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this guy and his buddies have been devouring my neighbor's tomato plantsAnthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

For a larger view, click on the pic of the animal that didn't recently dismiss accusations that he's willing to suppress his ideals for the sake of power. Program notes for Holst's The Planets often point out that the vocal parts in the last movement (Neptune, the Mystic) are performed by an offstage choir. The score has specific directions:
The Chorus is to be placed in an adjoining room, the door of which is to be left open until the last bar of the piece, when it is to be slowly and silently closed. The Chorus, the door, and any Sub‑Conductors that may be found necessary, are to be well screened from the audience.
Neptune ends on faintly sung notes. I can see how Holst felt that punctuation was in order. The door‑closing is like a period.

And I like the ritual aspect of the instructions. Even though the audience neither sees nor hears, the closing of the door is a moment to be savored. It's an esoteric touch, an arcanum shared by the composer and the performers (and anyone curious enough to have read the score).
The laws of mathematics are very commendable but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.

- Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

One channel in my stereo preamp went bad recently. I got around to dealing with it today. Sometimes trying to fix stuff is fun, sometimes it's frustrating, sometimes it's both.

The problem was in a stage that I guessed I could just bypass and let another similar stage perform the same function. The good news is, the preamp does work now.

Texas Instruments TL072CPThe other news is that an IC op‑amp I took out of the signal path was displeased with what portion of the original circuit remained. I'd left the op‑amp on the board because who wants to desolder an 8‑pin DIP, but I ended up having to take it out anyway after the way it went pop when powered up. Smoke came out of the dark spot in the middle of the package.

Oh, and I blew the fuse in the preamp while poking around, no big deal except that this one was soldered in.

Yeah I could have paid a competent technician to fix it but where's the sport in that.
We had a couple telescopes around the house when I was a kid. The bigger one had a 6" diameter mirror which, by the time I was a teenager, had turned dull (the silver coating had tarnished). My dad and I took the mirror to an optics supply company to see if there was anything they could recommend for restoring it.

"It's got a fillum on it," the guy behind the counter said. In the spirit of not being contradictory, my dad followed his lead and pronounced film with two syllables for the rest of the discussion.

The old mirror was deemed a lost cause and I bought a new one (aluminized rather than silvered) which I still have.

I wonder if the dude who said fillum was responsible for editing their catalog, which included this: top-knotch If I start spelling top‑notch with a k, now you know why. robber fly (Asilidae)
One channel in my stereo preamp went bad recently. I got around to dealing with it today. Sometimes trying to fix stuff is fun, sometimes it's frustrating, sometimes it's both.

The problem was in a stage that I guessed I could just bypass and let another similar stage perform the same function. The good news is, the preamp does work now.

Texas Instruments TL072CPThe other news is that an IC op‑amp I took out of the signal path was displeased with what portion of the original circuit remained. I'd left the op‑amp on the board because who wants to desolder an 8‑pin DIP, but I ended up having to take it out anyway after the way it went pop when powered up. Smoke came out of the dark spot in the middle of the package.

Oh, and I blew the fuse in the preamp while poking around, no big deal except that this one was soldered in.

Yeah I could have paid a competent technician to fix it but where's the sport in that.
We had a couple telescopes around the house when I was a kid. The bigger one had a 6" diameter mirror which, by the time I was a teenager, had turned dull (the silver coating had tarnished). My dad and I took the mirror to an optics supply company to see if there was anything they could recommend for restoring it.

"It's got a fillum on it," the guy behind the counter said. In the spirit of not being contradictory, my dad followed his lead and pronounced film with two syllables for the rest of the discussion.

The old mirror was deemed a lost cause and I bought a new one (aluminized rather than silvered) which I still have.

I wonder if the dude who said fillum was responsible for editing their catalog, which included this: top-knotch If I start spelling top‑notch with a k, now you know why. robber fly (Asilidae)
I've had this phone for almost four years, I keep it in a back pocket, occasional episodes of unintentional data entry occur but so far I've been lucky enough not to press Send.butt text
staff sergeant
First time I've had Air Force personnel visiting. They asked if they could look around my lot for parts of their drone that crashed last week.
a few miles west of my neighborhood
The site of yesterday's expensive drone crash
is still smoldering this morning.
black+white film with red filter
I'm mystified as to how the sign got bent.
It's not scraped up.
I don't follow professional sports much but occasionally a competitor comes to my attention who I really admire, not just for the quality of their play but for their character. If you asked me what player (of any game) I'd most enjoy meeting now, I'd name ______, who:
  • has an unassuming, gentle manner despite often being considered the best player of his sport ever
  • normally plays right handed but occasionally switches to left
  • exhibits composure, never throws tantrums when he screws up
  • is nicknamed "The Magician" for executing technically difficult plays.
If you follow his sport you know who I have in mind. It's a game I like playing but I can't say I follow the pros at it. I only recently felt like watching a few matches on YouTube and discovered who this guy was. He's not a household name because it's not a big spectator sport.
I'm growing a plant from seed I collected. Two seeds out of about twenty sprouted and of those two only one survived.

It's as if nature made the success rate low on purpose to endear to us each plant that does grow.
Caesalpinia pulcherrima