Thursday, July 23, 2015

Easy Money...Faithless Women

The queen of diamonds let you down, 
She was just an empty fable 
The queen of hearts you say you never met. 
Your twisted fate has found you out 
And it's fin'lly turned the tables 
Stole your dreams and paid you with regret.¹

¹ G. Frey, J.D. Souther, D. Henley, J. Browne

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sleep-in Sunday

Having gone to Saturday's church service, I pushed the snooze button this morning, and slept long after I would've normally risen.
  • Maybe it was because I was having some cool dreams.  In one, I had just gotten hired as Executive Vice President of a local bank, even though I was still the manager of another business just down the block. I don't remember what the other business was - maybe a small/medium hardware-dry goods store.  
  • Both businesses were on the east side of a north-south street.
  • I learned that the same woman cleaned my office at both places.
  • On my first day at the bank, I didn't know anyone there, and had no recollection of the hiring or interview process.  I was vaguely aware that it was a pretty cool gig to be a top manager of two local businesses, though.
  • No one that I actually know from banking featured in the dream.
  • The bank was a relatively new entity, located in an historic building which had not previously been used as a financial institution - I recall my interest being piqued by their novel approach to adding a small motor-bank feature.
  • As my administrative assistant showed me around the bank, we also toured the remainder of the building, during which I pointed out to her some of its historical features, and explained some of the prior uses/tenants.
  • I can't think of any actual building that formed the basis for this dream. Carter-Ivy Hardware was once a bank building, but that wasn't the building in the dream (it wasn't in Weatherford), and the non-bank job, though not central to the dream, was in a one-story building.
  • Since I awakened, I am available should you know of an Executive Vice President vacancy that needs filling.  
  • No, I hadn't been drinking before bedtime - just one red beer prior to 8:00 p.m.when I rode my bike down to the park to see the guy who could save popular music.
  • The Kimbell Art museum hosted Scotland Kimbell Fest on its campus lawn yesterday.  They had Lancaster shut down between Arch Adams and Van Cliburn Way.  Three stages for Scottish dance and music demonstrations, and lots of food trucks along Lancaster, but otherwise not much there to hold my interest - will go back another weekend for Botticelli to Braque, a collection on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Introducing the McMaserati Quattroporte - because 
what says Scotland more than an Italian car?

No less a wise-acre than his Dad, #1 son texted me, asking "Does it do 185?"
To which I responded, "Sure, and if Life's Been Good to you, it can be yours for
just $159,900, plus TT&L and luxury taxes.¹"
  • Since I'd already parked at TCOM, UNTHSC, a quarter mile away, I took the opportunity to check out the Amon Carter, always one of my favorites. The main hall is undergoing renovation, but they have a fantastic exhibition - Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection - in the upstairs gallery.  Of course, I couldn't not at least pay homage to the partial Remington/Russell collection still on display.  If Ben Stiller ever falls asleep on the job and Fall of the Cowboy and Old Stage Coach of the Plains are not there the next morning - well, you didn't see nuthin', m'kay?  There were also some neat side-by-side comparisons of some of Remington's bronzes, showing the difference in detail between sand-cast, and lost wax casting methods (the latter is way superior).
The docent gave her permission for this photograph.
  • I would like to do my own wood collage someday, in the style of George Morrison:
  • QT has brought back egg rolls to their 'roller' repertoire.  Yay!  Very good when slathered with a packet of Grey Poupon.
  • Made it to church with time to spare - was the first in the auditorium - very rare for me.
  • I had never heard of Lucas Jack before yesterday, but four songs into his set last night, I turned to a guy nearby (who also had never heard him), and remarked "This guy's material is as strong as any of Billy Joel's".  

  • A couple of songs later, he announces that he's going to do some covers, then launches into Tiny Dancer, a funky/jazz Bennie and the Jets, Piano Man, and a brilliant Maybe I'm Amazed, and tells the audience Billy Joel is his hero.
  • His original material shows excellent songwriting chops, great piano work, a strong voice and good falsetto (Bronson reminded me of Where to Now, St. Peter?), backed by a superb drummer and bassist.  With all the dreck that proliferates on the airwaves these days, it was refreshing to hear good pop songs.
¹ The luxury tax ended in 2006 for automobiles.

Don't Go Under

This was playing during my evening bike ride:

From Souvenirs (1974), possibly Fogelberg's best album, with contributors Gerry Beckley (founding member of America, born in Fort Worth); Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner.  Produced by Walsh.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thankless Thursday

Where to begin?
  • At a 'big box' store today, I saw a woman wearing a Richland Rebels t-shirt, prominently featuring a starred bar.  We are, of course, given to understand - in the modern era - that any depiction relating to the Confederacy, or 'Rebel', is ipso facto racist.
  • Did I mention that the woman was African-American?  And quite possibly old enough to have been born when there were still separate drinking fountains?
  • Circumstances were not such that I could inquire what the Rebel images meant to her, but I saw nothing in her demeanor that suggested her shirt was anything other than an ordinary article of clothing to wear shopping.
  • Blogger Denney Crane today referenced an article about author and political commentator Dinesh D'Souza.  In 2010 and 2012, D'Souza likely offended the current socialist/progressive regime with a book - and later film - critical of the present administration, and last year, he was convicted, sentenced to a halfway house and fined for illegal campaign contributions in 2012.  Even noted liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz said of D'Souza's prosecution that " smacks of selective prosecution."
  • This week, upon release from the halfway house portion of his sentence, the Judge in his case ordered him for continuing psychological 'counseling', because he apparently hasn't fallen into line with respect to his commentary on the current body politic.
  • Those of you who came of age before MTV may remember that it was a favorite tactic of the former USSR to host its dissidents in the loony house in an attempt to dispel the dissidency from them.  Names like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Natalya Gorbanevskaya may come to mind - the latter of which was the subject of a song co-written and performed by Joan Baez on her 1975 From Every Stage live album.
  • I never thought we would see 're-education camps' in the U.S.A., but then, there are a good many things today that were unimaginable back when I was still in knickers.
  • Wonder if Joan Baez will write a song for Mr. D'Souza?  Won't hold my breath...
  • Kevin Sorbo speaks to the media regarding faith-based content and lack of moral value in much of today's entertainment.  He will be figuratively pilloried for his comments.
  • I sometimes use the local library's computer lab.  A few days ago, I glanced over at another patron's screen, noticing she was putting together a PowerPoint presentation, and was using a text of  "Human Sexuality" as a source.
  • I have no idea the context, but at one point I saw this image - don't know if it was going onto the presentation or if she was just looking for something else.
  • Also, no idea what the presentation was about - not my business - though I saw the letters GSD on what I assume may have been the title page/screen.  As I am a frequent reader of Lagniappe's Lair, my curiosity was piqued, wondering  (fearing?) what German Shepherds have to do with human sexuality.
  • Later, I researched the term, finding that it stands for Gender/Sexual Diversity.  Apparently, as various letters of the sexual universe were added, the LBTQIA acronym train stretched farther than New York to San Francisco, so the up-and-coming term is now GSD.  (Just something else I could not have imagined knowing 40 years ago...[sigh]).
  • We learned today of a deranged murderer in Chattanooga who killed four Marines, and injured several others, before he was himself killed by police.  May God comfort those Marines' families.
  • Not to put too fine a point on it, but somehow, mere hours after the deadly attack, the CIC stated that "We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks."  No inkling of what might have prompted the rampage from the CIC.
  • In contrast, the CIC was quite omniscient about the motives of another deranged murderer, in Charleston, SC, back in June, when he opined "We do not know whether the killer of Reverend Pinckney and eight others knew all of this history. But he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress. (Applause.) An act that he imagined would incite fear and recrimination; violence and suspicion. An act that he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin."
  • I guess some dots are easier for the CIC to connect than others.  Bias much?
  • But lest anyone lose heart, as of last evening we have a new Profile in Courage: Caitlyn Jenner.
  • Heaven help us!    

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wistful Wednesday

  • I may have mentioned recently that I'm taking some Coursera MOOC classes.
  • In two weeks' time, I've passed two Project/Time Management courses.
  • Around the same time I started the earlier one, I began History of  Rock, thinking it'd be a fun diversion.
  • Well, it's fun, but it's also a fairly serious course - via the University of  Rochester - I'm only 30% through it.  Currently, I'm up to the 1960-63 'dance craze' era, pre-British Invasion.
  • That lecture sort of bored me, and I was about to shut down for the day (it's self-paced), when there was a short segment on The Folk Revival, including The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul, and Mary, so I hung in theres.  But since he didn't go into any significant depth, I'm almost talking back to the screen "Dude, what about The Limeliters, The Brothers Four, and The Chad Mitchell Trio?"  I could've provided about 6-8 minutes of commentary for that episode, but I'll spare you.
  • If some think my affinity for music trivia insufferable now, well...I have some bad news.
  • A guy who saw my screen when I was taking my Rock class came over and asked if I'd seen the Brian Wilson bio-pic, and also mentioned the Wrecking Crew film.  So, obviously, there are other talented folks out there.
  • Since I completed another course yesterday, I registered today for an industrial design course.
  • At 1:00 today, my weather-watcher friend had gauged 1.14" of rain in our town.
  • Tomorrow I think I'll go to HPB to see if I can snag a copy of Peter Schiff's The Real Crash.  Could be timely reading.
  • Anyone have any experience with the Yaesu or Wouxun portable ham rigs?  I'm thinking those could be handy WTSHTF.  Not that I'm a hard-core prepper, but still...
  • Am going to have to buy some fruit fly traps.  The instructables DIY versions I made don't seem to be doing the trick, even though I loaded them with some plum wine and blueberries.
  • Carter Bloodcare finally posted my results today, from Sunday's donation:  My hemi-goblins were not too scary, at 15.6, and BP was a quite respectable 110/75 even though I'd not taken any Lisinopril that morning.  Total cholesterol was 172 - the lowest it's shown during the times I've donated at Carter since 1999 (it's never been over 199).
  • I have donated 9 units (I think it's more, but at least that, since 1999).  I'll never catch up to Todd the Blogger, but since the gal Sunday was gentle, I can get back on a regular giving schedule.
  • Saturday morning, Sam's Club has its monthly free screening, so I can check my blood glucose and LDL/HDL.  Plus, they give you goodies like protein shakes, vitamins, free OTC meds, and samples of Depends, or somesuch.
  • You look forward to weird things as you age, huh?

Or beyond the last...

After tracking J. D. Souther's  You're Only Lonely LP again this morning, I was reminded of what a great song The Last in Love was.  I went looking for the Linda Ronstadt version, believing it to be a better interpretation of the work, but could not find it on Youtube, but did find that George Strait had done a nice recording of the song - I had no idea.  So I decided I'd go with that.

Maybe he was just Prince George back then?

Then, a couple of my brain cells finally rolled out of bed, and I remembered it wasn't Linda, but the late Nicolette Larson, frequent collaborator with Neil Young and Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen, who'd recorded the JD song on her eponymous debut album:

Blues outside my door
I don't even know if it's raining
But I've been here before
and I don't wanna be here again

Every now and then
Voices in the wind
Call me back to the first time
Far away and clear
you can hear the teardrops
Falling for the last in love

Excerpted music & lyrics by John David Souther 1979

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Black Roses

Wouldn't we all like to have someone who cares when you lose?

This song was playing in my mind when I got home, so I [first] dug out Linda Ronstadt's 1978 Livin' in the USA LP, and tracked three cuts, including White Rhythm & Blues. Don Grolnick's electric piano on the song is mesmerizing.  Nonetheless, I felt obliged to spin J.D.'s version as well, on account of he wrote it and such.  It doesn't hurt that he enlisted Phil Everly for harmony vocals, and that Henley, Frey, Felder & Browne also contributed.

Just in case you're interested, here's Linda's version:

I don't think a diamond elliptical stylus had touched either of these sweet black disks since, oh, about 1979 or 1980.  I had to go to my archived liners for information on the Ronstadt version, as it was my custom back in the day to play a disk once or twice and record it to CD cassette, and to preserve it in a special inner liner.  For a while in high school, I even recorded some stuff on Scotch/Maxell/BASF reel-to-reel tapes, though not that much, since they wouldn't fit the Radio Shack or Sanyo player in my car...

As a bonus, here's JD performing with Jackson (in the early '70s, JD and Glenn lived upstairs from Browne).  Apart from his music, JD was a pretty busy guy in those days, dating both Linda and Stevie.

Tottering Tuesday

An old friend emailed me the following:

Here's a man-in-the-street interview where Watters gets a little bit better response on Independence Day questions than Mark Dice, but not much.  Most people today apparently are not so smart as a 1950s 5th grader.

With the current news from Athens and Beijing, and world oil markets, I'm going to re-read the first few chapters of  this book:

While Vickers' diagnosis of the problem seems to be sound, he falls way short on suggesting a post-crash strategy.  The wild card, of course, is when the crash will occur.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Better Late Than Never

So, while I was at Kroger last night, I bought myself a belated Father's Day gift:

Super-cool die cast "Poison Arrow" - looks like a Merlin-powered
single-engine fighter version of a Beech Starship.

Obviously, I splurged a bit...

Would've bought myself a card, too, but they're not sold two weeks after the fact.

This morning after church, I noticed the Bloodmobile in the parking lot of the local hardware store.  Since I've ignored about a dozen requests to give in the past 3-4 years (following a bad experience where the technician seemed to be using me for a voodoo doll trying to find the vein), I figured I'd do my part.  I explained to my lobotomist¹ ;-)  about the prior bad experience - after checking my left arm, she asked if she could check the right, and said it was like night and day.  With only one stick, she got a good flow from the right, and hopefully restored my confidence in the process.

Although instructed to avoid exertion, I did go for a bike ride this evening, mainly because I haven't for quite some time and really need the exercise. I expect to sleep soundly tonight.

¹ I may be my own lobotomist - while helping someone move this last week, I raised up in the 6x12 U-Haul trailer while exiting with a box in my hands, gashing my head on the top edge of the roll-up door, about 2" back from my forehead/hairline.  If I'm lucky, it'll knock some sense into me...