The Queen Is Dead, Silver Jubilee

Pfft to James Joyce. Today is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of the third album by The Smiths, “The Queen Is Dead.” (Thanks to Sunlighters past and present for the info.) It’s hard to think of an album that makes as much a daily impact upon me. Gen-Xers, do I tell the truth?

And while I love “Bigmouth Strikes Again” “Frankly, Mr. Shankly”  “Some Girls Are Bigger than Others” and “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” (2 Corinthians 12:7?) the one song I’d rescue from a burning building is “There Is a Light that Never Goes Out.”

There have to be other couples who get sappy and affectionate at the thought of being crushed by a double-decker bus because of this song.

(For you David Tennant fans, and those who didn’t get the “Viva Laughlin” reference during NPH and Hugh Jackman’s duet on the Tonys. This is from “Viva Blackpool” (US)/”Blackpool” (UK) from which it was based.)

I found a church in Newport Pagnell

Excuse the pun and, urm, backseat driving. This is a pointed question to the British Unitarians out there.

Why are there no Unitarian churches in Milton Keynes, a postwar “new town” with more than 200,000 residents? Not even one. And, given the usual caveats about growth, it’s set to double in population in the next twenty years, in part by growing the direction of the legally distinct but adjacent town of Newport Pagnell.

Now, except to change trains, I’ve never been in Milton Keynes, and all I know of Newport Pagnell is that (1) it’s next to the M1, (2) it has an offramp service center/road services/rest stop and (3) it’s mentioned in a Smiths song. But it’s 13 miles from the church in Northampton, and that’s the nearest one.

Is it really so strange for such a large residential area be targeted for a new church?

“Web Site Story”

Unitarian Universalist minister and blogger James Ford (Monkey Mind) posted a video — a very funny video — from The Onion. But let’s be clear: everyone I know had already seen it.

But it’s the summer, it’s hot, I’m tired and it was still funny. So if you missed “Web Site Story” from last August, be sure to watch it, and the same truth applies.

You’ll have to click through — no embedding, alas — and this video has the added benefit of confirming what generation you’re in. (As a member of the new Silent Generation, I don’t expect anyone to care.) Old people, click here. Youth, here. (Other Gen-Xers, here.)

Scott Wellses of the world unite and take over

I’m only musing, amused. I’ve mentioned before I have an extraordinarily common name.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when on Facebook a string of total strangers — each named Scott Wells — wanted to be my friend. Sure – why not? Now I’m one of five members of Scott Wells’ Unite. I don’t approve of the grammar, but how can I resist?

And with so many guys named Scott Wells out there, surely this will help my traffic stats.

If you have a Facebook account, look for me as boyinthebands — you’ll spend hours looking for me by my real name — and make me your friend. Whatever your name is.

The healthy, sustainable diet

26 May. This article still attracts a lot of traffic, probably from search engine results. It seems rather topical given the widely reported projected increases in the price of food and petroleum products and the conflict between the human food and ethanol fuel uses for corn. I’ve also updated the PeaceBang link.

The Rev. Victoria Weinstein, writing as PeaceBang, is a dear friend with whom I ordinarily agree. She wrote:

I’m just wondering this honestly, and with no sense of judgment (quelle surprise!), but honestly, as middle and upper-class Americans are running around trying to eat organic everything and grass-fed beef (if they eat beef) and full-moon harvested herbs and drinking biodynamic wine, isn’t it true that most of the people in our country are still eating mostly crap?

Shouldn’t we be working on justice issues that make basically, minimally healthful food available to more people before scurrying about trying to fill our own larders exclusively with organic and perfectly nutritious foodstuffs?

I certainly hear some judgment there: the kind of hand-wringing directed towards one’s peers where overstatements can be accepted as cheery ribbing. I hear twee stereotypes which conflate motives and aspirations.

Let me tell you where I’m coming from. I’m middle-aged and chunky. I’ve had to live on very little money in the past, but — even though I am currently unemployed and temping — Hubby and I enjoy a high quality of life and this extends to our foodways. Our bedroom literally overlooks the Whole Foods, so we shop there for food quite a bit. And the local Safeway. And the CVS two doors down from the Whole Foods. And the little neighborhood bodega. And the Seven-Eleven. And the farmer’s market on Sunday. We also eat out quite a bit. None of these gets a majority of our trade.

Continue reading The healthy, sustainable diet

Walking in the home of the brash, outrageous and free

Londoners and visitors — whether or not they go to Sloane Square — can turn to a new site — walkit.com — for detailed point-to-point walking directions, calorie burnings and CO2 savings. Sometimes walking is faster and more convenient than public transit or even taxis.

The BBC has a 2006 story on it, too.

There’s less of a need in Enlightenment-designed Washington, but it would be rather nice here, too.

As it happens, New Day Job is within walking distance of home, a pleasure Hubby already enjoys. But rats! New Day Job has a transit benefit — up to a $110 a month tax-free. I’ll be able to claim $20 tops. But this sounds like a place where you’re a winner whether you walk or take Metro, and better than subsidizing gridlock with free or discounted parking. Perhaps some urban churches can offer the same for their staffs.

Hat tip: Treehugger

Oh, Moz fans — miss those busy clippers? YouTube to the rescue. One of my favorites. And a B-side no less.