Not everybody spends time in cafes.
Coffee or lunch-to-go is more likely.
Get back to work.
Some of us sitters like meetups in a café.
Not a dinner, too long.
Not alcoholic, keep wits about ourselves.
Cafes being found on virtually every block in civilized cities, easy to find one convenient to all of the invitees.
I’m one of these.
Some of us can do work at a café.
I’m one of each of these.
I do have a major complaint about some of my café sitters: speaking in voices that trespass on others’ airwaves.
We’re talking major personality flaws, here.
People talking on a telephone.
Don’t they realize that ordinary telephone conversations are carried on in substantially higher decibel levels than ordinary conversation?
And being such, aren’t held when disinterested others are stuck close by?
Are forced to spend energy to block out what it is they are talking about?
Need to answer your phone?
Stand up and walk to a private spot in the café.
Or go outside.
Don’t send voice needles into the ear drums of adjacent cafe sitters who have done nothing to interfere with your enjoyment of what the café offers.
Need to pitch yourself or your idea?
Realize that your excitement and earnestness causes your voice to rise to high pitch that travels; that interferes, interrupts.
Question whether the tightness of café spaces renders these venues inappropriate for such conversations.
Saturday, November 3, 2018
My 207th consecutive posting.
Time is 12.01am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 64* amid heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Dinner is outrageously delicious and comforting Clam Chowder, recipe found in our pages, of course. And the best there is, of course.
Fry out some tasty fat like bacon or pancetta, add in the bite-sized pieces of potatoes and onions with a lot of ground black pepper, and fry. Steam open the clams, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and add them in with the clam broth. Simmer and then add milk/cream. Lovely.
Along with a Broil/Seared piece of fish, TBD.
Guests for dinner: cousin Lauren and good friend Jim Pasto, professor of Italian studies at BU.
Quiz Question of the Day:
What does Howard think about telephones?
Love your notes.
Contact me @ email@example.com
Here’s a note from my much loved sister, Jo, on getting to sleep.
We all have problems getting to sleep.
What works for me is a glass of Vodka.
And if I cannot sleep Dom I just get up and do something – write a letter that I have to write or do something in the house that needs to be done.
Never worrying if I am getting my sleep as before you know it you get so tired you do not have trouble to get to sleep.
When this happens I make up for the lost sleep by getting up late in the morning.
Its all in the mind Dom, your mind must be free of issues, you have to learn to not worry.
Web Meister Responds: Love back at you, sis.
And a note from Sally Chetwynd motivated by our mention of Ghiberti’s Bronze Doors hanging in the Baptistery:
I remember reading an article a few years ago about a man, blind from birth, who drew a picture of the Baptistery of St. John in perspective, so it was not just a flat image that most unskilled sketchers would have produced. (I think he was a 19th Century resident of Florence.) I don't remember his name, but his story was most impressive. Sighted persons are usually not gifted with the ability to draw in perspective, and can be trained to do so - how does a blind person acquire this concept? Maybe I'll have to ask my blind friend Annmarie to shed some light on this, if she can.
Web Meister Responds: We would be honored to share the intimacy.
Short Takes, Saturday, November 3
Ain’t it grand.
Walking through the Public Garden.
I saw an owl.
I couldn’t identify the specie but it was an owl.
Not ripping a smaller bird apart; or a rat.
Sitting quietly, looking at me like I was looking at her.
Answer to Quiz Question:
What does Howard think about telephone rudeness?
Not that you’ve gotten anything wrong, per se, but something you misstated suggests that most people have it wrong.
What’s important is that, in fact, it is profoundly annoying, never mind thoughtless and inconsiderate (the default mode of most Americans when out in public—we carry our sense of personal privilege, separate and apart from any gender and race privileges we may be afflicted with), to be forced to listen to other people’s conversations. Especially the ones conducted by phone, as phones are now as commonplace as people, and it is now normal to expect to be able to carry on a long-distance conversation as easily as an in-person intimate one.
The misstatement on your part has to do with people not realizing that an ordinary phone conversation must be carried out at higher volume than one conducted in person.
I have no idea what it is that has implanted the de facto expectation that a device that can pluck movies that are hours in length in color and high definition and with a stereo soundtrack that you can listen to in utter silence in terms of disturbing others around you is incapable of picking up your voice emitted from your mouth which is fractions of an inch from the listening device (it’s called a microphone, and they’ve been around for well over a hundred years) unless you bellow into it as if you were speaking on one of those devices you see in period movies about the turn of the 20th century, when you held the earphone in one hand to your ear, and held the speaking device in your other hand.
Like the ear buds we all covet that connect wirelessly to our devices and can reproduce music with incredible definition and fidelity and yet are no bigger than your fingernail. the microphone of the current cell phone is an incredibly sensitive device capable of nuanced reproduction, with great clarity.
Try the experiment of having your next phone conversation speaking in somewhat lower than your normal speaking voice, and keep raising it if your caller claims not to hear you, in very small increments of volume until they do. Phones are designed not to require that you shout into them. That we do is the result of behavioral and psychological factors of which so many of us are victims. And the older we are, the more likely we will fall prey to them, as it is a fact of life that for most of us, the older we get, the greater is the possibility of sensory loss, and the classic stereotypical loss is that of hearing.
Moreover, many of us tend to raise our voices when we want to interrupt the other speaker, and more quickly than etiquette dictates interject the response we have – because it’s so clever, or witty, or important, or contradictory, or whatever – and drown out the other.
None of that is necessary, as you can be as comprehensible and impolite to the person on the other end of the line as you like and usually without raising your voice above low conversation levels.
Further, if you are in public, and there is a lot of ambient sound, above the levels of a room you’d call “quiet” and capable of sustaining a conversation at normal low levels of volume, and it’s making it hard for you to hear not only the person speaking to you on the phone, and the person sitting next to you, and your own voice, even if you raise it, it’s likely the person you’re speaking to can’t make sense of what you’re saying either, and raising your voice won’t help except to make the general noise level on both ends that much greater. So, if the phone call is that important (which suggests being able to have a nuanced conversation) maybe it’s time to leave the venue and find a quieter place to have it, where you can speak in a “normal” tone of voice.
And so, Good Morning, this Saturday, November 3.
We’ve talked about Café Etiquette, a couple of contacts, an owl in the city, and Howard’s thoughts on rudeness and the telephone.
Have a good day, my friends.
See you soon.