When Brass Was King.

Radio Paradise comes through again for me, and plays a track that is impossible to keep still to.
January 16th, 1938, Carnegie hall… as told on Gene Krupa’s biography:
“Benny Goodman urged Gene to join his band with the promise that it would be a real jazz band. After joining, Benny soon became discouraged with the idea of having a successful jazz group. The band was relegated to playing dance music and Benny was considering packing it in. Upon the band’s engagement at the Palomar, Benny decided to go for broke and play their own arrangements. The audience went wild and the band took off. The Goodman group featured Gene prominently in the full orchestra and with the groundbreaking Goodman Trio and Quartet. The Trio is possibly the first working small group which featured black and white musicians. On January 16, 1938, the band was the first “jazz” act to play New York’s Carnegie Hall. Gene’s classic performance on “Sing Sing Sing” has been heralded as the first extended drum solo in jazz.”
Sing Sing Sing” to me represents all things seductive about swing music. It’s powerful, driving, and beautifully executed. It’s an example of a piece, performed in this style, with Krupa’s driving bass and Benny’s mesmorizing clarinet that calls to me to give up all this computer noise and truly take up music.

Semantics debate.

So apparently I’m out on my own here, but to me, when someone says “next Saturday”, they are talking about the very next Saturday that will occur.
Apparently I’m in the minority here. When someone tells me, on Wednesday, “Hey, we’re doing something next Saturday” – I naturally assume they’re talking about the day 4 days hence. Nonnon! They’re talking about the day 11 days hence! The one in 4 days is ‘this’ Saturday.
Who thought up this goofy plan? Days are individual entities. If I say ‘take the next thing in line’, you pick up the next available thing, right? You don’t ‘skip’ one and go for the next one after that, do you?
Is this a Boston regionalism or something? Was my brain just counter-programmed when growing up in New Jersey?

That’s no boat. That’s a SPACE STATION!

When a J-Class Racing Sloop just isn’t enough. A company has almost completed the largest sloop-rigged sailboat ever.
The Mirabella V is 246ft long, sports a carbon fiber mast 300′ high, carries a 29′ 400hp tender in a special ‘garage’ in the transom, as well as a full complement of jetskis, laser racing boats, and zodiacs.
Personally, I think the boat is ugly as sin, but it -is- enormous. Make sure you check out the gallery.

Listening to Schooner Fair with Zach…

From Schooner Fair — Alive!
MAN i wanna get sailing again…..
THE MARY L. McKAY
Frederick W. Wallace / Arr. & Adapt. Schooner Fare
We first heard this song in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Later we found it in a North American folk collection. The story is unchanged but the rhythm, melody and chords have been rewritten. It’s the story of a record-setting voyage between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, N.S., with a little help from Portland bootleg rum.

Continue reading “Listening to Schooner Fair with Zach…”

A good argument for those pesky anti-gay activists…

Seems to be the day for me to post links to other blogs and the like. However, I make it a rule to, every couple days, check into Snopes.com and check out the ‘Whats New’ section, which covers the current rumors, blatherings, and other joy that tends to circulate on the net. I don’t know how many times people have sent me something in email, only for me to reply with “That’s an urban legend, here’s the link to snopes…”
Today I saw a great blurb, purportedly to be an open letter to Dr Laura. I’ll reproduce it here, though the original authorship is unknown (the Snopes article refers to a “Kent Ashcraft”, but it’s certainly not definite.

Continue reading “A good argument for those pesky anti-gay activists…”

An interview with George RR Martin

There’s a book series I’m in the middle of reading called “The Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. It’s one of the best things I’ve read in a VERY long time.
Only problem is, it’s not done yet! GRRM is still writing book 4, and there will most likely be six books. This 4th one is taking FOREVER, but it’s going to be worth it.
There’s an interview available where he talks about where the current book “A Feast of Crows” is, and how far along he is.
One other bit is there’s a sample chapter from the new book on his site. If you’re reading the series, and waiting for the next book, check out the interview and the sample!

Mmm. Biodiesel.

Hey, someone’s on the right track! Arora just pointed out this article about Harvard University installing a Biodiesel station in Cambridge. This is pretty cool, though it looks like it’s not a public station.
Why is this important to me? Well, I drive a VW Golf with a TDI (Turbo Diesel Injection) engine in it. It’s a wonderful car, and I get obscene miles on it (about 45mpg)… this is great for a car that has a heckuva lot of torque for only a 93hp engine.

Continue reading “Mmm. Biodiesel.”

MP meets American Politics

Mr. Praline: ‘Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
Owner: We’re closin’ for lunch.
Mr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this candidate what I supported not half an hour ago from this very website!
Owner: Oh yes, the, uh, Howard Dean…What’s,uh…What’s wrong with em?
Mr. Praline: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. ‘E’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!
Owner: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…he’s resting.
Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead candiate when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.
Owner: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable candidate, the Vermont Governor, idn’it, ay? Beautiful issues!
Mr. Praline: The issues don’t enter into it. E’s stone dead.
Owner: Nononono, no, no! ‘E’s resting!
Mr. Praline: All right then, if he’s restin’, I’ll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) ‘Ello, Howie! I’ve got a lovely televised debate for ye!
Owner: There, he moved!
Mr. Praline: No, he didn’t, that was you re-running an old tape!
Owner: I never!!
Mr. Praline: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) ‘ELLO HOWIE!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o’clock alarm call!
(Takes Howard out and shows him Bush’s latest budget proposals. Howard just sits there)
Mr. Praline: Now that’s what I call a dead candiate.
Owner: No, no…..No, ‘e’s stunned!
Mr. Praline: STUNNED?!?
Owner: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin’ up! Liberal Democrats stun easily, major.
Mr. Praline: Um…now look…now look, mate, I’ve definitely ‘ad enough of this. That candidate is definitely deceased, and when I donated to him not ‘alf an hour ago, you assured me that his total lack of movement was due to him bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk in Iowa.
Owner: Well, he’s…he’s, ah…probably pining for the fjords.
Mr. Praline: PININ’ for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got ‘im home?
Owner: The Liberal Democrat prefers keepin’ on it’s back! Remarkable bird, id’nit, squire? Lovely issues!
Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that candidate when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its stump in the first place was that he had been NAILED there.
Owner: Well, o’course he was nailed there! If I hadn’t nailed that fellow down, it would have nuzzled up to those constituents, bent ’em with ‘is bare hands, and VOOM! Off to join the independents!
Mr. Praline: “VOOM”?!? Mate, this candidate wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million grass roots dollars through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!
Owner: No no! ‘E’s pining!
Mr. Praline: ‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This candidate is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to ‘is stump ‘e’d be home by the fire by now! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-CANDIDATE!!!
(pause)
Owner: Well, I’d better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I’ve had a look ’round the back of the shop, and uh, we’re right out of liberal democrats.
Mr. Praline: I see. I see, I get the picture.
Owner: I got John Kerry.
Mr. Praline: Pray, does it appeal to the young grass roots constituency?
Owner: Nnnnot really.
Mr. Praline: WELL IT’S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?
Owner: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)
Apologies to John Cleese and the rest of the Python team. 🙂

So, what am I doing here?

A Blog? Why a blog.
Well, i’ve been thinking. There’s a lot of times when I’d just sort of like to log and spout off what I’m working on, what I’m doing, things I see, things I’m thinking about. LiveJournal isn’t quite the right medium, and some discussion lists aren’t exactly it either.
I’ll try and keep things in categories, and folks can read or not read, ignore or contribute, criticize or support, I’m doing this mostly for myself, but I hope others will read and nod knowingly on occasion. It’s a glimpse into me day to day, whether interesting or no.