Paleyfest ONLine

If you can’t join us at the Dolby Theatre, you can watch select eventsLIVE on Paley Center’s Facebook page. Like our page to tell us you’ll be watching!

The Handmaid’s Tale 2:25 pm on March 18
Supernatural 7:35 pm on March 20
Young Sheldon 7:45 pm on March 21
The Big Bang Theory 8:35 pm on March 21
The Good Doctor 8:20 pm on March 22
Mom 2:30 pm on March 24
Queen Sugar 7:30 pm on March 24
Riverdale 2:50 pm on March 25
Stranger Things 7:30 pm on March 25

Note: all times are Pacific Time, and are approximate.

If you are not familiar, The Paley Center is an institution devoted to Television as art.  If any of these shows interest you, their presentations will probably be excellent.

On My Friend Andy

I had forgotten that his middle name was LeRoy.

I read his Obit, and I had forgotten that his middle name was LeRoy.  He went to pains to say it was LeROY and not LEEroy.  I think it was a family thing.

When I was in my first year at IUP,  Andy was a guy in the dorm and I was in a developmental psych class.  For the final that semester, I was asked to write out the developmental psych outline of the human lifespan by decade –In the first year developing attachments to Mom and family, gaining visual acuity.. in the teens seeking more autonomy…. that sort of thing.

By the time I got to 60 I ran out of things.  I remember writing “Your friends start dying off.”  I was 19 and stupid.  I came to see as I got older that people lived past 60 without being decrepit and failing.

Until I heard that Andy died.  Now I wonder if I wasn’t right. My Friends are starting to die off.

Andy and I have been friends since those days. Forty plus years.  There are only two friends I’ve had longer and one of them nearly died a year ago.

Andy was a musician and a scholar.  I honestly never thought his musicianship was all that good and I used to tease him a lot on that subject.  It sounded, to my completely untrained ear, too cacophonic.  It was nice though when he settled down and did some songs I knew.  For years we were in adjacent apartments and his practice was… not… melodious. But even with my unwarranted derision, he persisted. He wrote songs, played some gigs, and over time I came to respect the music if not fully embracing  it, and the persistence.  I haven’t teased him about it in decades.

Andy was an incredibly well read fellow.  Scholar is the exact word for him.  He had the temperament and depth of knowledge that goes with the term.  Was he born some hundreds of years before he would have, I imagine, been a monk or other Ivy covered academic.  In fact, he had tried.  He went back to University to become a Medievalist. What level of devotion and interest does it take to want to study that subject to the point of Mastery?  He thrived on it. His academic advisers were not as supportive as he might have hoped.  Knowing he was devoted and a sponge for their knowledge, they were kind in addressing his talent for the reality of professorship.  In their opinions he was a remarkable student lacking the skillset for successful employment as a Medievalist. I suspect there are only a few dozen on the planet and the competition for those jobs cutthroat and political.  Yeah, Andy was many things but CUTTHROAT wasn’t one of them.

After his death I got an email from a mutual friend, “Andy was the most gentle soul I have ever known.”  I concur.

Andy was always the wisest of us.  He could talk for hours on the finer points of the writings of Toynbee. (“Dan, you need to read Toynbee!”)  or list off Medieval curse words (“God’s Teeth!”)  Often he’d just drop a line that would stick in my head for days or years (“You can be an Officer of the Peace or an Enforcer of the Law”).  It’s funny how my oldest friends are all people I am in awe of.  Andy was a revelation to know.

I visited Melissa this past weekend (I guess the term is widow).  We grieved and reminisced some. She has his remains in a nice simple urn on a shelf with other mementos to the left of the TV.  His guitar sits nearby.

I still have tears.  I will for a long time.  But as Dr Seuss said, Don’t cry because it’s over, Smile because it happened!

I am so very happy he happened into my life.


Come Oct 2018, for homecoming/festival She’d like to come to Indiana and we’ll celebrate Andy and place a bit of him in Whites woods which he loved.



R.I.P. Andy Van Dam

Musician, Scholar, Friend, Andy Van Dam died today from an apparent Coronary Event. He was, I believe 63.  Details will be appended here once I have them.  It is too soon for me to have the words…

FRIDAY 9am- No further word on arrangements or details.

Circa 1984.  The Baby is Ian.  His Mother shared this.


An Email From Melissa:

Sunday night(

Ra Ra. I’m sorry I didn’t get in touch sooner,  it’s been insane here. handled the cremation and there’s a lovely eulogy posted there. His sister insists on acting like her ass is on fire I’m afraid and has scheduled a gathering tomorrow night starting at 6, in a room at a little church down the street. I will be holding an open house next weekend, just gonna open up our little hobbit hole and let folks come and go as they will,  like a festival. Then when the weather gets better we’ll do something down at Lothlorien,  and I plan to come out there too, even if we just get together and raise a glass. Love you all and hope you’ll save me a small spot in your lives. You all know how much he loved you. HUGS,  Ra Ra.

EVIL EMAIL pretends to be UPS

I removed all the evil links.

This email purports to be from UPS. It is Not.  A casual user might well decide to click the link because there was no “delivery slip” on my porch.  I was tempted.

When something like this comes,  I try to verify it a few ways. I look at which of my email addresses it was sent to. In this case it was not disqualifying. (I might have used that email address ) Next, noting there was a tracking number, I copied it, went to the UPS site and tracked it.  In this case it was invalid – no such package – gotcha. I looked at the sender address, I should have noticed first, the dot com was NOT UPS. Another dead giveaway.

The email:


Subject: Failed delivery attempt for package
From: “UPS Quantum View” <ups@> 
Date: Tue, Feb 06, 2018 11:40 am
To: “” <>

Dear customer,

We have made an attempt to deliver your parcel today, but there was nobody at your address to sign for it.
Your package has been stored at our local office and a delivery slip was left at door step.
To schedule another delivery, please contact us by phone during work hours and confirm the information on the delivery slip.
A scanned copy of the delivery slip can also be viewed online, by clicking here.

Shipping Service: UPS Ground with Freight Pricing
Date : Tue, 06 Feb 2018 11:40:17 -0500
Tracking # : 1Z2E2Y216582852482

Thank you for shipping with UPS


The two bold sections were links. Deviously, the second one legitimately went to UPS, the first however carried an evil load. But if I wanted to see the delivery slip, it would be very tempting to click.

As always, I implore you, do NOT click on links in email that you are not absolutely sure of.  If a friend sends you a link and says nothing else substantial, DO NOT OPEN IT, email your friend as they might have been hacked. If they say that they did in fact send it, then go ahead. Otherwise purge it.


I took this picture.  Last week.  In Charlottesville, Virginia.

We were there to visit Thomas Jefferson’s Home, and visit with sister Cathy and nephew Logan.  We left on Thursday.  All Hell broke loose Friday. Thursday night we saw the Mst3k Road show.  It was terrific fun.

The Statue above is an easy walk from a building which was a slave Market and has a still extant, barely visible sign.  It was chilling.  It was also an easy walk to a Confederate Cemetery.  This Cemetery would be a perfect Location for this statue… and others…like Robt E Lee.

It’s a Really nice statue. It deserves to be preserved. It has no business in a situation where it can be interpreted as glorifying ongoing enslavement. Like almost all these Monuments, it was put up in the 1920’s – apparently to reinforce politics in the Jim Crow south. That’s pretty evil.

When asked, Robert E Lee suggested No statues or memorials be created to the Civil war, preferring instead that there be little left to remind people.  He thought History showed that Societies recovered better and more completely when Civil Wars were forgotten.

There should be a statue to that guy.

At The Pharmacy

So I was picking up medications from the Pharmacy when the young lady behind the counter informed me “The Pharmacist would like to speak to you.”  Now, I was picking up 2 drugs both of which I have been on for more than a year and I see the prescribing physician 4 times a year.  I wasn’t worried Something bad was afoot, I didn’t really know what to think.  I walked 5 feet to my right under the “Consultation” sign and waited.  A moment later this spry young man in a lab coat approaches and says ” How’s your Cholesterol?”  He wasn’t asking about it’s properties, “Minty, with a hint of Lemon”, he was, I surmised, looking for a number.  “One seventy something” I said, a bit pleased because I know that’s not even officially “elevated”.  He was unimpressed.  “The Computer thinks you should be on Cholesterol Medicine.”  Without missing a beat, looking directly into his eyes I replied “Tell the computer to go **** itself.”

His eyes twinkled as he replied “Ok”.

And that was that.

If the Computer doesn’t know my cholesterol, it is damnably assertive to suggest medication for it, Don’t you think?  In any case, 4+ doctors and I have had this discussion. I’m fine. None of them had Intel inside so I guess I’m supposed to defer?  **** that.  If it was easier to untangle myself from my pharmacy, I’d take my business elsewhere and never look back.

Still I had to think about the programming that led to this today and not 6 months ago.  Either CVS makes a ton of money off Statin drugs and is recruiting business, or statistical analysis shows people with my drugs nearly always take Statins too.  Or both.  Probably both.


Very Satisfying: Revenge on an IRS Phone Scamming Company 

Remember, the IRS will send REGISTERED MAIL, they’ll NEVER call. If they call, it’s a scam.

But this guy is a hero.  He’ll probably be charged as a Felon for this, but the jury should just acquit him.


So the DOS (Denial of Service) attack that this guy responds with is almost certainly a crime.  But y’know, If I have a right to keep and bear arms for self defense and the defense of others, aren’t cyber weapons “arms”? I mean, the Military uses them.  I wonder if this guy doesn’t have a unique defense available to him.