Monday, April 30, 2012

A Favorite Song

It should come as little surprise to regular readers that one of my favorite R.E.M. songs is called "Camera."  This is from their second album Reckoning:

Pictures of the Getty

One of my favorite places in Los Angeles is the Getty Center which sits in the mountains on the west edge of the city.  These are a few of the shots I took last time I was there.

The grounds are beautiful with a number of gardens, spectacular views of the basin, and of course, the very cool architecture.

I could spend the better part of a day there without even visiting the galleries, which house some great artwork.  I'm already looking forward to my next visit.

A Quote for Monday

An interesting observation from the pen of German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855):

"It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again; the never-satisfied man is so strange if he has completed a structure, then it is not in order to dwell in it peacefully,but in order to begin another. I imagine the world conqueror must feel thus, who, after one kingdom is scarcely conquered, stretches out his arms for others."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Classic Rock

This must be one of the earliest videos-- the song certainly precedes the arrival of MTV, if not this clip itself.  A great song, by the Pretenders (and ironically, Chrissie Hynde today is the proprietess of a restaurant in what I believe is her hometown of Akron Ohio):

Sunday Funnies

Here are a few panels that will give you a good idea of the comic artistry of the great Gluyas Williams.  His work appeared in the New Yorker and other magazines, then later was syndicated to newspapers. Enjoy.

Happy Birthday Uncle Dick!

Here's hoping Uncle Dick has as good a day as possible today on the anniversary of his birth! 

Sunday's Quotation

I found this quote by English mathematician John Arbuthnot (1667-1735) to be appropriate to post on my Uncle Dick's birthday, since my uncle is both a mathematician and a priest:

"The Mathematics are Friends to Religion, inasmuch as they charm the Passions, restrain the Impetuosity of the Imagination, and purge the Mind from Error and Prejudice. Vice is Error, Confusion, and false Reasoning; and all Truth is more or less opposite to it. Besides, Mathematical Studies may serve for a pleasant Entertainment for those Hours which young Men are apt to throw away upon their Vices; the Delightfulness of them being such as to make Solitude not only easy, but desirable."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cool Song

I'd call this uncharacteristic of the band Primal Scream-- but I don't think they've ever really charted a singular course, so it actually kind of fits into their overall oeuvre:

Saturday Morning Cartoon

I haven't exactly jumped on the current pop culture bandwagon celebrating all things vampiric, but when I stumbled on this episode of Roger Ramjet, it seemed a perfect candidate for posting here:

Saturday's Quote

Perhaps this is self-evident, but it's nice that someone like French physicist Henri Poincare (1854-1912) could say it so succinctly:

"Science is facts; just as houses are made of 
stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile 
of stones is not a house and a collection of 
facts is not necessarily science."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Classic Top Forty Radio

I mentioned Jackson Armstrong a couple of posts ago, and that prompted me to see if I could find an example of his work to share here.  Here's an aircheck from WKBW in Buffalo from December of 1970 (right around the time I might've been tuned in).  Maybe this will bring back some fond memories for some of you, as it does for me...

Yet More Friday Family Blogging

The theme today seems to be parents and kids, so here's one of Sally with Natalie and Ben. Doesn't Natalie look especially comfortable?

Cool Links

If, like me, you are a fan of classic rock and roll radio, you might want to check out the sites and Rock Radio Scrapbook. They are repositories for recordings of disk jockeys spanning the whole rock era, and most of the country as well as Canada.  Depending on the site, you can search by era, region or personality (I highly recommend checking out the listings for Jackson Armstrong-- that's him in the picture-- who I listened to on WKBW in Buffalo, but who worked almost everywhere at one time or another).  There are similar sites out there with more listings, but these are the two I've found where it's free to listen, so check them out.

More Friday Family Blogging

Marenka and her dad Richard. Considering that Marenka graduated from college last year, I know this one goes back a few years-- long enough that I had totally forgotten that tapestry hanging on the back of the front door.  

Friday Family Blogging

Happy Anniversary to by brother Nick and his lovely bride Eileen (with daughter Raechelle in this photo)!  I'm terrible at keeping track of how long its been since things like weddings happened, but I think this must be the seventeenth?  Can it really be that long? Feel free to correct me in the comments.

Friday Philosophy

From Meditations by the Roman emperor and thinker Marcus Aurelius (121-180) comes this wonderful passage:

"Do not spend your thoughts upon other people, nor pry into the talk, fancies and projects of another, nor guess at what he is about, or why he is doing it. Think upon nothing but what you could willingly tell about, so that if your soul were laid open there would appear nothing but what was sincere, good-natured and public-spirited. A man thus qualified is a sort of priest and minister of the gods, and makes a right use of the divinity within him. Be cheerful; depend not at all on foreign supports, nor beg your happiness of another; do not throw away your legs to stand upon crutches."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cool Song

Charlie Pickett is another one of the many artists who deserved to be much bigger, but it doesn't seem to have interfered with his ability to make some great rock and roll.  I wish the audio were a little clearer on this clip, but the energy definitely comes through:

Toonerville Thursday

More colorful antics courtesy of the citizens of Toonerville.

A Thought for Thursday

Wise counsel from the writer E.B. White (1899-1985):

"I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Classic Soul

I'd call this a good example of a one-hit wonder, but I don't think it was a hit (at least not until it was remade years later by Salt'n Pepa)-- which is kind of hard to believe.  A truly great performance by Linda Lyndell:

Happy Birthday Thomas!

I'm sending all my best wishes in the direction of my nephew Thomas today, who I hope has a fantastic birthday!

My Lucky Day

So yesterday evening I was casually channel surfing when I stumbled onto the Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final match in the UEFA Champions League (which I thought was coming up later in the week).  Being a Chelsea fan, I settled in to watch and was rewarded with an amazing game which the Blues played a man short for the entire second half after their captain took a really stupid penalty.  For those who aren't big soccer fans, Barcelona is widely considered to be one of the premier teams in the world, led by the incredible Lionel Messi. They put tremendous pressure on Chelsea, keeping the ball in their end for virtually the entire second half (and already with a 2-1 lead). Messi himself hit the post a couple of times.  But my guys withstood the pressure and miraculously scored a goal themselves at the very end to clinch a berth in the finals (holding the tiebreaker against Barca).  Then, as if that wasn't enough sports excitement for one night, I went on-line to see how the Braves were doing in their game against the Dodgers and discovered that was offering a free telecast of the game (usually I just get the radio feed), AND it was being announced by the one and only Vin Scully, quite possibly the greatest baseball announcer ever.  Not only that, but he did the full nine innings totally solo, no color guy, no reporters in the dugout or the studio cutting in.  What a treat-- great play-by-play intermixed with fantastic anecdotes of past games spanning Scully's sixty-odd year career.  And, to top it all off, the Braves won in dramatic come from behind fashion.  I can't remember the last time I had such an enjoyable day watching sports, and wonder if the stars will ever align so perfectly again.    

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) is widely credited as the primary inventor of the radio.  Here's something he said in a speech from 1934:

"If we consider what science already has enabled men to know — the immensity of space, the fantastic philosophy of the stars, the infinite smallness of the composition of atoms, the macrocosm whereby we succeed only in creating outlines and translating a measure into numbers without our minds being able to form any concrete idea of it — we remain astounded by the enormous machinery of the universe."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Song

If I were pushed up against a wall and forced to name my favorite Replacements song, this would probably be the one, though I'm sure I'd run through most of the rest of their catalog in my head first to be sure.  Great stuff...


Another Titanic Site

I don't consider myself a Titanic buff (like my nephew Ben), but I found this photo essay about remnants of that famous disaster that still exist in New York City to be quite fascinating.  Be sure to click the link at the bottom of that page to take you to Part 2.

A Classic Top Five

This originally aired on Dr.John's Record Shelf way back in 2005, and it remains one of my favorits.  I hope you like it too...

A Tuesday Thought

British author Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) offered this astute comment:

"Considering how much we are all given to discuss the characters of others, and discuss them often not in the strictest spirit of charity, it is singular how little we are inclined to think that others can speak ill-naturedly of us, and how angry and hurt we are when proof reaches us that they have done so."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rock and Roll

Jay Reatard passed away much too young a couple of years ago.  But while he was around, he sure did a lot to keep the spirit of rock and roll alive, as in this song:

Cool Show

 If, like me, you are a fan of singer-songwriter Amy Rigby, you might enjoy this webcast in which she and spouse Wreckless Eric (not a bad performer in his own right) are interviewed by Jack Rabid.  A number of their recordings (alone and together) are played, along with several live performances by the duo.

Sunday Funnies on Monday

I totally forgot to log on to the blog yesterday, even though I had already saved this strip as the feature for Sunday Funnies.  Rather than wait another week, I thought I'd go ahead and post it today.  Calvin & Hobbes waxing philosophical...

Monday's Quote

A notable observation from the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900):

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one 
enjoys several times the same good things 
for the first time.” 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Great Song

If ever there was a perfect match of voice to song, this is it-- Jimmie Dale Gilmore singing the Hank Williams classic "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

Saturday Morning Cartoon

A classic confrontation: Wile E. Coyote vs. Bugs Bunny. Enjoy.

Qote of the Day

Charles Mingus (1922-1979) was probably the greatest bass player in modern jazz, maybe all of jazz.  Here's something he once said:

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; 
making the complicated simple, awesomely 
simple, that's creativity."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Levon Helm, RIP

Like every other music fan with a weblog today, I've got to pay tribute to the great Levon Helm, drummer and vocalist for the Band-- the guy who gave a bunch of Canadians some real down-home credibility. This is a memorable performance from The Last Waltz:  

Yet More Friday Family Blogging

A great shot of Dad on the shores of Lake Couer d'Alene in Idaho. I'm guessing this was on the trip out to attend Lizzie's wedding, but I'm not entirely sure about that. 

Soup Diary 120420

Last night I attended the annual International Food Fair here in town, and for the first time was one of the cooks. This is an annual affair to raise money for students who are studying abroad, and it keeps getting bigger every year, at least in terms of the amount of different dishes offered (all brought by volunteers like me, and representing a variety of ethnic fare.   My contribution was a big pot of African Peanut Soup, which I first had at Fables Cafe about four years ago-- in fact it was one of the "exotic" varieties that launched me on my quest to sample as many different kinds of soup as I could find, and write them up in this diary.  I found a recipe on-line, and added a few variations in my version: I added a couple of sweet potatoes (and next time, I'll add a couple more as their impact was somewhat muted in this batch), and mild salsa in place of plain diced tomatoes.   Just about every one who had some came back with compliments, though only about twenty folks actually tried it (there were a lot of options at this year's fair, so I can't complain if the customers filled up at other stations).  I'll probably bring it again next year, with a few modifications (including reducing it from 50 to 30 servings).  I'm going to be enjoying the leftovers for the next week at least, so there's a good chance I won't be writing about anything new here for awhile. 

More Friday Family Blogging

Unlike the last photo (below) I know where this was taken: Tiger Mountain in Washington.  This was actually on the same trip, and judging from Maria and Joseph's apparent ages here, I'm thinking it was the summer of 2002.  Does that sound right?

Friday Family Blogging

One problem with taking as many pictures as I do, is that it's easy to forget where and when I shot one.  That's less of a problem with digital photos, because I can just save them into files labeled appropriately.  But this was back int he good old days of film, and, while I know it was on a drive across the country with Sally, Natalie and Ben, I can't remember for sure where this was taken.  I think it may be Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming.  Does anyone else recognize the spot?

Friday Philosophy

Something to think about from Human Society in Ethics and Politics written by Bertrand Russell (1972-1970):

 “There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.” 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cool Song

A rock band with a trombone-- no wonder these guys called themselves the Specials.  Here's one of their best songs:

Toonerville Thursday

I like how the Toonerville strips are not only a slice-of-life perspective of small towns (you gotta love the idea of "Good-For-Nothing Uncles Day), but also offer some historical perspective of the period between the World Wars (you know, the era of bathtub gin). 

A Thought for Thursday

I know exactly what the great Spanish artist Joan Miro (1893-1983) meant by this comment:

"You can look at a painting for a whole week and 
then never think about it again. You can also look 
at a painting for a second and think about it for 
the rest of your life."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Great Song

I've posted a version of this song by its composer Richard Thompson in the past, and also one by Mary Lou Lord.  This bluegrass interpretation by the Del McCoury Band is just as good.  Enjoy:

Pictures of Bannack

Once again, nice weather prompted me to grab my camera and head over to Bannack for some picture-taking a couple of days ago.  Here are a few of the shots I took.

My favorite barn, along with the beat up wagon out front, against the background of an interesting sky.

 I'm not sure exactly what I did to create the two-tone effect in this picture but I kind of like the effect. 

I've probably posted a variation of this shot before, as it is a spot I've photographed about a diozen times over the years.  In this version, I employed the HDR function on my camera, which takes three shots with different exposures, then combines them into a single image.  I'm quite happy with the result, which seems particularly evocative of the ghost town atmosphere. 

Wednesday's Words

I agree with this sentiment from the great British scientist Thomas Huxley (1825-1895):

"We live in a world which is full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered it."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cool Song

This is a live performance of one of my favorite songs off the new Craig Finn (of the Hold Steady) solo album.  The song is called "Terrified Eyes."

This Week's Top Five List

The Top Five List that we aired on Dr. John's Record Shelf this week was a result of endless discussions between myself and the crack staff.  Although we ultimately reached a consensus, I'd be curious to hear if any of our readers have any nominees for an expanded version of this list, and if so, please note them in the comments.  I think you'll see what I mean when you hear this:

A Tuesday Thought

I don't think you can beat this definition of "experience" as related by the novelist Henry James (1843-1916):

"Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web, of the finest silken threads, suspended in the chamber of consciousness and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue."

Monday, April 16, 2012

An Old Favorite

This is one of those songs that you almost can't help singing along to the chorus.  "My Maria" also kind of defines the sound of AM radio circa 1972 for me.  Maybe some of you will like it too:

Nevada City

I was passing through Nevada City (one of the local "ghost towns") this past weekend, and stopped to take a few pictures (the weather was growing cold and blustery, plus the main portion of the town was closed, so I wasn't there long). Considering how few shots I took, I'm really happy that these turned out so well.

Because of the overcast skies, there was a nice, muted light around the old depot, where all of these were taken.  

At one time, Nevada City was a booming mining town, which grew up around the strikes in Alder Gulch back in the 1860s.  The existence of the train station suggests it was still a going concern into the twentieth century, but the gold played out around there sometime before World War II.  It remains a nice spot to take pictures though.


Monday's Quote

This was written by the novelist Thornton Wilder (1897-1975):

"The test of an adventure is that when you're in the middle of it, you say to yourself, 'Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.' And the sign that something's wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jazz for a Sunday Afternoon

A nice tribute song to the late, great Clifford Brown, performed by the Jazz Messengers, written by Benny Golson (on sax here) and featuring Lee Morgan on trumpet and Bobby Timmons on piano.  The drummer is Art Blakey with Jymie Merrit on bass.  Very cool...

Happy Birthday Raechelle!

My niece Raechelle is celebrating a birthday today-- definitely something to sing about!  I hop you have a great day Rae!

Sunday Funnies

A classic Peanuts strip from the 1960s.  It's got it all: ethics, morality, social consciousness, democratic dialectic... and of course, baseball.  Bravo, Charles Schulz, bravo.