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VOL. 45 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 17, 2021

A few random thoughts as summer fades

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Here, there and everywhere: Speaking strictly from a male perspective, I think it’s unfortunate that nothing rhymes with “happy husband.”

• The little bios posted online and elsewhere of people who die from COVID should say whether the victim had been vaccinated, just as articles about traffic fatalities say (or used to) whether the victims were wearing seat belts. Same principle.

• Dear Google Alerts: For the daily news updates you send me involving Nashville, please eliminate any pertaining to places outside the state of Tennessee, including Arkansas, Georgia, etc.

• Based on personal observation of our porch feeder, this seems to have been a better year for hummingbirds than the past two.

• An update on my decision to learn to play the guitar: Things are coming along nicely, thank you. The finger pain is almost gone, and guitar players will appreciate my progress when I say I am now ready to play any song that consists entirely of E and E minor chords.

• Just finished a book in the Mitch Rapp series that was not written by Rapp’s creator, Vince Flynn, on account of his being dead for eight years. Having never read any by Flynn, I can’t speak to how the new measures up to the old. But I can advise Jack Reacher fans that they will probably be disappointed to read the latest, which was basically written by Andrew Child, the brother of Reacher’s creator, Lee Child.

• Some thoughts and actions open the path to the spirit, some close it off. Choose carefully.

• Whenever visiting my Fitzgerald grandparents in Mena, Arkansas, I’d play with the boy who lived next door, Bobby Cook. Haven’t seen him in 50-plus years. I think I’ll try to look him up. The internet has some benefits.

• In the interest of comfort, after holding the line for decades on my pants waist size I’ve decided to move up a notch. But this is it. No more.

• As this year’s grilling season edges toward a close, I’m trying to decide whether ribs are worth the investment of time.

• By the time you read this, I will have added two more MLB stadiums to my inventory. The number stands at 27, four of which are no longer in use. Still missing: both Los Angeles teams, both Bay Area teams, Arizona Diamondbacks and the new Atlanta stadium.

• Fall has always been my favorite season. But I admit that the increasingly shorter days and longer nights now put a pall on my appreciation. Can’t help thinking there’s some life metaphor involved in that.

• I can advise my fellow Tennessee drivers that the time to get your vehicle emissions tested is definitely not at the end of a month.

• If you ever see me in line for anything, anywhere, and there is another option, do not get in line behind me. Just saying.

• In a takedown of J.D. Vance, the “Hillbilly Elegy” author who is now a Republican candidate for the Senate in Ohio, the writer Tom Nichols paid Vance a left-handed compliment in a recent article in The Atlantic: “He is no Louie Gohmert, the Republican congressman from Texas, or Marsha Blackburn, the senior Republican senator from Tennessee, people who create an electrostatic field of stupidity around themselves when they speak.”

• Just wondering: Do Trumpers miss the daily barrage of brags, lies and distortions that used to spring forth from him daily on Twitter and Facebook?

• Good thing I wrote a column about Gigamunch, the food delivery service offering meals with themes from around the world, when I did. It has apparently since gone out of business. I hope it wasn’t my fault.

• I would have thought that the percentage of anti-COVID-shotters, anti-mask-mandaters and anti-whatevers would have topped out at about 40%. I seem to have been overly optimistic for some states.

• How many Phil Ponder prints does it take to be a real Nashvillian? And how many Hatch Show prints before your house looks like an Airbnb?

• Among the benefits of streaming internet radio into the home: Listening to WTIX from New Orleans, my childhood radio station, which is now playing oldies. If only it still offered Beatle-Rama with Ted Green.

Joe Rogers is a former writer for The Tennessean and editor for The New York Times. He is retired and living in Nashville. He can be reached at jrogink@gmail.com

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