2 weeks ago

April 13, 2017

Lovely long read about Bede the Venerable and books in a dark time. What an amazing technology they were, what a boon to humanity's ability to preserve and share information. Parts of the longread go into the technolgoy of it, the scribes having to be chemists as well to make their own colors of inks; reminds me of how lately I've been thinking about the physicality of the making of brass instruments and of sailing ships (thanks to reading "Master + Commander")
"Our future selves are strangers to us.

This isn't some poetic metaphor; it's a neurological fact. FMRI studies suggest that when you imagine your future self, your brain does something weird: It stops acting as if you're thinking about yourself. Instead, it starts acting as if you're thinking about a *completely different person.*"
--Jane McGonigal, Our Puny Human Brains Are Terrible at Thinking About the Future. I wonder how it looks for our past selves?

April 12, 2017

http://www.sauerkrautrecipes.com/ - a long while ago a friend pointed me to this site as "things you didn't know needed their own domain", but 15 years later and it's still going strong.
"My ireland native father once told me that the first time he ever saw people use water for hot chocolate was when he came to america, and said that it was then that he 'knew this country was doomed'"
"One to Sleep On: Release the past to rest as deeply as possible."
---- @charliemurphy's final tweet, RIP Charlie Murphy - what a story teller!

April 11, 2017

2 Years ago I joined in a little amateur GoPro promotion film entry...

In retrospect I'm not surprised it didn't win, it's rather long and also the percussion impacts visibly overcome the anti-shake features of the camera.

At a Best Buy I saw some DELIGHTFUL footage of headmounted (but facing back at the wearer, so you could see the expressions) of people on some sort of water slide / chute that would throw them way up into the air before splashing down... closest i could find with a few minutes of googling was this

April 10, 2017history

My high school best friend Mike Witczak had a piano at his house, though his younger brother Martin was the one who actually played. One day, in the summer between high school and college, the three of us collaborated with a tape recorder and made Leavin' You Blues a long (over 20 minutes) jam on the most basic of blues riffs, with (badly) improvised vocals and tuba by me, Mike on the Alto Sax, and Marty employing the tiniest fraction of his his keyboard talent, except in a few parts. (around 8 minutes in)

The rest of the tape Mike and I filled with walking through a much of basslines he and I would jam with on the Euclid High School bandroom piano or with our horns in small group settings. It's telling that my urge for archiving, even the awareness I would forget much of this, was present even then. And now it continues, as I transferred the entire tape to my computer, broke it up into tracks, and provided titles and a little commentary...

There's a lot of adolescent, goofy chatter and commentary throughout, mostly me, that I kept in, as painful as it is for me to hear now.

Without further ado: '92 Blues and Basslines

It's a E. Bishop "One Art" kind of day! My work laptop at home this morning (buried under some clothes for good will), my eyeglass case as I leave the parking garage (actually on my person, the old 'past self pranks present self by putting something in idiosyncratic pocket' gag) and then my wallet, lost outside of a restaurant but mercifully found by a kind person who happens to work at the Athletlic Club I go to for yoga.

New slogan for Delta Airlines - "We May Cancel 3,000 Flights, But at Least We Don't Beat You Up About It!"

(heh, wait, is the slogan for United really still "Fly the Friendly Skies"?)

April 9, 2017

"Lower, ever lower The world is falling back
Our life is but a demi-monde
And woman greets it on her back."
"Love striving for consummation
Dreams longing to become real
The world is falling back
So sweetheart, let's fall together."
--from Karel Capek's: "The Insect Play"
One thing nearly every geek kid in the 80s learned was that the term "robot" came from a play "R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots" by Karel Čapek. ... the translation I read recently (which changes the name "Possum" to "Reason", interestingly enough surprised me with a reference to the church I grew up in, The Salvation Army:
Dear lady, we've had boat-loads of Messiahs and prophets visiting us here. Missionaries, anarchists, the Salvation Army – all society's flotsam. Amazing how many fanatics there are in the world.
(They used to be more of a cultural and religious meme; think like hare krishna jokes in the 70s and 80s or the mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses going door to door these days.)

April 8, 2017

"Sir, could you give us the secret of your longevity?"

Well, the major thing is that I never ever touched fried food. I don't eat it, wouldn't look at it, and I don't touch it. And I never run for a bus. There'll always be another. Even if you're late for work, you know, I never run for a bus. I never ran, I just strolled, jaunty-jolly, walking to the bus stop.

"Well, there were no buses in the time of ..."

No, in my time...

"What was the means of transportation then?"

Mostly fear.

"Fear transported you?"

Fear, yes. You would see... an animal would growl, you'd go two miles in a minute. Fear would be the main propulsion.

"I think most people are interested in living a long and fruitful life, as you have."

Yes. Fruit is good, too, you mentioned fruit. Yeah. Fruit kept me going for a hundred and forty years once when I was on a very strict diet. Mainly nectarines. I love that fruit. It's half a peach, half a plum, it's a hell of a fruit. I love it! Not too cold, not too hot, you know, just nice. Even a rotten one is good. That's how much I love them. I'd rather eat a rotten nectarine than a fine plum. What do you think of that? That's how much I love them.

--from the skit "Two Thousand Year Old Man", Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner, via "The Big Book of New American Humor", got in high school and have loved it ever since. Anyway, both that thing about the nectarine - it IS a hell of a fruit, and the advice about buses hops into my head whenever I'm looking for a piece of fruit or trying to catch public transportation.
Six photos from my School of Honk trip to Austin for HONK!TX...
Bikes were important...

A birthday cake for me was a sweet surprise - made up for having to get up at 4am to catch a birthday flight!

The wall of tubas was so impressive...

"Vanessa" was my charge the first day...

The dot tubas are so beautiful...

Anytime you can get an Arroz Con Leche popsicle, do so. (I was amused by how I got everyone to share my hype for these.) We found out these were manufactured across the street from the stage of the final HONK!TX concert...

march 2017 new music playlist

April 7, 2017
Pretty good month! Starting with one the relatively rare 5 star songs, and going down from there...

5 Star:

4 Star: 3 Star