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Friday, June 1, 2007     Time of the Season
(4:02 pm)

Some people mow their lawns every Thurday (or Monday, or Saturday -- whatever) regardless of whether it needs it or not. We're in an extended dry spell and the grass hardly grew since last Friday and still I hear lawnmowers roaring in the distance. Reminds me of what Emerson said, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Speaking of transcendentalist romantics:

Quote of the Day: "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink, I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its current slides away but eternity remains. I would drink deeper, fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars."

-- Henry David Thoreau

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

Smile!  You're on candid cookie!

Today's fortune once again courtesy of Emily G. Thanks Em!

I don't if I've mentioned it before, but recently (in the past two or three months I've acquired a multi-track recorder and a couple of cheap synthesizers (hallelujah! They're good quality for the bucks). I finally managed to figure enough out to record a song of my own. The instruments are synthesized or sampled except for two guitar parts and the bass. I realize there are some anamolies and glitches, but I'm overall happy with the result. Check out my incipient music page. The new song is called Footsteps in the Fog. When making music by myself, I call the virtual group, Hu Nu. I've not quite got levels figured out yet, so the volume on this song is probably about a third lower than it should be. Please adjust your listening device accordingly. The other song on the page is one that an old friend, Dave Alley, and I put together a couple months ago. I managed to normalize the volume levels on this one. So, don't forget to reset.


Monday, June 4, 2007     A Trip to fhe Cosmos
(1:39 pm)

In case you're wondering what I've been doing lately, here's a clue:

Digital Camera Image [2007_0601Image0002] [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 800, Program AE, 1/60, f/4.5, exposure compensation -1/3, Tamron 28-300 mm lens @ 28 mm]
"In theory, this is the dining room."

For the latest results of the use of all this gear, you can always check My music page. My latest (de)composition is called The Clementine Continuum (A reverie). Yes, I know, I've always been one for pretentious, mysterious-sounding titles, both for my music and my art.

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

That's me!  Inspiring!

I'm actually learning to play keyboards a little on my own. I'm probably committing all kinds of piano cardinal sins, but hey, it works. I got my multi-track recorder with the idea of getting some guitar work down, but so far the only thing I've recorded is 6-string and 12-string 3-chord rhythm tracks. Go figure.

Quote of the Day:

"There's music in the sighing of a reed;
There's music in the gushing of a rill;
There's music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres."

-- Lord Byron (George Gordon)

Once I get enough songs together I plan on having some CD's made up. Whether I do them myself or have them done more professionally, I've not decided yet. When this happens I'll offer some of them for a nominal price and/or as prizes for some silly contest or the other. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007     One Thing Leads to Another
(10:04 am)

For me, music is like art -- the more I do, the more I do. It kind of feeds itself. Sometimes that which follows exceeds that which precedes, other times not. The best that can be said about it is that more follows. I somehow get the feeling that none of this makes much sense to anyone but me. Hmm. Oh well.

As always, for the latest sonic atrocity I've committed, you can always check My music page. The most recent is called Assignation in Hatteras (AssHat for short). It's a bit different than previous efforts. It's a bit trite and error-filled. For some reason though I like most of it. I'm not sure why. Once I figure that out, I'll probably do another version or a derivative work and take that one out of circulation.

Quote of the Day: "Bulls don't run reviews. Bulls of 25 don't marry old women of 55 and expect to be invited to dinner. Bulls do not get you cited as co-respondent in Society divorce trials. Bulls don't borrow money. Bulls are edible after they have been killed."

-- Ernest Hemmingway (in a letter written to the American poet and critic Ezra Pound in 1925, explaining why bulls are better than literary critics.)

Today's Fortune, Cookie:


My son turned me on to a group called Opeth. I can't say I care much for most of their vocals but some of them are excellent and there's no denying their instrumental and compositional abilities. I can't say I'm enamoured with their dark take on the world most of the time, although right now it seems to resonate.

Godsmack was at the Muincipal Auditorium last night. I'd liked to have seen that show. The review in the paper was very favorable. The cost of concerts has exceeded the means of a lot of people like me. That, and the crowds are difficult for me to deal with, having to lug a cane with me everywhere I go, and having to exercise extreme care and caution on stairs and the like. Couple that with the enthusiasm of several thousand metal-headed youths and there's a recipe for further injury. Maybe I'm just getting chicken-shit in my old age.

Godsmack. . . Should that be divided to be God Smack, as in heroin that lets you see God? or should it be God's Mack, as in one supremely-honking truck?


Friday, June 8, 2007     Packed Days
(10:31 am)

My days lately have been packed with activity. Thursday was filled with a trip to the dentist for Ann, while I went to get an oil change and tire rotation, a quick visit to Wal-Mart and a longer one to a music store where I shmoozed with a couple of old/new friends. I got home, called my Mom (She wasn't home. Talked to my sister instead.) and found out my grandmother had died. After a late lunch I went to my friend Dave's house down the road a ways and we reinvented Santana. I left for home around seven forty-five. I threw back a Yoo Hoo in lieu of dinner, picked Ann up a little after nine. Went to the grocery store for milk, bread, and incidentals, drove through the Wendy's pick-up window for a burger, chili and a frosty float (those are GOOD). Managed to get back to the house in time to watch Studio 60. Today is a little more relaxed, but this evening is open stage at Unity. Tomorrow is my grandmother's funeral. Unfortunately, two hours after the funeral starts there's a party for my in-law's 50th anniversary AND a niece's and nephew's graduation celebration! Mixed emotions at a dead trot. The funeral is an hour and a half away from the anniversary gathering/family reunion/graduation party.

Quote of the Day: "In Africa, one rarely farts with confidence. . . "

-- Sam Kiley, war correspondent for The Guardian (British Newspaper)

My grandmother was 98. She'd not really been with us for several years. She was in a nursing home. She suffered from Alzheimer's. I think when she stopped recognizing her own family, the greiving process began so that now the funeral is just a formality. My grandfather died years ago. He was 69 at the time. I think I was about 15. He was considerably older than my grandma. It's odd. He was the closest thing to a father to me, but my granmother and I were never very close. My dad's mom, on the other hand, was very close while my paternal grandfather was distant. Odd how things like that work out. Death always highlights our own mortality. In this case it gives me pause to wonder if I'll live anywhere near that long and whether my last years will be spent in an oblivion, recognizing nothing and no one. That, I would not look forward to.

I think it's time to order Chinese take-out again, as I'm fresh out of fortunes. I'm still thinking of buying a package of the cookies.

I didn't get a copy of the song Dave and I recorded yesterday. We never got around to mastering it. Maybe one day next week. I do have a new tune up on my music page. I suppose it's time to put a permanent link to that page on this site somewhere. Only trouble with that is that I'm probably going to have to either move the whole page or start stashing the songs elsewhere since my space on the suddenlink users's server is rapidly dwindling to non-existence. Songs take up a lot of space.

Digital Camera Image [2007_0514Image0010] [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 200, Aperture Priority AE, Exposure Compensation -1/3, 1/200, f/7.1, Tamron 28-300 mm lens @ 148 mm]
"I don't know what it is, but it sure is pretty."

Monday, June 11, 2007     So it goes
(12:21 pm)

The flower in the previous entry is a peony, so I'm told. I've never seen a two-toned one before. I need to get out more. Speaking of getting out, I performed at the open stage at Unity Fellowship Friday night. I did Audioslave's "Doesn't Remind Me." I think that came off pretty well. I attempted Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" as my second number. I blew up on that one. I got confused as to where I was, lost my tempo, forgot the words, couldn't relocate myself using a cheat sheet, so I just gave up. I'll not do that again. It was embarrassing. Such is life, as I am wont to say, or to quote Kurt Vonnegut (again) "So it goes."

Quote of the Day: "Abu put it, 'To the connoisseur, adequacy is insulting.'"

-- Tom Robbins Skinny Legs and All, p. 348

The party/picnic Saturday was pretty good. Lots of family and hot dogs. Between me and Ann we took over 700 photographs, mostly due to Ann not grasping the continuous shooting capability of my camera. Her batteries died soon after arrival and she took over my Canon while I played horseshoes and hung out with my grandgirl, Duracell, a/k/a Gretchen -- I call her Duracell because she's a coppertop. I'd better quit doing that. She'starting to answer to it. Speaking of coppertops, here's mine:

Digital Camera Image [2007_0609Image0125] (cropped) [Canon EOS 20D, ISO 200, Exposure compensation -1/3, Program AE, 1.125, f/6.3, Canon 17-85 mm lens @ 85 mm]
"Duracell by Ann"

I'll probably post other shots of the picnic in the near future.

[NOTE: I wrote this Monday, but didn't check to see that it uploaded. Apparently I either forgot to FTP it or the transfer got bollocksed up, as it's now Thursday.]


Thursday, June 14, 2007     Drain Bamage
(9:57 am)

I was checking to see if I'd failed to upload the picture of Gretchen that goes with Monday's entry when I saw what my problem with the updated page was. I had uploaded the photo, but I also uploaded the updated HTML to the images directory. I paged past the g's and landed in the i's while checking and saw a file called index.html -- well, there's not supposed to be one of those in there. I looked at it and voilą! it was the missing update. Sorry about that. Brain turning to mush.

Quote of the Day: "'The war in the East,' he said. 'In Berlin we hear only of victories. Yet the Wehrmacht has to ship the coffins home from the Urqals front at night on special trains, so nobody sees how many dead there are.'"

-- Xavier March (a character in Fatherland by Robert Harris) p. 183

Sound familiar? Bush has decreed that there will be no photos of returning flag-draped coffins arriving at Fort Dix. Most of the pages from his playbook are torn out of the Nazi's and Mussolini's and taped in crudely and marked up with dull crayons. It might be art were it not so lethal.

I wish it would rain. The ground is sere. The humidity is staying at decent levels, but we really need the rain.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007     August in June
(10:04 am)

The weather here is messed up. Yesterday it was nearly 100 degrees. Today the humidity is horrific -- the air's so think you can almost see it. Capitalists and their lackeys have sucked advantage out of the economy and environment for so long and so hard that everything is cascading toward catastrophe at a quickening rate. Chaos is about to be born. Oil companies are making obscene profits. The differential between the incomes of people who 'run' things and those who actually do the work has widened to the point of absurdity. Most people's only hope of getting ahead is via gambling. If they don't win the lottery, they're doomed to a minimal existence. The rate of autism is up. The price of food is starting to accelerate. The water company wants a 25% increase in rates for water I don't want to drink, so I have to pay over $1.50 a gallon for bottled water. Everyone is disingenuous in their dealings with their customers. That's what happens when they start thinking of them as disembodied 'consumers' instead of living, breathing human beings. Compassion is a quaint notion now. The planet is warming, trying to get us to the point of discomfort where we'll leave. Well, we are so far up our own asses that we don't see the value of space exploration and research into technology that will allow us to consider other habitats than this planet, so leaving isn't an option. What does that leave? Par-boiling.

Quote of the Day: "Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress."

-- John Clapham, A Concise Economic History of Britain, 1957

I have some visual poetry coming out in a magazine in August. I'm not sure of the details yet, but I'll let ya know.

I've been spending more time doing computer work and art. I need to get back to the music. It's still pulling at me, and I'm avoiding it for some reason. True, I still sit and play acoustic guitar while watching television and now and then pick up the electrics or doodle on the keyboards, but I'm not creating anything of even the slightest significance. I need to do that. I'll let you know how that turns out.


Monday, June 25, 2007     Land of Confusion
(10:58 pm)

It's been a few days. I really want to keep up with this better, but right now I'm a bit depressed and a lot confused about things in general. I've also been fairly busy doing other things. I've not done anything in the areas of art, visual poetry, or music in the past few days. I take that back, I have played guitar and worked on a couple of ideas using my delay peadal and synthesizers. I need to busy myself with things that produce results and not just generate new areas of exploration. I realize that the journey is the thing, not the destination, but it's nice to arrive somewhere now and then.

We had Chinese for dinner Friday night so I have new fortunes to post. Emily sent me a pink one too. That's the one for today:

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

A pink pleasure -- sounds delightful!

Quote of the Day: "Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action."

-- Benjamin Disraeli

I guess today's quote is for myself. I promise, I'll do better the rest of the week.


Thursday, June 28, 2007     You Know What They Say. . .
(3:50 pm)

. . . about good intentions. Here it is Thursday and I didn't keep my promise to you, gentle reader, and to myself to do better about making entries here. Okay, no more promises. I'll just do my best, whatever that make be at any given time. Is it just me, or has it gotten boring in here?

Today's Fortune, Cookie:

What would we be without teachers?

Quote of the Day: "I got a good Christian raisin', and an eighth grade education, and there ain't no need in y'all treatin' me this a way."

-- Billy Joe Shaver, Fast Train to Georgia

It's been a slow week, and the slower it gets the more I languish. My concentration is shot, along with my coordination. My joints hurt, probably from the proximity of weather, little of which makes it here. The grass is still brown. The Cala Lilies and other flowers seem stunted. 90-degree plus weather and high humidity make for a miserable me. Even though I spend most of my day inside where it's cool and around 47% relative humidity, I can still tell it's brutal outside. Something about the way the air feels. I want to make art and music and read and do creative things, but somehow I just don't have it in me.

My friend, Liberty is doing an interesting thing now with her blog. She's doing a "Wordless Wednesday" every week. This week's picture is priceless, or at least it was. Her page seems to be having problems at the moment. I'll see what's going on and post a link to Wednesday's goody one the issues are resolved.

Did I mention, my typing ability has gone to shit, as well. I don't even feel like watching television. What's less involved than vegetating in front of the boob tube? Let me know.

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