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Tuesday, 24 November 2020


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"Make them say the words out loud and clear against their class-mates playing opposite roles."

I agree entirely, where it can be done. But in most state schools, there are serious literacy issues which preclude that. And that's not just the pupils I'm talking about.

Shouldn't all the children be taught proper English first? Hopefully by someone who speaks proper English.

It is not just being introduced to "Bill" in terms of study. The teacher doing the introduction and guiding the study has to have a love of the work and transmit that passion to the student. The rich variety of the language and the depth of the stories is the most important aspect of any introduction to his work. The technical aspects of structure and form can come later.

I was fortunate in having such a teacher and I attribute my love of Bill's work to his passion for the body of the work and his ability to transmit that passion.

Study of Shakespeare should be compulsory in all schools in the Anglosphere as his work has contributed enormously to the richness of the language and all that it has accomplished.

AussieD well put. I was lucky to take a 4 month elective course in college called simply "Shakespeare". The prof was 40 ish and looked like he was the part right down to hair style and trimmed beard. He was absorbed in the subject. He began the class with a lengthy summary of Elizabethan England and the political currents of Will's time. That mattered. I loved his class!

So our our teacher had us go around the room, each reading one line fron Julius Caesar. When we got to the most famous line, the lucky girl was so happy she had a three word part, that with absolute joy she screamed "Et to, Brute!" The teacher had some choice comments.

Yes the way to learn Bill is to act it. I might suggest playing the a scene from a good movie before acting it, so the students can hear the rhythm and pronunciation. This would also help with students and teachers who are little short of background.

"Make them say the words out loud and clear"

Fat lot of good trying (and trying and trying) to get 'em doing that last bit. Oh sure they can do the loud bit but the latter bit, clear? Forgettaboutit!

Up until a couple months ago I had a perfectly good phone I carried around in my pocket (when I felt like it) by which I could tap a single key tabbed 'Contacts' Next I'd tap 'Options' (of which there were two tabbed, 'Call' or 'Text'). That was clear enough but then back that last couple of months ago 'the kiddie-winkies' emails me "We're switching to 4G and no longer will we be supporting your 'Platform'"

"Say what?" I sez to myself 'Platform? What the heck d'ya mean platform?"

So I emails 'em back and sez, "What's it all mean?" And they duly emails me back advising, 'Nah worries you're eligible for a free upgrade' to which I emails back "Free you say? I like free."

So comes in the mail a 'new and improved' phone which upon opening the box to find the phone I opens it only to discover they've sent me what to all appearances looks to be a kiddiewinkie sized instrument panel for a spaceship.

So I drives the thirty minute drive over to the Verizon store and asks, in plain English, "What's this?"

I hears the reply loud enough but clear it ain't and I sez so but through hand gestures and signalling it's finally conveyed what I am given to understand is 'the key to understanding' (by which I mean they've given me a slip of paper on which there's a number which I'm apparently to call - fortunately I gots myself an old-fashioned wired landline by which it's easy enough to place the call.

And "hilarity" ensues. Interminable "hilarity" seems to me.

So I picks myself up and dusts myself off and emails Verizon back requesting a further 'meet-up' furtherly explaining that who I'm expecting to be at the store the next day is somebody who can speak English.

Her English turns out good enough but I find myself wondering whether I mighta orter shoulda gone to the effort of finding my hearing aids before driving over there because, for the life of me, I can't understand a damn thing she's saying.

Long story short I emails Verizon Corporate back and informs 'em they may as well 'Sent me an actual spaceship instrument panel or even perhaps a PhD in Gender Studies for in either case I don't know how to get either to work!'

And now I got no phone at all.

I boxed it back up you see and mailed it back to 'em hoping prayerfully they'll be able to decipher the note I included in the shipment - I have high hopes they'll be able too as what I wrote seems simple enough as what I legibly wrote was, "Find the person who originally decided to send me this and shove it up that person's arse and upon having done so ask that person, Can you hear me now?

I was fortunate to be taught Shakespeare, not only in a convent school in Scotland, but by a wonderfully animated Irish nun. We did the Macbeth tour! We not only read the plays out loud, we actually put on plays. This of course, delighted mia madre, who had me performing at her dinner parties. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


AT&T sent me basically the same thing. I have until January 1, 2022 to upgrade from my 3g to a 5g phone; the 3g will be phased out. I like my little phone. Quite small and fits nicely in my hand. I’ll push it to the limit.

Uppers, at the limit your phone will simply go dark and unusable. Mine did a while back.


In these parts over here, at least an act of one of Will's plays could be included in high school literature courses. The narrow focus would leave room to explain the context. I didn't encounter him until college, and even at that age it was difficult to understand why something in his plays was satirical or a pun or some other reference to events of his day.

Unfortunately, we probably have higher priorities. When I went to middle school (usually grades 7-8 over here), we were required to take classes called Government and Civics that covered the basic nuts-and-bolts of how our government works, the duties of citizenship, and a bit of political history. In many places the classes were discontinued during the 1960s and '70s. Part of the huge political mess you see over here has been caused by the result. What's the point of a government by and for ignoramuses?

What's the Shakespeare for something like that David?

I'm investigating alternatives Uppers. There are options with Tracfone being the easiest - but that's a sub-optimal network.

A representative of WRV (couple other initials - basically, as I understand it, some sort of senior citizens advocacy outfit) anyway some rep is supposedly gonna 'get in contact with [me] asap'

I'll either get w/ya via Her Ladyship's number or heck, drive over later in the week.


You might also check out CC. They specialize in us old folk:

Thanks Bob.

Now for news of the 'otherwise sort'

I suppose we're to be reassured the spirit of Nancy Reagan will be returning to the White House.

Aaaand, thank you very much Bob.

Nice to be able to talk to an actual person at a telecom. Nice they've got videos to watch to be able to figure out how to use their basiciest flip-phone.

Verizon about a month ago mailed me a "free phone" to replace the one I'd been perfectly comfortable with since 2012 (and only reason I'd had that one was 'cause my kids insisted they have some way to get hold of me without having to buy a stamp and then have to re-learn how to use paper and pencil every time they needed a 'Howdy Do' from me!

Only problem I ran into with the "free phone" was, upon flipping it open was that, to me, the damned display might just as well have been the instrument panel of a spaceship. Calling Verizon's number to explain my predicament led to "Due to Covid yada yada yada, you're [me] gonna be put on hold." Last time I "held" for 52 minutes before THEY summarily ended the call - from their end.

Verizon may just as well mailed me a certificate indicating I was now a 'honest to God Phd in Gender Studies' because so far as getting that damned "free phone" to work I either might've been mailed an actual spaceship or the Gender Studies Doctorate for all the good that did me.

Only problem now is - I mailed the phone back to 'em - now I'm having to log into my email rather'n my accustomed once or twice a week now having to log in twice a day.

This modern world I find myself living in is far more inconvenient than having sand always in my underwear a carbine in hand and wondering where the next incoming is gonna be incoming from!

So I guess I'ma gonna just have to break down and get a damn phone. At least with this here Consumer Cellular you gave me I can get a real person on the phone to bitch at.

Thanks again Bob.

Have until the end of 2021 JK to make my decision. AT&T only sent the message, no new phone accompanying. May invest in an unlocked phone as CC link has a interesting read.

Echoing your sentiments, thank you Bob for that CC link.

Y'all are welcome. Not being a fan of the privacy-invading, evil little machines, I've had a cell less than a year and only cancelled my land line because the price is now more than a cell. CC let me use one of my wife's old 4G phones, which I only use to make calls and check on the weather. All the other software got deleted.

In my area CC gives a choice of either ATT or Verizon as a carrier. If you know one of the carriers on offer in your area works better, you can get the SIM card that works with it for $10 at Target. Otherwise they assign one to you and the card is free. They assigned me to ATT and I have no complaints.


At least Biden hasn't actually invited some palm-reading kook into the White House. The dogs are "communicating telepathically with a pet psychic in the English Midlands". Gotta love that special relationship. I'm a little more interested in Joe packing his staff with a bunch of Washington swamp creatures he's been pals with for 40 years. Even the NYT and WaPo have been critical.

Ups, (Bob),

The plan - somewhat subject to change, given that Bob's apparently sent us his Indiana Winter's Introduction Yesterday was 71° while today's high was 41° - this morning's low freezing in-place the Coleman Igloo (beer cooler) the eight beers in the half or so inch of water remaining from the 7 pounds of cubed (now level solid) ice I had to buy yesterday to keep the beer below 'Cowboy Cold'

Dammit I'm glad I kept rather than using it for rocketry experiments that half gallon of moonshine my cop nephew "appropriated" last June and didn't have 'up-tempoed-fireworks-proofed' storage space for ... only what saved me today seeing through a 50° drop in temperature in lessern' 24 hours (God I hope he doesn't ask for his "evidence" back!)

Oh well Ups the plan is - such as it is - Her Ladyship & I will be over your way in the next 60 hours or so (19:00ish local) and I'll attend to seeing whether I can 'convince' Walmart employees to convert my perfectly acceptable former Verizon phone to what VA advises is 'available to us old US Navy types' just because we is who we is and where we was when we was and some other stuff I 'bout fell asleep at as *she (I couldn't precisely ascertain) went on and on about.

Bob I'm thinking - correct me if I'm wrong Ups - we don't have a Target (whether to use 'figuratively' or 'literally' in this particular context I dunno) nearby so I reckon Ups we're left with Walmart.

Supposedly Walmart has "telecom specialist" employees. I guess I'll find out.

Thanks again Bob for that link 'cause, I admit, I was getting mighty frustrated dealing with the companies I'd become accustomed to.

Now if you'll only come down here and coax your weather back up there ...


we don't have a Target (whether to use 'figuratively' or 'literally' in this particular context I dunno) nearby so I reckon Ups we're left with Walmart.

No correction needed. The closest thing to a target is Walmart. The last I checked Walmart had a nice selection of unlocked phones.

Let me know if Walmart can accommodate you.


The door is open and the coffee is on.

Belay Ups, just for today at any rate.

I got to compile all my last six months worth of phone related documents/conversations/sales pitches etc into a concise Word doc then, go back through my mil credit union statements in order to find where my costs (phone) first doubled to today's statement (from Verizon email) advising me as of midnight this early am that it had tripled.

Then I figure on assembling all that stuff into a format suitable for emailing to my Congressman.

This is more'n likely gonna take a spell.


A little cold air might wake you up some. You might look on Amazon or Ebay for unlocked phones too. They usually have some great deals.


Thanks again. Why I hadn't thought to use my Amazon Prime seems in hindsight - pretty doggone dumb.

On a brighter note - though I cannot recall what prompted me to begin doing it from the first I created a folder in my email 'named' Verizon and, as best I recall, every little anything I either received from 'em, whether unanswered/replied to, I directed into that folder. Still brighter, I never set up auto-pay plus Navy Federal (credit union) in the forty+ years I've had my account has *never completed a transaction without my personally authorizing.

*Excepting while deployed or otherwise out of conus during which times I'd authorized a legal rep.

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