you’re all tapped out, can you please share this diary? Maybe you know someone who can pitch in $5. That five bucks will become ten — and maybe that person will share this diary, too.

Tuesday in Mooseville – SHEnanigans: Herstorians on Twitter 9/3/19

In what will come as shock to absolutely nobody, I’m a bit of a history buff. I was a history (and German) major in college, and I’ve always interspersed my mystery reading with history and history-related books. What I didn’t do on a regular basis is read history by historians; I would read Walter Isaacson or Ron Chernow, who are wonderful, accessible writers, but not historians. When I started using Twitter, it was a revelation. I somehow stumbled across the #Twitterstorians, and a whole new world of academic historians was opened up to me. It’s been a journey filled with interesting, informative tweets and an ever-expanding reading list. Today I want to feature some of the women historians I follow; some I only follow on Twitter, some have books that are on my TBR list, and some have books that I’ve already read. All are herstorians worth getting to know better.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Six Minutes of History 8/13/19

Flag of the German American Bund (AV), or “German American Federation,” a pre-World War II American Nazi organization active in the United States between 1933-1941

Words are superfluous.

Field of Vision – A Night at the Garden from Field of Vision on Vimeo.

For those wanting more information, an interview with the filmmaker is here: A Night at the Garden.

AIDS Walk Austin is just 6 weeks away

Yikes!

orange version of this goes up at 7am tomorrow

Hi there. I’m not used to panicking about AIDS Walk Austin this time of year, because it’s in October. Last year, it was even in November. This year, it’s September 21. So I have to work harder earlier than usual. My goal is $2,000. More would be better because of course Trump has cut funding. If you want to skip the “what your money does” and music, and go straight to donating, here ya go: https://give.classy.org/helpBeckyraisemoney.

The Ride benefits 9 agencies that help people with HIV & AIDS. As one speaker put it this morning they go from prevention through helping people live with AIDS to people who need hospice care.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Make America Gracious Again 8/6/19

White House kitchen with set table and cupboards, 1904.  I’m drooling over the butler’s pantry.

Over the years, I’ve bought more than a few vintage/antique etiquette and hostess books, most of which have been passed on to my daughter. I purchased them as useful references for theatre productions, but they’re an interesting glimpse into an idealized past. They reflect white, upper middle class values and amenities; not so much the world of Downton Abbey, but definitely the world of Nick and Nora as shown in the Thin Man movies. My family wasn’t upper middle class, but the manners and methods in these books were very much a part of my childhood. There was something aspirational about using the “good” dishes and knowing the “right” fork, knife, or spoon to use. I always had the sense that my mother wasn’t trying to have us live like rich people, but was teaching about living with poise and appreciation expressed through stylized manners. There are some ugly classist assumptions in the books, and there’s no question that there were some ridiculous classist assumptions in abiding by their guidance. But I also think that with a perspective balanced with humor and flexibility, there’s something to be said for occasionally taking the time to indulge in some gracious living. With all of the chaos swirling about us, I thought a few reminders, from the sublime to the ridiculous, might enable a level of poise we can all use.

“Give Thanks for the Blessings”

Happy Lammas!!

Hey, wait just a minute! Those are happy llamas … which is not the same thing at all!

Today is August 1st, the pagan holiday of Lammas or First Harvest. It is the first of three harvest celebrations on the Wheel of the Year. But because this is a pagan holiday that does not have a corresponding non-pagan holiday, it may be one that you have never heard of.