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The View from Mudsock Heights: Once a Cultural Icon, Mitch Miller Died and Hardly Anyone Noticed

By Dennis Dennis | Aug 15, 2010 at 7:27

Fame, even great fame, tends to be fleeting. What brings this to mind is last month’s news that Mitch Miller had died. He was 99 years old, so he had a good innings as they say, and that fact must temper our mourning. The chief sadness about his passing is that so little notice was paid to it. Mitch Miller was once as famous as anyone in the country.

The Music Files: George Strait

By Jason Jason | Aug 13, 2010 at 21:43

Maybe I am a little biased, but writing a review of a George Strait album feels a little like saying, “Water is very good.” Rarely has a man of only 58 years attained such influence. More than this, he is still at the top, churning out hits routinely and consistently as we speak.

The View from Mudsock Heights: A New Electronic Twist to an Age-Old Addiction

By Dennis Dennis | Aug 5, 2010 at 23:16

It’s been a month, so I suppose there’s a chance it will hold: after several decades, I’ve quit smoking. Indeed, the last time I’d gone this long without a cigarette I was probably 16 years old. There is nothing that would delight me more than to be able to tell you that it has been an heroic struggle, unless maybe it would be to say that I feel oh-so-much better. Neither of those things would be true, though.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Good News Reminds Me I Have a Lot of Work to Do Before Winter

By Dennis Dennis | Jul 30, 2010 at 21:37

Happy surprises are so rare that when one occurs it’s worth passing along. I had been worried that I was running out of propane. It had been a year or more since the big tank got filled and, glancing at the gauge a few weeks ago I saw it was pretty low.

Sometimes a Lake and a Powered Down Cell Phone Are All You Need

By Timothy Timothy | Jul 24, 2010 at 22:04

Henry David Thoreau famously wrote on life by a pond some one hundred and fifty-six years ago. As I sat looking out a window upon glistening water earlier this week, I realized quibbles with the transcendentalists aside, I too needed a Walden Pond.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Sea Salt? Organic Sugar? What Exactly are We Talking About Here?

By Dennis Dennis | Jul 19, 2010 at 23:15

The chips tasted pretty good — then I saw the words that made me put them down. No, the bag did not say “contains triglycerides” or “full of transfats.” It said — proudly, if you can believe it — “with sea salt.”

The View from Mudsock Heights: I Thought I Knew About Tomato Growing, But I Was Wrong

By Dennis Dennis | Jul 15, 2010 at 20:01

This year I may have to can some tomatoes. The “putting up” of vegetables was an annual ritual when I was a child, and as a grownup I’ve threatened to do it from time to time, but this year it might just happen.

The Music Files: The Evolution of Robin Thicke

By Jason Jason | Jul 14, 2010 at 23:39

The second of four releases by Robin Thicke in 2006, the Evolution of Robin Thicke made him a star. As a journey through sixteen tracks, this album is tantalizingly uneven. Even so, if the next releases ever add up to a total album, this guy will be on top of the world.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Pictures Need Captions if They're to Be Worth a Thousand Words

By Dennis Dennis | Jul 7, 2010 at 17:57

Who are these people? What is this place? If I had a dime for every time I’ve asked those questions in the last week, I’d be well-set financially.

The View From Mudsock Heights: A Dreaded Task Brings My Sister and Me in Touch with Long-Dead Relatives

By Dennis Dennis | Jun 27, 2010 at 21:06

The attic was hot, very dusty in a way that attics full of boxes can be, and peculiarly exciting. My family has usually succeeded in resisting an alarming tradition, that of getting rid of everything a relative owned as soon as possible after his or her death. When my mom died three summers ago, all her stuff got packed into boxes and taken to the attic of my sister’s house in Milwaukee. Now my sister was moving and my mother’s possessions needed to be dealt with.

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