Poor Biff’s Almanac — Friday Recap, Rain Threats, B&N, Half-Priced Books


Tonight’s Background Music is provided by Paul Hardcastle.
Album:  Hardcastle 1
Best Song:   Forever Dreamin’ is tied with Feel the Breeze

Yes, it is Friday evening.  I am finally home … finally in my pajamas … finally drinking a cup of coffee … finally writing in this blog … finally listening to some soothing music.

Outside it is mostly dark, but every few seconds the whole world lights up as if lit by a giant Klieg light with a wonky power switch.  A few seconds after each flash I hear a distant booming, like a Civil War cannonade.

They are predicting rain, but I’ve learned not to get my hopes up.  I love rain more than any of Mother Nature’s other gifts.  For Her part, she withholds it as a matter of course.  Apparently, she doesn’t like me very much.  Much of the sparkle has gone out of our relationship.

Earlier this evening, Lady Luck smiled on me and I  got to enjoy a visit to both Barnes & Noble and Half-Priced Books … all in one evening!   It was like winning the lottery ……  except without all the money, of course.  I love walking around Barnes & Noble.  It is like a miniature sabbatical to me.  It soothes my soul.  However, I can’t bring myself to pay fifty dollars for a soft-bound book.  So, much like going to Tiffany’s or to a Rolex store, I just look but don’t buy.

So I went to HPB and browsed around.  I found the book I had almost bought at B&N for $30, but it was only $7.99 at HPB.  It was about two years older so not as up-to-date, but good enough for my needs.  What book, you ask?  I am extremely embarrassed to admit that I bought “WordPress: The Missing Manual” by Matthew MacDonald.

Wordpress book

After 4 months of diddling around with WP, I still feel like a novice.  I feel I need to jazz things up a bit.  In other words, it’s time to figure out what I’m doing.

I also bought a DVD of “The Outlaw Josey Wales“, which is one of the greatest western / post Civil War movies ever made.  I paid a whopping $2 for it.

I found a fascinating book.  It is a coffee table book about Alexander Girard’s works.


I had never heard of him before and the book looked fascinating, so I hefted it down off of the upper shelf where it was displayed prominently.  And when I say “hefted”, I mean hefted.  According to Amazon.com, it weighs 15 pounds!  It was chock full of pictures and reproductions of his textiles and furniture and interior designs and architecture.  It was fascinating, but I couldn’t bring myself to pay the $50 price for it (though that is only $3.33 per pound).  Also, my arms were getting tired, so I had to set it down.

Also, as part of my continuing “What Year is This?” series, I overheard yet another conversation at HPB that made me want to go home and check the calendar to see what year this is.  As I’ve mentioned in another blog post (as well as this one and this one), vinyl albums are all the rage, so it wasn’t surprising to me that tonight a fairly large section of the music department was devoted to vinyl albums.  I was also not surprised that there were quite a few “young folk” (i.e. people in their 20s) flipping excitedly through all of the albums.  But I heard a snippet of conversation that nearly made me drop my teeth.  A young-ish woman exclaimed excitedly, “Oh look!  I found a Slim Whitman album!”

It was all I could do not to chuckle out loud.  When I was a young man way back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, every 3rd commercial on television was by Suffolk Marketing flogging a Slim Whitman album or by Heartland Music hawking a Boxcar Willie album.  We all collectively rolled our eyes when any of these commercials came on.  They were viewed as poorly made albums by artists that were, shall we say, not at the peak of their careers.  So, it was quite amusing to hear people in their 20s fawning over these albums nearly 40 years after the point where the artists were 20 years past their prime.

I really don’t know what is going on nowadays.  Vinyl albums.  Polaroid cameras.  Slim Whitman albums.  Lava lamps.

If 8-track tapes come back, I’m moving out into the wilderness somewhere.


  1. Why don’t people comment on blog posts anymore?

    I started my blog ten years ago this past March and furing the fine or six years, my posts would be delightfully inundated by comments, both good and bad. Id comment on posts as well. I still do, but even now I get a few likes, but rarely any comments, be they good, bad or indifferent.

    Then it all seemed to stop. These days, all people do is like a post, nine times out ten not even reading it, I’d bet. And probably only to get the blogger to return the favor and like his her latest literary effort. If there’s such thing as blogging etiquette, this seems to offend it. Are we lazy? Do we not care? Hard work goes into creative composition, such as your efforts, , good sir. It deserves more than a mere click of a button.

    Why don’t we communicate anymore?


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Laurie!

      Thank you for your comment and your compliments! They’re most appreciated.

      As to your question about why people don’t comment any more, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer, but I agree with you that it is a darn shame. I am relatively new to WordPress and one of the things that attracted me here in the first place was a desire to belong to a community of writers in which we could share our love of writing. Though I certainly enjoy being here and I am greatly appreciative of my small band of followers, I do feel a little saddened at the general lack of conversation I see on WP. It seems WP has been “Facebook-ized” in which, as you pointed out, people like to just sort of do a drive-by “liking” without getting too involved. Which is fine on a certain level. I am just happy that people are reading my humble little posts, whether they comment or not. This is still so much better than all the decades I wrote stuff on my typewriter and then filed it all away in a box in the attic, unread by anyone but me.

      But your comment has inspired me to be more active about commenting on other peoples’ blogs. I have tried to do that in the past when I read something that really struck a chord with me, but my comments were sporadic at best.

      Have a great weekend and keep writing your excellent posts!

      – Biff

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re of like minds, my dear. I respect you gifts. And I think wanting to see comments isn’t fishing for compliments. Comments can be beneficial as learning tools. But this “I’ll like you, do you’ll like me is the Facebooking of blogging. Quite the pisser. Writing is an art form and for those with a love of the written word, blogging is a marriage made in literary heaven. So, follow our examples: read, marinate in the message, then please leave a comment.

        Personally, I’m much more inclined to read the blog of a gifted commenter, than somone who merely clicks a like button. Writing is so much more than that.

        Liked by 1 person

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