The UNSHARE button: Can we all just step away from the propaganda?

A heed read

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

Our social media activities would benefit from a dose of critical thinking.

A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on. – Terry Pratchett

I had an exchange with my sister earlier about something she had shared on Facebook. If you haven’t seen it, it’s the one alleging that 11 US states now have “More People on Welfare than they do Employed.” Hint number one: cluelessness regarding the mysteries of punctuation. And no, I won’t link to it.

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Like a Scene from a Bad Movie

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Photo by Dane Gussin

It’s that time of year when I get my house ready for winter. This year I called a local handyman to help since I have a wonky shoulder and want it to get better. I thought that lifting and climbing ladders and such would not be good for me right now. So, I called them out to move my room air conditioner to the garage, cover two larger in the wall air conditioners, flip the mattress, and move some things.

They came on time and one did the outside work while the other came in to move my room air conditioner. He opened the window while grabbing the air conditioner and it slipped from his hands. The cord was stretched taut over the window sill. I thought maybe it didn’t hit the ground. Then, he pulled the plug and looked out the window. The look on his face was not good.

He said, “I think I’ll need a screw driver.”

He left the room. I was afraid to look. I thought I’ll at least plug it in in the garage to see if it works. I went out in the back yard to look. It was in pieces. This wasn’t going to be solved with a screw driver. I went back inside and called the business owner and left a message.

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Who drops an appliance out of a window except in some sit com? I think I was in shock. Things like this do not happen in real life. And then I just had to laugh. It was so ridiculous. I got myself together and went back outside where they both apologized. I really wasn’t all that upset. It wasn’t a family heirloom. And it was funny.

I went outside again and the handyman said they would get me a new air conditioner in spring when they were in stock again. They left and I started laughing again. The business owner called and said they would get me another air conditioner. She thanked me for being good about it. How could I tell her that it was the funniest thing I had seen in along time.

Olga’s Kitchen for Lunch

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I have been wanting a gyro sandwich for several weeks. I think the desire started when I took a continuing education class for work. I had worked in that office in the summer and one of my memories was of the gyro sandwiches I had ordered from the Athenian Coney Island across the street.

I was walking through a local mall when I spotted Olga’s Kitchen. I remembered that they serve a gyro they call Olga’s Original and decided to give into my craving. As I thought, it was on the menu. So, I ordered and my mouth watered with anticipation. It was described with having the beef and lamb meat, vine ripened tomatoes, onions and Olga sauce. When it came it was all tightly contained within the pita bread. I couldn’t see the sauce. I took the toothpick out, opened the pita and looked. It may have have had tablespoon of sauce under the rest of the ingredients. I had to lift up the meat and tomato to find it. I had not been to an Olga in over a decade and this was not as I remembered. It certainly fell short of the gyro I had pictured in my mind. The sandwich was light on ingredients and dry. Maybe the sad sandwich was why I hadn’t been there for so long. The server was adequate but did not come back to offer a coffee refill which might have done a little to salvage the experience.

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I had pictured something like the picture above. It had the moistening, tasty tsatziki sauce practically oozing out of the pita. The sandwich was full of tomatoes and onions. The pita is so full that eating it requires a fork to get all the goodness. I will be near the Athenian Coney Island tomorrow and will make time to get a real gyro.

Stardust at the Milton Show

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Last Monday night, I went to Harbor House to see the Milton Show. It was an unusual night so once I spent most of the night socializing with a group in a booth. This was not my normal pattern. So, for this evening, the music was background music. Well, not really. We did listen to the music but is just was not until they played “Stardust” that I listened intensely.

I probably was drawn to listening since this one was not on the usual playlist. I didn’t take pictures that evening. The first picture below is the normal group off Greg Cook, Milton Hale and Phillip Hale taken on a different evening.

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James O’Donnell played the memorable solos on “Stardust” and his picture taken at Bert’s Jazz Room in below.

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Everyone did a great job on the number and made it truly memorable.

Sample Saturday

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Saturday is not my favorite day for grocery shopping since it is more crowded that usual. I ended up shopping since I had a coupon for free bread that was expiring on Saturday. I also used the five dollars off meat coupon. The good part of Sturday shopping is that there are people, usually women, who are giving samples of food hoping the shoppers will buy.

As I was walking by the deli counter trying not to look, one of the sampler women was pushing hummus and pita chips. She was telling the shoppers that this is a low calorie snack and we could eat as much as we want because it it low calorie. The picture above is one serving of the hummus and pita chips. It is about two tablespoons of the hummus (1oz.) at 40 calories and three pita chips (1oz.) At 78 calories. Or 118 calories for one serving of both. I stopped to talk. I told her that eating a lot of the product adds calories. She continued to tell me how low calorie it was. There was no example of a serving on the table although she did mention correctly that it was two tablespoons.

I was planning on buying the hummus and pita chips so I picked up what I wanted and started to leave.
She tried again. ” Take the large size, its low calorie.”
I asked her if I ate the whole package would I still not gain weight. This caused her to pause.
She relied on her sound bite. “It’s low calorie.”
I gave up. I was stunned that two people could have such a different thought process. I’m sure she had been told what to say about the product and possibly didn’t think about it. I can tell you that when I was in sales I checked the hype and had a different message than the canned one.

Dirty Dog Jazz with the Dwight Adams Quartet

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As you may notice, this post is quite a while after the event which took place October 17, 2013. I got some feedback that was a little upsetting and it stopped me cold. It took a bit of time to process. I also didn’t go out much. The other part of the hiatus was the feeling that I was in a rut. And I was hearing the same numbers that I liked at the same places. I am in the place rut but I have heard quite a few different numbers when I have gone out recently.

When I heard the Dwight Adams was playing at the Dirty dog, I really wanted to go. At the Dirty Dog, the people really listen so that part of being there is great and they listen very quietly and still. I am one of those who move my body to the music when I feel it. Dwight is a favorite because I feel his music easily. The best place for me in this kind of environment is in a corner so I can move to the music. So when I got there I took the available corner.

Dwight was playing with musicians I had never heard him play with before. Mark Lipson was on drums. Tony Viola was playing guitar and Gary Shunk was playing the piano. Also, Bruce Caterer(sp) was on bass. Also Angie Smith did “Take a Chance on Love” and “My Funny Valentine”. They played a number called “Hibernian Nights” composed by Mark Lipson and Tony Viola added vocals to a samba.
Left to Right: Tony Viola, Dwight Adams, Bruce Caterer, and just a peek at Gary Shunk

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The music I heard during the set was different than most of the things I heard Dwight play. It may have been that he was taking the audience into consideration. So I got to hear a new side of Dwight Adams with musicians that I had not herd him play with before that evening. As usual with Dwight, his playing is great. The clarity of his notes and how he hits notes without slur or hesitation is a listeners delight. He decorates his notes with ornaments which adds such depth and feeling to his music that I can hear him through the music and I love it. All the musicians got to play solos that exhibited their strengths. All in all the set was satisfying but not in the way I had anticipated.