Friday, December 20, 2002

Happy Christmas

Time is short. Time is money. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Not much time spent blogging lately, obviously, but I had to document that 13 year-old boy Matthew won a radio contest yesterday. Chip off the old block, unfortunately, as Lora is wont to point out. With a little help from 11 year-old Peter, he correctly answered the three "Brain Buster" questions on the Oldies station before going to school. (I was driving to work, and sadly, had a different radio station on.) They all related to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" which was on the tube again just a few days ago.

1: Who was the director of the kids' Christmas pageant?
2: How much does Lucy charge for psychiatric help?
3: What did Lucy want for Christmas?

So we have drive down to 120th and Howard to pick up whatever his prize was sometime in the next couple days... Pretty cool. They usually have decent sponsors, maybe it's some more free food. Who needs a "coveted" kitchen magnet or a right-wing bobblehead doll, anyway? (The answers, BTW, are "Charlie Brown", "five cents", and "real estate!")

Thursday, December 05, 2002

A short bleat concerning everyone's favorite OS... It's always an "application" that has "caused" a fatal error, or something the user did not do "properly" that makes the blue screen appear. (Rumor has it that the next Windows upgrade will include a more pleasing optional shade of blue for the screen of death.) If it accuses you of not telling it to shut itself down "properly", you can save time by just killing power to the damn thing. (In an office environment, this has the added benefit of causing conniptions in the IT department.) The only other option is to reinstall Windows, which carries the risk of losing all kinds of drivers and BIOS extensions and fixes and crap that you may have installed in order to upgrade video, hard drive, CD burner or various peripherals since the machine was new. Not a task to be undertaken when sleepy. Most Windows error messages are completely meaningless and most diagnostics it does are a waste of time. My computer spends about a minute counting its RAM when it wakes up, and I'm pretty sure it gets it wrong all three times. Every time the kids install a new game, something that used to work doesn't anymore. "Solitaire" doesn't even work anymore, fer cryin' out loud. Half the time "Setup" claims to be updating some file for something that was installed a month ago, and a "Driver Memory Error" always comes and goes with no discernable useful information offered. The machine may be twice as dumb as the people who wrote its operating system, surely one of the significant achievements of the modern era...

Friday, November 15, 2002

I got a nice e-mail from somebody who found this blog Googling for a couple Cat Stevens songs that were in the playlist I posted a few weeks ago. She's evidently assembling a soundtrack CD for Harold And Maude. Cool idea. I gotta find that on video one of these days. Haven't seen it in many years and it's a great flick. I watched McCabe And Mrs. Miller a few years ago (another flick inextricably linked in my mind to sitting in a lecture hall in Madison on a Friday or Saturday night) specifically to marvel at a soundtrack with Leonard Cohen songs on it.

My favorite movie (even though I never saw it on a big screen) is still Truly Madly Deeply. Honorable Mention must go to The Royal Tenenbaums from last year, which, no big surprise, also has an astonishingly good soundtrack. Not just Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground, but Nico, Nick Drake and Emitt Rhodes as well!
A rhetorical question is one that requires no answer. It is a rhetorical device. Rhetoric involves debate, speechmaking, constructing logical and coherent thoughts and using them to baffle and irritate those unfortunate enough to be caught in one's general vicinty. The Phonograph, once known as a "Talking Machine" is not, strictly speaking, a rhetorical device. But it can be used as one, in a pinch. The pinch is a small unit of measurement used in Cooking. I'm not sure of the Metric equivalent. When the Music is Really Cooking, the musicians are sometimes Baked. The Birth Of The Cool is one example of this phenomenon.
Phrase Of The Day: "cork soaking iceholes"

Tip O' The Hat To Dawn!

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Well, Aneb Jah Rasta Sensas-Utcha Nefer-I (of "The Rasta Movement" political party according to the ballot) came in dead last in the Wisconsin Gubernatorial Race. The atmosphere of the Capitol's smoke-filled back rooms would definitely have acquired a different character had he won.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Hey, I got on the radio again yesterday. I forget what the show is called on WHAD 90.7 in the afternoon, but they're talking to Gubernatorial Candidates all this week. Well, they had some Independent Candidate on yesterday who was just talking out of his ass. Conspiracy Theory Keeping The Black Man Down nonsense was just the tip of the iceberg...

So I decided to try to call, and got through on the second try. After waiting on hold for 5 or 6 minutes, I actually got on the air. The following is not a transcription since I haven't bothered to call the Public Radio Store to buy a cassette copy of the show, but to the best of my recollection I said:

"Hi Kathleen, I just wanted to call to thank you and all the staff of Wisconsin Peoples Radio for having this guest on your show today. He is singlehandedly making all the rest of the candidates seem sane, coherent and extremely well educated."

Kathleen Dunn, professional that she is, replied, "Okay." And went to the next caller.

Ha! As if making Ed Thompson seem well educated is anything to sneer at. At least he didn't make Jim Doyle appear to be a greasy dishonest *cough* career politician... Sorry about the redundancies, folks!
From Hunter S.Thompson's Generation of Swine: "The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason..."

This is often misquoted, and it does have a ring of truth in this variation. The punch line at the end lets us know that HST is a humorist, I guess... "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
Trivia from All Music Guide: "The London (Ontario) Werewolves, members of minor-league baseball's Frontier League, until recently featured a mascot named Warren Z. Vaughan."

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Oh, in the unlikely event that anyone reading this wants to contact me, try " mrdrdave at yahoo dot com " until I get around to doing some HTML work on this template... I accidentally told my boss I'd get some work done this week...
The Oldies Station (not to be confused with the Classic Rock Station or the Retro Rock Station) that plays a "Forgotten Oldie" every morning at 6:50 has been playing local (Milwaukee & Wisconsin) tunes the last two weeks. A good concept that you might not expect from a MegaConglomerate-owned (Clear Channel) station, IMHO.

Anyway, they run it as a contest where they take phone calls and give away some promotional item to whoever can name the artist. It seemed like they'd been dumbing-down the contest recently ("Eve Of Destruction" "forgotten"? You don't exactly have to be a Trivia Champ to know Barry McGuire did that one, right?), so it's nice to get Obscure N Provincial for a bit! (Though to be fair, the morning after "Eve" they played "Dawn Of Correction", and I could not remember the artist. I also didn't remember the song sounding so terrible, but that may have been the first time I ever heard it on a speaker larger than two inches in diameter.)

So, it's been nice to hear tunes like The Messengers "That's The Way A Woman Is" and one of the Robbs many not-quite-Hot-100-bubbling-under-near-hits on the radio for the first time in 30+ years... Underground Sunshine's copy of the Beatles' "Birthday" is nearly the definition of pointless, but what the heck. They played a song by the Larry Lynne Group this morning, but I couldn't identify it. But that's okay, cuz Tuesday morning I was the ninth caller and won a couple dinner coupons for the Thunder Bay Grille, correctly identifying Thee Prophets as the guys playing "Playgirl". Another 30 seconds of fame plus Free Food! Life is Good...

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Here's another five hours of mp3's. The first batch (up until EL&P) are Milwaukee and Wisconsin bands from the 60's and 70's. Some good tunes there, albeit in rather low fidelity. Information on many of these bands can be found HERE. I thought this site might have been where I downloaded some of them from, but I can't find any sign of active links at the moment. The rest of it is my usual melange of pop hits from the 60's, obscurities, and oddball stuph spanning the ridiculous to the sublime and back again the long way...

Mustard Men - I Lost My Baby
Baroques - Mary Jane
Robbs - Race With The Wind
Shivvers - When I Was Younger
Shagg - Stop And Listen
Thee Prophets - Playgirl
Legends - Lariat
Underground Sunshine - Birthday
Esquires - Get On Up
Legends - Say Mama
Paul Stefan & Royal Lancers - I Fought The Law
Gypsy - Gypsy Waltz
Paul Stefan & Royal Lancers - Say Mama
Harvey Scales & Seven Sounds - Broadway Freeze
Baroques - Iowa (A Girl's Name)
Robbs - Bittersweet
Esquires - And Get Away
Death - Depression
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Toccata
Soundtrack - Debbie Does Dallas
Aphex Twin - Hot Butter Popcorn
King Crimson - Groon
Bach - Invention #5 Glenn Gould
Biffy - Under The Double Helix
Captain Beefheart - Carrot Rabbit Diamond
Battlefield Band - Miss Kate Rusby
Gluckstein - Chopin Nocturne Opus 15 #3
Chopin - Nocturne Opus 15 #3 G Major [Rubinstein]
Thunderclap Newman - Ice and Essence
Ken Griffin - Koekoekswals
Offenbach - Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffm
Gluckstein - Schumann - Traumerei
King Crimson - Providence
Soundtrack - Deep Throat
Man Or Astro-man - Curious Constructs
Metallica - Star Wars Imperial March
Morte Macabre - Lullaby from Rosemary's Baby
Black Mass Lucifer - Solomon
Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Telephone And Rubber Band
Henry Cow - Bittern Storm Over Ulm
King Crimson - Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part III
Adrian Belew - I Have A Dream
386 DX - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Spooner - From My Head To My Shoes
HAL 9000 - Sorry Dave
Firesign Theatre - Confidence In The System
Spooner - Working Girl
Bonzo Dog Band - Sofa Head (Peel Session)
Golliwogs - Walking On The Water ( Early CCR)
Garbage - Butterfly Collector
Gary Glitter - Rock And Roll Part 2
David Seville - Witch Doctor
Viv Stanshall - The Young Ones
Mega Smegma - Bad Bunny
Klaus Nomi - You Don't Own Me
Human Sexual Response - What Does Sex Mean To Me
Ramones - Carbona Not Glue
Nils Lofgren - White Lies
Neil Young & Graham Nash - War Song
Pearls Before Swine - City Of Gold
Lefty Frizell - Saginaw Michigan
Janis Ian - Society's Child
Neon Philharmonic - Morning Girl
Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue
Unit Four Plus Two - Concrete And Clay
Hedgehoppers Anonymous - It's Good News Week

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

I Meant To Do My Work Today
Richard Le Gallienne

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand--
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Friday, October 04, 2002

Here's my latest Winamp playlist. It's undergone minor evolution over the last week or so, and it's about time to empty it out and start a new selection from the mp3 Archive. But it gives a snapshot of some of my listening lately, so there ya go... Perhaps this will become a weekly feature.

Tom Rapp - Margery
Cat Stevens - If You Want To Sing Out
Ian Tyson & Sylvia Fricker - Changes
Flying Burrito Brothers - To Ramona
NGDB Hillman & McGuinn - You Ain't Going Nowhere
King Crimson - Ladies Of The Road
Homer Simpson - In Your Face, Milwaukee!
Garbage - The World Is Not Enough
Gorkys Zygotic Mynci - Face Like Summer
Buffalo Springfield - Sad Memory
Gene Clark - Some Misunderstanding
Kinks - A Well Respected Man (BBC)
My Morning Jacket - Heartbreakin Man
Go-Betweens - Part Company
Leon Russell - Tightrope
King Crimson - Prozakc Blues
Moody Blues - Ride My See Saw
Only Ones - Love Becomes A Habit
Residents - Return To Sender
Nils Lofgren - Keith Don't Go
Captain Sensible - Wot
Arthur Prysock - Ebb Tide
Pete Townshend - Flying Boy
Cyrkle - I'm Not Sure What I Wanna Do
Ramases & Selket - Minds Eye
National Health - The Collapso
Leonard Cohen - The Captain
Pearls Before Swine - Suzanne
Peter Perrett & The One - Daughter
Justin Hayward - John Lodge - I Dreamed Last Night
Dr. Feelgood - I Can Tell
Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Tomahawk Kid (live)
Flying Burrito Bros - Beat the Heat
Rick Roberts - Davy McVie
Best of the Moody Blues - Go Now
National Health - Elephants
Cat Stevens - Foreigner Suite (Full Version)
The Rolling Stones - She Smiled Sweetly
Cyrkle - Red Rubber Ball alternate mix
The Balloon Farm - A Question of Temperature
People - I Love You
Michael Nesmith - Born to Love You
Nils Lofgren - Cry Tough
Cat Stevens - Don't Be Shy
Crosby Stills & Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
John Martyn - May You Never
Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town
Pearls Before Swine - I Shall Not Care
Blood Sweat and Tears - Fire and Rain
Pearls Before Swine - When I Was a Child
National Health - Toad Of Toad Hall
Moody Blues - You Can Never Go Home
Van Morrison - Have I Told You Lately?
Egg - While Growing My Hair
Tim Rose - Hey Joe
Kronos Quartet - Marquee Moon
Chris Hillman - Create In Me A Clean Heart
Chad & Jeremy A Summer Song
Cyrkle - I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
Switched On Bach - Two Part Invention in D Minor
Wendy Carlos - Two Part Invention in B-flat m
Danny Gatton, Joey DeFrancesco - Blues On The Half Shell
Serge Gainsbourg - L'abominable strip-tease
Cyrkle - Big Little Woman
Buffalo Springfield - Bluebird (long version)

Thursday, October 03, 2002

"Stairway To Heaven" is my daughter's new favorite song. If you've been listening to FM radio the last thirty years (like I know I have), you're probably sick of the song, too. It's become a joke, or a punchline anyway, and any respectably hip music snob will have little good to say about it. The song's primary fault, however, is that it's been overplayed. It spent a decade or two as radio's "most requested song" and the Media, as we know, Gives The People What They Want. (As trite, predictable and boring as radio has become in the post-deregulation Clear Channel era, it's been an incremental change, not a massive paradigm shift.)

So, as I was looking through some CD booklets, some of the Zep photos inevitably reminded me of Almost Famous which Lora & I watched on video last weekend. Exactly why that movie was rated R is a little unclear to me, BTW. You can see more raw sex and drug innuendo on Fox between seven and nine PM any day of the week. It seemed like Matt was a little interested in it, but as he's only rated to PG-13, we tried to shoo him away. As if it's possible to keep a kid from gravitating to an active video screen these days.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, "Stairway To Heaven". Huh. It's a darn good song. As Sarah played it over and over while doing her homework last night, I came to appreciate it and then enjoy it again. It's cool to hear old songs through new ears. The recorder can be an effective instrument in a Rock context. Page is a very skilled guitarist. (Duh.) Plant's vocals and lyrics are highly appropriate. (If you want to make fun of the bustle in my hedgerow, be my guest, but your mocking is irrelevant. If you're some Sid Christgau wannabe who finds it pretentious cuz it isn't really rock and roll if it's more than 3 minutes long and you can't dance to it, why don't you just go away right now. Shoo!) And when the Loud Part begins with those ringing Dsus4 chords, well, that's just the archtype of a Rock & Roll Moment. Classic. Defining. Like McGuinn's 12-string intro to "Mr. Tambourine Man" or Daltrey's scream in "Won't Get Fooled Again". Make your own lists. (E-mail them to me if I get a link working around here.)

[Zo]So, I immediately wanted to play her the "Stairway" version on Zep's BBC CD, but suppressed the urge since that Historical Moment would mean relatively little to her. (It was before LZ IV was released, so, as the intro was played there was no Ovation of Recognition cuz the audience had never heard it before. Imagine that. I can't remember the first time I heard it. I remember the first time I heard "Ramblin' Man", but that's another story...) Then I thought I'd burn her a CD of "Stairway To Heaven" and "Over The Hills And Far Away" and "Tangerine" and any other songs I could dig up that feature the Acoustic Side of Zep more than the Heavy Blues N Rock Juggernaut Side...

However, before I got my stack of Zeppelin CD's down to the computer desk, I remembered that I have too many other unfinished projects at hand to take on this fun but ultimately pointless exercise at this time. Well, I'll know where to find Disc Two of the Led Zeppelin Box Set for the immediate future: in Sarah's CD changer in heavy rotation with her Anime Soundtrack CD's...

Thursday, September 26, 2002

"We are not as holy as you are,
But we are not as cruel."
- - - Tom Rapp (Pearls Before Swine)
Some stuff I've read lately:

Penny Arcade:
"Of course, you needn't concern yourself overmuch with Victory. My probability algorithm, made with Science, calculates your chances of victory to be very, very near Zero."

Fragments From Floyd:
"Know the difference between a large pizza and a writer?"
"A large pizza can feed a family of four."

And a couple more until I get around to expanding my links section at left:

Shadow Of The Hegemon
"A liberal response to the dominance of conservative rhetoric online." If that's what floats yer boat.

Sweat Flavored Gummi
Rebecca is an amusing and profane young writer. Not a Guaranteed Interesting Read but an often amusing slice of somebody else's life for when you feel like you don't have one of your own...
I'm having some second thoughts about this Toogood nonsense, having read a little about the Irish Traveller Drift, Grift, Scam & Scram lifestyle. But my disdain for the mother and the suspicion that the kid was maybe hit because she somehow blew the "return stolen merchandise for cash" scam doesn't really impact on what I wrote below very much. For the record, I suspect that she loves her kids and is raising them to a life of petty theft and small time fraud. I doubt that sentencing her to Counseling would improve matters much, but I anticipate considerable Outrage that she's not Locked Up when all is said and done.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

So at the moment I'm reading Nick Hornby's new novel, How To Be Good. It's pretty enjoyable, though in contrast to High Fidelity and About A Boy, the main character is female and I'm not sure how convincing his female first-person voice is. I'll have to get Lora's opinion when I finish the book. I'd compare it to the way many female cartoonists don't draw men convincingly. Not that Mort Walker captures female attributes in a realistic manner, but somehow the guys in Cathy (and several other strips I can't think of at the moment) always come off looking effeminate. They probably spend too much time drawing their hair and eyes and stuff.

But, getting back to the book, it's a trifle disturbing because the main character is a Doctor and she's been married to her glum, crabby and overweight husband David for 20 years and they're bored and dissatisfied with their lives and stuff. If I thought this was a Birthday Present With A Message, I'd be worried. But now I'm getting towards the middle of the book and bizarre and funny stuff is starting to happen. I don't see John Cusack or Hugh Grant in this movie, though. Maybe James Lileks. Or Sid Smith. Heck, if there was more physical comedy in it, maybe I could play David. But it'll probably star Meg Ryan (unless there's another actress who can play early 40's attractively...), which means Tom Hanks or Michael Keaton would play my role. Heh heh.

Yesterday I came across a slightly interesting article Nick Hornby wrote last year about the state of popular music as reflected in the best seller chart. "I decided ... that my own lack of familiarity with what people are actually buying in bulk was far too shaming, and so I sat down and listened to the ten best-selling albums in the United States according to the July 28, 2001, issue of Billboard." Yow, talk about suffering for your art...
This woman in Indiana who got caught on security camera hitting her child? I think I'm more sympathetic to her case than anyone I've read or heard so far...

I'll start with a modified Sam Kinison line: I don't condone child abuse. I understand it...

Okay, if you think that's Not Funny you might as well skip the rest of this. To start with, the girl was not injured. Period. No bruises. No blood. No concussion, Some white bread young doctor watching a video in front of TV news cameras saying "Oh my God, we need to get that little girl to an emergency room," is not sufficient cause to demonize a mother of three.

Okay, so I'm a troglodyte who doesn't believe that Spanking Equals Abuse. I also don't think that video shows very much of what I've heard described. "She was grabbed by her hair and punched in the face more than 12 times" is not supported by the view I've seen of the mother leaning into the back of the vehicle, her white trash blond ponytail bouncing up and down as she lays down the law to her kid. She was clearly angry, but to say she was Out Of Control overstates the case.

Part of getting a kid's attention sometimes involves exaggerating parental response. The Child Rearing Specialists nowadays say that you shouldn't even Yell at your kids, much less Strike them. Mrs. Toogood is even parroting the party line (on the advice of her attorney, I have no doubt). "Nobody has a right to strike their child. I shouldn't have did it." Hard to disagree with the second statement, in retrospect (we even get to feel smugly superior to her uneducated way with the English language), but does she really believe the first? Do you? I don't.

Most of us were raised with the concept that parents did indeed have that right and it would be exercised if behavior strayed excessively from accepted norms. We're not talking about wife beaters here, okay? We're talking about normal American families. I've seen loud angry parents manhandling children in stores before. It's not pretty, but I know why it happens. Changing a whiny defiant kid into a scared crying kid isn't necessarily a big improvement, but maybe it's just a step in an ongoing educational process. Any honest parent will admit that they've had moments that they're glad were not captured on videotape. There's no potential "Caught On Tape: Woman Assaults Child - Police Searching For Mother" moment in your past? Are you sure? How about your Mother's?

"A doctor who viewed the tape said the girl needs treatment." Hmmm, now that they've examined her, what kind of "treatment" have they prescribed? Separation from her family, that's what. Well, at least it makes the TV news audience feel better.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Today would have been my dad's 88th birthday. Clarence was born in 1914 and died in 1980. He was called "Bob" by everybody, a nickname that evidently came from being called "baby" with a German accent. (I don't know why his brother Albert was called Kelly.) The youngest of 17 children. One of his siblings, my Aunt Margaret, is still alive.
Mike Myers and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band were on Letterman last night, but I couldn't get interested in staying awake to watch it. I must be getting old. OTOH, I couldn't get interested in finding a relatively blank VHS to tape it on, either, so perhaps it's merely apathy unrelated to my advancing years. And I've been getting out of the house at 6:30 all week to get Sarah to marching band practice at school. Oh well, a shortage of sleep is not a particular problem right now anyway. I don't actually have any problems right now apart from a lack of important things to complain about. Maybe I should pretend to work a little harder. Well, as rabbitblog points out, "...starting a blog is about as clear a cry for help as there is, huh?"

Thursday, September 19, 2002

For $15,000, these guys will make any car go 140 mph

The "future plans" paragraph at the end is thought provoking... "We want to drop a Greyhound bus from a C5A," says Gasson. "We'll fill the bus with 40 or so skydivers, and they'll climb out on the way down." This sounds like a lawyer joke waiting to happen. Or perhaps a Palestinian mass-transit plan to be considered?
- - - Thanks to Murphy C. Overdot
Why did the baby cross the road?
It was stapled to the chicken.
- - - Thanks, Sarah!

29 years ago, Gram Parsons died at the age of 26... Meter your dosage carefully, folks!

Paul Z reminds us, "If you can't be good, be careful." I think my dad used to say that.

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

So, my birthday was almost a week ago and I've been wasting time elsewhere and not getting around to blogging since who cares anyway.

This year's gala Birthday weekend included a nice dinner, a little cake and some thoughtful gifts. Nick Hornby's new novel, How To Be Good, The First 28 Years of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Jorma Kaukonen's new CD and a big box of old time radio cassettes from the in-laws. Oh, and a nice sweater thing from Lora's aunt which won't be worn until the weather gets quite a bit colder. I was born in 1955, if you're wondering. "If I'd known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself."

We also emptied and cleaned the "bag of water" pool in the back yard Sunday while the Packers put in their usual lackluster dome performance down in New Orleans. One of those 16 foot by 30" deep vinyl pools with the inflated rim. We made pretty good use of it this summer, but the algae took over when somebody turned off the filter for 10 days while we were in California, so it's been kinda icky the last month or so.

There's another big lack of links today, but one news item seem worth mentioning. Warren Zevon has terminal lung cancer. Bummer. What I've heard of his recent CD's is real good. "My Shit's Fucked Up" is as close to a Theme Song as I've adopted this year...

Some people say, "The glass is half empty."
Some people say, "The glass is half full."
Some people say "Why is my glass half empty, while his is half full?"
- - - Thanks to Haym Hirsh via

Paraphrasing Herbert Kornfeld: "Keepin' it real, representin' to tha fullest in tha cube crib 40/5.."

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

One year ago this morning, I was a little late to work, which, by itself is not very unusual.

My car radio was tuned to Classic Hits WKLH on that Tuesday morning, and the discussion between Dave, Carole and KB concerned why baseballs carry farther when the humidity is high. Seems a little counter-intuitive, doesn't it? Lotsa water in the air, it feels "sticky" and "heavy" ... ? But there's more homers hit in Miller Park when the roof is closed and the humidity climbs... What's up with that?

Knowing a little about the subject, I picked up my then-new cell phone and dialed 414-799-1965. I was rather suprised to hear the phone ringing. (It's one of the most popular radio stations in Milwaukee, and the line is usually busy, especially if you're trying to win a contest or something.) Soon, I was even more surprised to find myself on the air, explaining that water vapor is a gas, not little tiny globules of liquid water, which would be fog or something. And it's a lighter gas than air! Water's molecular weight is approximately 18 - 1 proton in each hydrogen atom plus 8 protons and 8 neutrons in the oxygen atom. Now, "air" is mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen. Each of these molecules consists of two atoms, so the molecular weights of Nitrogen and Oxygen gas are 28 and 32 respectively. Therefore, adding water vapor to this Nitrogen-Oxygen mixture actually reduces its density.

Of course, having this leftover knowledge from high school chemistry at the tip of my tongue makes me Albert Einstein or something compared to Morning Show Radio Personalities. But my elation was short-lived, as some breaking news came over the wire a few minutes before 8 AM CDT... That month's fifteen seconds of fame disappeared like... Like... Like some really insubstantial Thing that all of a sudden isn't there anymore just when you're trying to get a good look at it. What was that? Was it something?

The rest of my day was much like everybody else's, and I don't feel the need to document what I remember about it right here right now. Several months later I saw an old friend, Debbie, who said she heard me on the radio a while ago. Yes, I remember the date... 9/11/01

Friday, September 06, 2002

Okay, so what's the Blogosphere Food Chain look like and where do I, Hazy Dave, fit in? Well, I'm nowhere and that's fine. This may have already been the subject of an article in Time, so consider this redundant, if you like.

The Top Rank must include Heavy Political Blogs like Instapundit and Vodkapundit and Demosthenes. (I gotta convert all these to links when I have a chance, since the blogosphere, if it's about anything, is about linkage.) Warbloggers and Libertarian NeoCons and BleedingHeartLiberals and so on. I have no aspirrations of emulating these guys. Many of them are Law Talking Guys and Professional Writers and Tenured Faculty Members so I'm nowhere near their league even if I was ten times more Political Science and Government Policy Minded than I am.

In a League Of His Own as far as I know, is James Lileks, who apparently writes a feature / humor / lifestyle column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune a few times a week. Man, this needs a lot of editing. That's a bad description of The Backfence, but I wasn't a Journalism major either. Somewhere between Garrison Keillor and Dave Barry, I suppose. Anyway, his daily online companion addendum to the Column is called the Bleat. Every now and then, something triggers a Screed. Flotsam Cove is a good place to while away a few hours. What can I say, he writes interestingly about things I can relate to (music, kids, work, beer) and I wish he lived next door.

For some reason, there seem to be a lot of bloggers in Cleveland. Linkage! People who knew each other, or just gregarious types who found each other and started pulling in satellites? Who knows. Some bloggers are better, more interesting or more tittilating writers than others. This narrative is losing steam. I'm trying to work ex-Suck Filler writer Polly Ester's rabbitblog and UpYours into this, but it's gonna take some editing later. I don't know if that's in the spirit of blogging or not. I guess when you have no readers you can make your own rules...

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Cross-posted from Rainy Day Music PsychoBabylon:

Thank You For Slowing Down

That's what the lawn signs say in my neighborhood, the ones that don't exhort me to vote next week. A good thought, now that the kids are back in school, just as it is in the Spring, when the kids are out of school.

The little red "x" you may see attached to this message comes courtesy of, which has noticed that I'm using their free bandwidth to put little tiny pictures here and there on the internet instead of slavishly adhering to their TOS and only linking great big photos to Auction Sites. So it goes.

I therefore find that ezboard, my eBay page and maybe some other places I've placed links feature little red x's instead of the graphic bemusement I selected with your mind in mind. This is slightly disappointing. But it's been close to 2 years since I've auctioned anything anyway. Still, when I get around to it I have a small pile or two of junque to peddle, so perhaps I should try to reactivate the account and more closely adhere to the Terms Of Service.

My Angelfire Home Page, which is very difficult or perhaps even impossible to find if you don't know where to look, is unaffected by this change, but they, like Yahoo, seem very efficient about preventing remote linkage of any kind.

The absence of even a whole megabyte of internet connected storage space is also expected to affect my nebulous plans to transform my infant blog (also difficult or impossible to find without detailed directions) into a Harvey Pekar / R. Crumb inspired webcomic. So it goes again. The "To Blog Or Not To Blog" question has not yet been definitively answered anyhow. Semi-anonymous posting of semi-personal thoughts seems therapeutic, but I've never been Catholic and I don't think that Confession is necessarily a Good Idea in all cases. Hmm. If I have nothing to Sell and I'm not Looking To Buy, who is my Audience, and how much do I want them to Know? Which begs the question of why I should be weblogging at blogspot anyway, when I have places like psychobabylon and eBay MB to scribble what passes for my thoughts and witticisms with the knowledge that somebody else will read them? Talking to myself is more fun with an audience, I guess. At least the chance for dialogue exists. Or maybe I should recognize the intellectual pack rat desire to collect my own thoughts and put them in a box in the basement.

Have I recommended Wigu (When I Grow Up) to you guys yet? It's my favorite webcomic right now, even better than Shaw Island, which hasn't had the hamsters in a storyline for a while.

Well, like I say every day, I have some work I should be doing... This post was going to be a Top Ten List, but I forget what the Subject was going to be. Albums, probably, but I'm not inspired for that little intellectual exercise right now. Movies either.

A possible future newspaper headline keeps running through my mind. Local Man Found Walking Railroad Tracks In His Underwear. "They're new underwear and I really like them," he explained. "The weather was perfect." Oh well, time for my depressinginspirational tagline, lifted from a comic strip I found somewhere...

"So, The way I see it, we have a choice. We can either A: Live our lives passionately, move forward without fear, seize the moment, grasp opportunity, follow our hearts, consider time a fleeting treasure, breathe the air, love and be alive; or B: Live passionless, stagnant, unfulfilled, cheap, pathetic, trivial, useless, passive, demoralizing parodies of nothingness."

"How long do we have to decide?"
"What was the first choice again?"

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

What? Nobody posted anything here since last month? Oh well.

In today's news, Boomspeed cancelled my free account for using their bandwidth to link to little photos for chat areas instead of linking to big photos for auctions, as specified in the TOS. I thought I might slip under their radar with my little bit of larceny... But I guess I'm just the kind of fish they're trying to catch. Except that I don't wanna bite on $2 a month (the first month's free) to host my little stoopid pictures. The upshot is that there will be a distinct lack of graphics here for the foreseeable future.

And now the Labor Day Weekend is well over, and I should do some work...

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Since we need to start somewhere, right where we are seems to be the logical place...

"If You Don't Want To (I Don't Mind)"
by Tom Rapp
from the 1969 Pearls Before Swine album These Things Too

Was a time
Lost on Mobius Street
With nowhere to go
Well the times were so low
Couldn't find another rainbow
If you don't want to, I don't mind

Time is gone
When you came along
Disguised as the rain
But I know just how you felt
'Cause no one is ever anybody else
If you don't want to, I don't mind

Took some time
To see your other faces
And I hated you so
It seemed to you that love and death
Were faces of the same event
If you don't want to, I don't mind

All at once
I was alone
But only when you were there
How could the universal song
Be coming out so wrong
But then I knew it by your eyes
Love lasts forever 'till it dies
Let's see what happens when I press this little chromium switch...