Sunday, September 24, 2017

Against consolidation

Consolidation is short for school consolidation, the process whereby smaller, usually rural schools, are replaced by a larger school:

It is my basic belief about elementary schools that consolidation is not the answer; the schools should be small, well equipped, and have superb teachers, highly paid. Expensive, certainly, but all good things are. Peace is expensive; freedom, the basis of peace, is even more expensive. Life itself is extremely expensive.

Rachel Peden, The Land, the People (Bloomington, IN: Quarry Books, 2010).
Rachel Peden (1901–1975) was a newspaper columnist, also known by the pen names “the Hoosier Farmwife” and “Mrs. R.F.D.” A terrific writer.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Clock and season

Matt Thomas suggests living less by the clock, more by the season:

We live in a world of seasons — and increasingly more variable and violent seasons at that — but productivity advice seems to always think in terms of the day, the week, the year, or five years, never the season, the sun, and the shadow.
Which means not that we get to throw away alarm clocks and ignore deadlines but that our habits of work might change with the seasons. People who teach are likely to have their work already organized by the seasons.

[One benefit of gardening: greater awareness of time’s passing. The cucumber vines in our garden are now old folks.]

Friday, September 22, 2017

“All this analog stuff next door”

Erik Spiekermann, designer and typographer:

I just got my IBM Selectric out of storage. It works, so I made a resolve yesterday that in my letterpress workshop I will not bring my computer anymore. I’ll keep my iPhone, but I will not be a slave to my screen all the time when we have all this analog stuff next door. We have a dozen presses, lots of paper, lots of type, and I spend all my time looking at a fucking screen? It’s ridiculous.
Other OCA Spiekermann posts
How to make quotation marks : “I’m obviously a typomaniac” : “Obsessive attention to detail” : “Start reading. Stop Googling.”

Nambian Covfefe

[“All-Natural Nambian Covfefe.” Artist unknown.]

A 400×422 image out of Spiritus Mundi, found here. If there’s a specific source to credit, I’d like to know.


8:52 p.m.: Sarah Palin has been named as ambassador to Nambia.

[As for whataboutism: yes, everyone makes mistakes. But as president of the United States, you don’t get very many free passes.]

“Grammar Nazi”

Reese Lansangan explains: “I’m not a Nazi. I just care about good grammar.” Funny and charming, even if what she cares about is, in most cases, spelling or usage.

Did you spot The Elements of Style?

Related reading
All OCA grammar posts (Pinboard)

[I remember telling a student who approvingly described his high-school English teacher as a “grammar Nazi,” “Please don’t call anyone who cares about language a Nazi.” Better: Don’t call anyone who isn’t a Nazi a Nazi.]

Pianos, Joel’s and Waits’s

Did Tom Waits’s “The Piano Has Been Drinking” begin life as a parody of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”?


And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And the carpet needs a haircut
Aand the spotlight looks like a prison break
And the telephone’s out of cigarettes
And the balcony is on the make
Just an idle thought. If you see Tom Waits, please ask.

Here, from Fernwood 2 Night, is a 1977 performance of “The Piano Has Been Drinking.”

There are three other Waits posts on Orange Crate Art.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

One Alice Munro sentence

Alice Munro, “Runaway,” in Runaway (New York: Vintage, 2005).

Such a great sentence. Nine of its fourteen words form prepositional phrases, but the sentence moves as quickly as the truck, or the air. And notice that it’s air, not wind. The final seams is a bonus.

Fujitsu Mini-Split FTW

Our utility company sends us a monthly page about our energy use. Granted, many variables are at work. Still, the advantage of a mini-split over an air conditioner is clear.

[But they’re houses, not homes.]

Speak, rock

[Zippy, September 21, 2017.]

Three (“some”) rocks, but only no. 2 is talking.

Venn diagram
Nancy posts : Nancy and Zippy posts : Zippy posts

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New glasses (once again)

A new picture with new glasses in the sidebar. The previous new one had begun to look too dour to me, too suggestive of disgruntled silence. I am neither silent nor disgruntled, or at least not often. Though I acknowledge that there isn’t an awful lot to smile about in the larger world these days.

[RSS-ers, you’ll have to click through.]