Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I now have several hours of lectures from both schools on my iPod. There'll be no degree earned, but I'm cool with that because there will also be no tests. It's just nice to have lectures available to me with the click of a button. It's 12:40 AM and I'm listening to Berkeley's Lew Feldman teach General Biology.
It's fascinating to hear him explain reciprocal altruism among animals. Next up is "LSAT Logic in Everyday Life" at Princeton.
I love going to college via podcast. One thing about it, beer is always allowed in the classroom.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
"No, no, no to Satan! No, no, no to America! No, no, no to occupation! No, no, no to Israel!"
I prefer guitar licks to politics. When an artist gives me both, the emphasis better be on the music. Apparently, the new Ozzy touches on global warming. As long as I only learn that by reading a lyric sheet, it's cool. First and foremost, I never want to feel preached to when I listen to rock 'n' roll. Even in Neil Young's famous "Impeach The President" from last year's Living With War, he had the good sense to keep the guitars loud and blaring. And at least he was yelling about President Bush and not singing to me to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs or to save the rain forest. I care about that stuff (Cool People Care), I just don't want it on my iPod when I'm trying to bang my head.
Folk music gets a pass. With folk music, the more political the better. The music always feels like a distant second for the folkies. I never learned how to play the guitar, but I bet a good teacher could teach me how to strum along to most of that stuff in no time. It's all about the words there anyway. I like it all; I just need my Geoff Bakers, Woody Guthries and Pete Seegers to be worlds away from my Dokkens, Judas Priests and my Ozzy Osbournes. I guess I'm a musical separatist like that.
Friday, May 25, 2007
The article spends more time documenting Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce's history of not getting along than revealing any significant details on the upcoming "show or shows." I hope to read better details on this later.
Speaking of Cream, I'm remembering fondly 1993's "Sunrise on the Sufferbus" by Masters of Reality featuring Ginger Baker, Chris Goss and Googe. Man, that album went unnoticed by and large but rocked as well as anything else that was out at the time.
Now it's out of print so I've got to stalk the bins of Phonoluxe if I want to get it back in my possession. Any locals have that CD? I'd really like to borrow it for about 20 minutes or so.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Maybe it's time for me to paraphrase John Prine and:
Blow up my laptop
throw away my paper
Go to the country,
build me a home.
Plant a little garden,
eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on my own.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
First Jeffraham, now Ben at Pet Peeving. More and more, I see other scooter riders around town. I only live a short five miles from work and the speed limit is never more than 45 MPH for my commute.
I'm looking at Ben's Yamaha Vino 125 at Epinions.com and the feedback is excellent. The tank is tiny at 1.2 gal capacity, but it boasts somewhere around 70-80 mpg. (I'd be looking at spending about $4/week on gas.) It comfortably cruises along at speeds of 45-50 mph which would suit my needs just fine.
Now if I can just justify the expenditure. It only costs about $2,000, but that's about $2,000 more than I have. I have an old Honda Civic I haven't started in a few years. Maybe it can play some minor role in a trade.
He would have been an automatic upgrade at wide receiver for us and would have given Vince Young an extremely dependable target. Oh well. The search continues.
- President George W. Bush has said of Condoleezza Rice, “Whatever she says, it’s like talking to me.” ... more>>
- The female hip-hop trio Yo Majesty, from Tampa, Florida, is composed of Shunda-K, Jwl. B, and Shon-B, who bill themselves as “the only openly lesbian rap group.” ... more>>
- Taxation is bad and Communism is evil. ... more>>
- When, in late 1948, his play “Summer and Smoke” failed on Broadway, Williams’s confidence dipped still further; he felt, he said, like a “discredited old conjurer.” ... more>>
- “Today I Got Married” is a jaunty and highly idiosyncratic celebration of nuptial bliss (“She’s just like Wal-Mart when it comes to loving / She’s got everything I need”). ... more>>
- Then, as the movie began, I realized that a child with a cell phone represents what DreamWorks Animation, the producer of this most lucrative of franchise animated features, envisions its audience to be—tiny, pre-corporate techies who live far from the fairy-tale emotion of enchantment. ... more>>
- I have been called a voluptuary, a sybarite, a hedonist, a creep. I am all of these things. ... more>>
- In Prison ... more>>
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I was expecting to hear a band but instead was drawn into my first spoken word experience. Eric Bogosian was the artist behind the fascinating characters and their world weary voices as the cassette reels spun in my Ford Tempo tape deck. I was a fan not just of this man Bogosian, but of a new (to me) art. Monologists were my new favorite rock stars. I sought out the works of Spalding Gray, Bob Carroll, etc.
Anyway, I have watched Bogosian's masterpiece of a screenplay, "Talk Radio," countless times since then. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Bogosian, the movie absolutely mesmerizes me every single time I see it. It's perfect. It's intense from the beginning and it just tears at my comfort more and more with each beat. The pacing and the build-up to the terrifying climax are so well crafted that knowing what comes next doesn't dull the experience but only makes it more gripping. (A part of me always seems to hope that this time, it'll end differently, more peacefully. Hope against hope.)
In what is now old news, Liev Schreiber is playing the role of Bogosian's Barry Champlain in the Broadway version of "Talk Radio." I've been a fan of Liev Schreiber since 1996's "Walking and Talking" and can't think of a better actor to pull off the challenge of the acerbic and doomed talk radio d.j. Schreiber's voice was made for the part and his eyes are simply dynamic. There are a handful of actors who just seem to get it right with each and every role. I have no doubt that Mr. Schreiber was born to play Barry Champlain.
Story link: Variety
The recording is from a 2003 concert and CD sales will benefit the health care of Tibetan Buddhist monks and also will serve to raise awareness of humanitarian crises.
Waits' always wonderful quotes on his participation in the Buddhist cause:
"I'm no fool. It's a spiritual insurance policy. Hell, at my age, the next group I put together, everyone may be playing a harp. All kidding aside, I owed His Holiness a favor. He did all my papers in school."
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I won a Wal-Mart gift card in excess of $100. I was tempted to buy toys for me, but we're tight this month. I'll buy music or computer related stuff another time. We'll get groceries with this one.
All's well. I'm listening to The Beautiful South in this peaceful time after work and before bed. The new issue of Paste magazine came in for me today. I'm thankful for my simple pleasures.
This is just writing for the sake of writing. I've been content but uninspired lately. Doisneau's famous shot is on one wall and I'm thinking it's been a while since I've kissed my wife like that. (I'll remedy that soon.)
As late as this past afternoon, I finally discovered Death Cab For Cutie. I'm the last person to do so, I know. I downloaded the recent All Songs Considered podcast and was treated to a live show by them. That band is awesome. I'll have to dig into their body of work now.
If I could vacation anywhere right now, I'd not hesitate in driving to Montreat, N.C. with family, camera and notebook. There's more to write about that wonderful retreat later. It deserves better than this midnight stream of consciousness approach.
For now, I'll keep clocking in and parking cars.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
"I didn't see it coming, but I sure felt it roll over my head. It feels really strange to have a truck run over your head."
His helmet, a Giro, was crushed, but Lipscomb's head was fine.
Madison Police Department Sgt. Chris Boyd said the officer at the scene urged Lipscomb to keep the helmet. He did. It is all flattened and mangled and broken, unlike his head.
Hat tip: Boing Boing
Sunday, May 13, 2007
2. Lady Madonna - Fats Domino
3. Mama - Electric Light Orchestra
4. Ooh! Mother - Unicorn
5. Mother Stands For Comfort - Jane Birkin
6. Calling My Children Home - Emmylou Harris
7. Mama Didn't Lie - Jan Bradley
8. Brooklyn Roads - Neil Diamond
9. I'm A Woman - Peggy Lee
10. Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
11. Breakfast In Bed - Dusty Springfield
12. Mother, The Queen of My Heart - Lonesome Standard Time
13. Angel From Montgomery - John Prine
14. Don't Step On Mother's Roses - Johnny Cash
15. Loves Me Like A Rock - Paul Simon
And for the beautiful moms with a touch of crazy:
1. Mother - Danzig
2. Mother - The Police
Ari: No. No, thanks.
Me: Joshua, do you want Ari's sandwich?
Ari: I want it! I want it!
And for the last ten minutes, she has clutched the sandwich closely to her body. She has yet to take a bite.
I hunkered down last Friday night, hell bent on restoring order to my house. First on the agenda: clean out the refrigerator.
A bowl full of rice! I'll just throw it in the garbage. No, wait, all that food in the garbage, yuck; I'll put it down the garbage disposal instead. Grind, grind, tra-la-la, grind...
Hm! Why isn't this rice going anywhere?! ... more>>
Plenty of frustrated NFL position coaches occasionally want to throw something other than a football at their players
Graves, the Titans new receiver coach, has been throwing bricks covered with white tape at his troops, forcing a new level of concentration for an unproven group out of which the Titans are hoping a few productive players emerge.
Miss one and take a brick to the chest. ... more>>
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Wednesday night through most of Thursday: Joshua sick (I went to work late to stay with him)
Friday all day: me sick (I worked half a day and was sent home early)
Saturday morning: Paige not feeling so good
What a week!
by Kamaal Majeed
All Things Considered, May 7, 2007 ·
"Why don't you 'act black'?"
Since my middle school years, I've been asked this question more than any other. It seems to me that too many people have let society program into their brains what should be expected of me, a black person, before ever interacting with me. But I believe in being who I am, not who others want me to be.
On my first day of high school, going into math class, two of my classmates pointed and laughed at me. I initially thought my fly was open, or that something was stuck in my teeth. But as I took my seat, I heard one of the students whisper, "Why is a black person taking honors?" So my fly wasn't open. An honors-level class had simply been joined by a student whose skin was an unsettling shade of brown. ... more>>
Friday, May 11, 2007
Joshua (3 1/2 years old) was in great spirits all day today. Ari (just over 2 years old) came home from daycare and they were so sweet on each other, you would have thought the whole thing was scripted. He was telling her how much he loved her; she was replying that she loved him too. Cute to the point of sickening.
And then, out of the blue, he had a meltdown. She was playing with her ball, the one with a princess on it. He decided that he wanted it. He tried to take it from her and she held her ground. He fussed and we sided with Ari. We reminded him of all of the other balls in the house, but he wanted the one with the princess. Hers. Go figure.
He whined and he fussed. His good manners were history and he was behaving terribly about the whole thing. At one point, I placed my hands on his shoulders and gave him a very stern but controlled talk. I told him that his behavior was making me mad and that he could either play nicely or go to his room. Still focused on not getting his way, he kept at her to let him have the ball. (I felt like I was dealing with Keyshawn Johnson here.)
And then the moment came. Sternly and simply, his little sister gave him a good talking to. She didn't raise her voice. She kept her cool. She was grace under pressure. "Joshua," she said, making strong eye contact with her brother who was being anything but cool. "Stop crying. You're making daddy sad."
For the briefest of moments, all was quiet. The youngest in the house had just put him in his place. Paige and I were stunned and looking at each other, trying not to laugh, but also loving that we got to watch one of those defining moments in the dynamic of sibling relationships. Of course, she had gotten it wrong. He wasn't making me sad; he was making me mad. He was eventually sent to his room over not much more than rights to a toy that he didn't even know he wanted until he saw her playing with it.
I can't say I blame him much for keeping the bad mood going for a while. He was acting like a baby and received no sympathy from his mother or his father. That was bad enough, but then he got a professional scolding from a girl who didn't even know how to talk not too long ago. I imagine that he was half expecting the family dog to tell him that she was disappointed in him, too.
I hope tomorrow's better for him. We've all had days like that.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Manic Prince fan that I was, I asked her all about how they met and what the plans were. She asked me if I wanted to hear her demo tape. I couldn't play it over the in-store player, so she invited me out to her van to listen to her music. I liked what I heard, but most of all I liked hanging out with this mesmerizing and luminous beauty. We talked about a lot of Prince's varied styles and I think I pretended to like some pop radio stuff a bit more than I really did. Tiny, white lies, but you should have seen her. The record shop on Nolensville Road didn't see magical eyes like this very often -- she seemed absolutely destined for photo shoots and videos. I have no idea what her name was or if she really did meet Prince or not, but a year or so later, someone who looked very familiar by the name of Carmen Electra started appearing with Prince and released an album on his Paisley Park Records.
What I didn't know until today was that Carmen is a Cincinnati native. The Cincinnati Enquirer has a story about her upcoming return home to promote her new book, "How to Be Sexy." In the interview, she speaks of her love for Skyline Chili and King's Island's famous rollercoaster, "The Beast." As a frequent visitor to Ohio's Queen City, I have a great love for both. In fact, if I had the time and money, I'd make a drive up to Cincy right this minute for some of that great chili.
Whether or not Carmen and I ever listened to music together in her van on Nolensville Road in Nashville, TN, I'd like her to know that if she ever wants to hang out with me, I'll be happy to oblige. You know...for old time's sake.
[Special note specifically for Carmen: The chances of my wife being cool with us hanging out will be much improved if you can arrange for a certain Mr. Bon Jovi to take her out for dinner. Thanks.]
It's time for the 2007 Toilet Paper Wedding Contest. Contestants are required to make wedding dresses with nothing more than toilet paper, glue and tape.
Last Year's Contestants
Found at BoingBoing
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I have two wonderful boys. I also have this other child who has this finger that I am wrapped around. In recent months, I've been lucky to watch her little personality start to make its grand entrance to the world. Age two finds baby left behind and little girl find and stand her ground around these parts. "I do it myself" is a phrase that accompanies absolutely every task. Her big brother is happy with the status quo that finds his parents assisting in daily doings, but Miss Independent is preparing for a life of self-sufficiency. It seems that the only time she demands government interference is when big brother is bothering her. "Joshua pushed me!" she cries from across the room, and we parents investigate. Sometimes he is guilty as charged, but sometimes he is rooms away, playing quietly and falsely targeted. (Gonna have to watch this one.)
When Joshua is moved to cry about something, he makes a big fuss about it. He gets like a Tony Scott film and just goes all out, displaying no subtlety or gentle nudges to the viewer. Ari, however, gets her direction from a more quiet and independent production. Sometimes minutes go by before I figure out that something might be less than wonderful for my little sweetheart. I'll look up from whatever I'm doing and find her back turned and her arms covering her face. I move around to approach her and gently move her arms away and see tears streaming down her silent face. And, of course, I am crushed; I pull her to me, hold her and ask what's wrong. Her mute button is pressed once again and the volume is loud as she sobs her concerns to me. I simply console. For all of her independence, it gives so much more value to the times that I can help her with a simple hug.
A recent highlight for me is her appreciation for my song choices as I sing her to sleep on those occasions when I am home at night.
- "You Are My Sunshine" - Gene Autry
- "Octopus's Garden" - The Beatles
- "Golden Slumbers" - The Beatles
We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus's garden near a cave
We would sing and dance around
because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade
© 1969 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us, the manifestation of the most profound reason coupled with the most brilliant beauty.
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, or who has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves. I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with the awareness of — and glimpse into — the marvelous construction of the existing world together with the steadfast determination to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.
... the rest >>
Monday, May 07, 2007
Everything about you,
my life, is both
make-believe and real.
We are like a couple
working the night shift
in a bomb factory.
Come quietly, one says
to the other
as he takes her by the hand
and leads her
to a rooftop
overlooking the city.... the rest >>
NPR: Massive Particle Accelerator Revving Up
This fall, physicists plan to throw the switch on what is arguably the largest and most complex science experiment ever conducted. An underground ring of superconducting magnets, reaching from Switzerland into France, will smash together subatomic particles at incredible force.
Physicists say they're not sure what will emerge from those collisions. They're hunting a mysterious, hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson. It is also possible they will make miniature black holes, or discover new dimensions of space-time.NPR: The World's Largest Particle Accelerator
Trucks roll by carrying big, superconducting magnets that look like missiles, and other brightly colored pieces of scientific equipment. The pieces are all taken to warehouse-sized buildings, where they disappear down shafts that reach 300 feet into the earth. The work is all part of an $8 billion project at the international physics laboratory called CERN.
The New Yorker: Crash Course
The opening sentence of the paper declared, “With the upcoming turn-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), high energy physics is on the verge of entering its most exciting period in a generation.” (A later sentence noted, “As the reader might find intuitive, we can tremendously improve our scheme over the constant approximation by including the leading order near-threshold behavior of matrix elements.”)
CERN: What is LHC?
As well as having the highest energy of any accelerator in the world, the LHC will also have the most intense beams. Collisions will happen so fast (800 million times a second) that particles from one collision will still be travelling through the detector when the next collision happens. Understanding what happens in these collisions is the key to the LHC's success.
By the time she was fourteen, young Karoline was expert at becoming whoever her johns paid her to be. But she always kept her eyes on the stars: she dreamed of becoming a performer. To that end, she moved to Zurich, in 1914, where she studied classical movement and the Dalcroze method of dance—a bit of modern gymnastics whipped, like an egg, into the soufflé world of tutus.Determination marked her days. (“As soon as my feet hit the stage—I am safe,” she wrote.)
INTO THE SUNSET: HORSE TALK by Roger Angell
Horsepresence took another hit last month, when the ancient Claremont Riding Academy, on West Eighty-ninth Street, closed its doors, reducing our equines to that redolent line of tourist-pullers on Central Park South. A few older city types (this writer among them) can remember cloppier times. The appearance of flower venders, with their brilliantly hued horse-drawn wagons of blooms, was once a certain sign that another city spring was at hand.
BANKSY WAS HERE by Lauren Collins
Whoever he is, Banksy revels in the incongruities of his persona. “The art world is the biggest joke going,” he has said. “It’s a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak. In February, Sotheby’s presented seven works by Banksy in a sale of contemporary art. “Bombing Middle England” (2001), an acrylic-and-spray-paint stencil on canvas, featuring a trio of retirees playing boules with live shells, was estimated to bring between sixty and a hundred thousand dollars. It sold for two hundred thousand. (click here for slide show)
CRASH COURSE by Elizabeth Kobert
Just as it is possible to convert mass into energy—as in a nuclear explosion—the reverse is also true: energy can be transformed into mass according to the Einsteinian equation E=mc2 (c being the speed of light). In this way, new particles can be produced that are more massive than those that entered the collision in the first place. The process might be compared to smashing two high-speed Priuses into each other and finding that they have rematerialized as a tank.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
And then it started to rain.
That's when everyone broke out their ponchos and it seemed that the most popular hero of all was that of Bruce Willis' David Dunn from Unbreakable.
Sipping quietly with a manifesting purpose from a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Merlot (not pictured).
Factotum, starring Matt Dillon and based on Charles Bukowski's book of the same name, is next.
I dedicate the night to that long gone bookstore that I walked into on Nashville's 2nd Avenue some seventeen years ago. I browsed and I picked up "Women" by Bukowski. I had never heard of him, but I liked the title and I liked the artwork on the cover. Sometimes judging a book by its cover works out nicely. I now have shelves of books by him. Black Sparrow Press is represented well in my home.
Goosebumps. Tom is on.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I may go to one of the participating comic book stores tomorrow and see what they're offering. I wonder if there is anything that my three year old might like. He's not quite a reader yet, but maybe he'd enjoy looking at the pictures while I read a continuing storyline from Mickey Mouse or Spider-Man to him.
Rick's Comic City isn't too far from us. Maybe we'll stop in tomorrow.
For a year or so, people at work have gone on about a show called "Lost" and I have had no interest in it at all. That is, until last week, when a co-worker said something about a new arrival to the island and a certain thing she said to the stranded characters. Now I'm intrigued. But it's probably too late for me to try to start watching it and follow it properly.
This is the first season that I have not watched "The Sopranos" and I am feeling like I am missing some of the best television out there. For the first few seasons, I had HBO and watched it weekly. For another season, I dated a girl with HBO for the exact length of its run. Perfect. Then, for a couple of seasons, I didn't have HBO or a girlfriend but I was a bit of a gym rat (no evidence of that anymore) and I timed my late night workouts to watch it while on the treadmill. Last season, a friend taped it for me. But now, I have no resource for it at all and I feel a void. (Help? Somebody?)
I've been home with the kids for the last three days and while I can't engage in conversation on topics ranging from "Survivor" to "American Idol," I can tell you exactly what's going on among the characters of "Maggie and the Ferocious Beast" and "Go Diego Go."
Oh, and "American Idol" fans will be pleased to learn from me that a guy named Sanjaya is coming to Nashville Arena on July 11. I guess I do know something worthy of water cooler talk after all.
What "The Page Turner" lacks in scale and ambition, it makes up for in precision. It's a small French delicacy, tart, acerbic, cynical, that focuses on three or four characters and yet manages to bring them and their dilemmas to vivid life.
The milieu is classical music at the professional level, the backdrop refined, the subject revenge, the methodology meticulous. When it's over, some lives have been destroyed, somebody has enjoyed the taste of vengeance served with a decade's worth of chill, and barely 85 minutes have passed. Who knew the French were so efficient?... more>>
Thursday, May 03, 2007
by Stephen Dunn
The room has no choice.
Everything that’s spoken in it
it absorbs. And it must put up with
the bad flirt, the overly perfumed,
the many murderers of mood—
with whoever chooses to walk in.
If there’s a crowd, one person
is certain to be concealing a sadness,
another will have abandoned a dream,
at least one will be a special agent
for his own cause. And always
there’s a functionary,
But now we’re realizing the best time to be born would have been about five years ago in Calabasas, California. That way we could be in Jakob Dylan’s kid’s Kindergarten class where Dylan doing “Wheels On the Bus” covers... more>>If he performs anything like he did when my dad and I saw him at Memorial Gym, those kids won't come anywhere close to recognizing his renditions of popular kids' songs.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Chungs, immigrants from South Korea, realized their American dream when they opened their dry-cleaning business seven years ago in the nation's capital. For the past two years, however, they've been dealing with the nightmare of litigation: a $65 million lawsuit over a pair of missing pants.
Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are so disheartened that they're considering moving back to Seoul, said their attorney, Chris Manning, who spoke on their behalf.
"They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said. "This has destroyed their lives."
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007