Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alert The Media: Andre Williams Still Alive

I love to find out that people that I really, really like are still walking with the living.  Andre was born in 1936, so it wasn't a sure thing.  I play the vid's on the 'Tube sometimes, but today I wondered: is Andre still drawing breath?  Delighted, I was, to discover that he is.

Andre has been active in the music biz since the 1950's.  He has written songs, produced hits, released records of his own, managed bands, he's an all-arounder.  I checked the Wiki, it's an acceptable source for pop-culture references, and evidently he hit a rough patch in the '80's, with the old devil intoxicants, don't you know.  Those were tough times, people still thought cocaine was good for you and the crack variety was rearing it's ugly head.  By the '90's, Andre was back big-time.  I discovered the new stuff on the old Napster, oh jeez, now I've done it, whenever I think about the real O.G. Napster I have to take a little break and compose myself. 

And what a snappy dresser!  One of the best!  Check out his duds in the video for "Blame It On Obama." "Andre don't wear nothin' but fashion clothes," as he says in "The Black Godfather."

He has spent the last twenty years recording and touring with a huge number of younger, whiter bands, including The Compulsive Gamblers; The Sadies; The New Orleans Hellhounds; The Green Hornets; The Countdowns; and the Goldstars.  He's internationally known from coast to coast, he hits all the hot spots in North America and Europe.  It's great stuff, great shows.

Try an old song, like "Jail Bait," or the massively great "Bacon Fat," or maybe "The Monkey Speaks His Mind."  Or some of the newer material, like "The Black Godfather," "Agile, Mobile and Hostile," or "Bad Motherfucker."  Or just check below and hit "play" on "I Hate Ya." 

Andre "Mr. Rhythm" Williams, making people happy since the '50's.  Let's give the man a hand! 

Andre Williams (feat. the Compulsive Gamblers) - I Hate Cha

There are a ton of great new(er) Andre W. songs on the 'Tube.  Some are pretty rude, these were not made with airplay in mind.  Low hit counts.  So it's a pretty exclusive club.  Sign up!

Monday, April 29, 2013

New YouTube Twist

It is to me anyway.  "Embedding disabled by request."

I just tried to share "Mercy, Mercy," as performed by Jimi Hendrix at a concert in 1967.  God, the sound was lousy, but you could hear it, the wonderfulness.  The crunch was so fat, and it all rocked so hard, it was all Jimi, all the time.

It's a great song, lots of great versions out there.  The original was by Don Covay, and of all things we now know that Jimi was the guitarist on the original, came up with the catchy guitar part and everything.   There's a great version by the Rolling Stones on their second LP (I think), when they were still doing mostly covers.  One thing about the Rolling Stones, they had great record collections, they picked really great songs to cover.

But, "embedding disabled," so you'll have to go look for it yourself. 

Joe Tex. Hold What You Got.

"Listen girls, this goes for you too . . ."  There's a pot for every lid.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Humorous Aside

Am I the only one that thinks the idea of a "Kindle Paperwhite" is funny?  I got spammed today by Amazon telling me that a Kindle Paperwhite would be a perfect gift for mom. 

For my mom, if she still walked with the living, a Kindle would indeed be a "paperwhite," in the Australian sense, which would be a Kindle that was used only to hold down stacks of paper. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Word Search: "Justin Timberlake Worst Dressed"

I'm just watching a Jimmy Fallon show from March, from the week that he had Justin Timberlake on every night.  I've already seen a few of the other shows.  While I admit that I find Mr. Timberlake to be a likeable man, and not untalented, I wonder what he's thinking when it comes time to shop for clothes, or get dressed.  If he has a stylist, that man or woman should be fired immediately.

He must have spent some good money for the jeans that he was wearing tonight, but they were horrible.  This was particularly hard for me to understand, for two reasons: 1) he has an okay build; and 2) jeans are usually becoming on a man with a decent build.  How hard did he have to look for jeans that looked this terrible on him? 

He wore a different leather jacket every night that he was on the show, and one was more horrible than the next.  This, besides that obvious fact that leather jackets on TV are always a desperate cry for attention.  I mean, it's bloody hot under all of those lights, I'm pretty sure that tropical weight suits are the way to go. 

Terrible pants; terrible shoes; terrible shirts; a boring haircut; horrible leather jackets; the man is just a terrible dresser.

The word search, by the way, brings up a certain amount of similar complaining.  I wondered if it was just me, but other people seem to be of the same opinion. 

He does seem to be a nice guy though.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Buddy Miles Express - Funky Mule.wmv

This is a "No Visual Information" video, so do not attempt to adjust your picture. 

It's hard for me to believe now that only four years had passed between "She Loves You" and things like this.  1968 was an explosion of diverse music, the full flower of everything, and Buddy Miles was right there.  This is, I think, after Electric Flag (I guess I should check with professor Google before guessing) and before Band of Gypsies (which whole thing just pisses me off, but that's another story).  Jim McCarty playing the guitar herein, let's say thanks for that. 

This is from a really good album.  Check out "Don't Mess With Cupid," if you can find it. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spam And The News Cycle

An interesting spam comment came in on a very minor "Vehicle Alert" post of mine from more than a year ago.  The comment started out telling me that "this post could have been written much better," probably a technique to get my attention, and then swung into a plug for his own blog, which evidently is devoted to teaching people special exercises designed to increase jump height.  Pretty obscure stuff, but he's flogging it.

American news these days has about the same value as spam.  CNN, for instance, has been mercilessly flogging bits of minutia about the Boston bombing for weeks now.  If I hear Anderson Cooper say "Misha, which is Russian for Michael" one more time I think I'll start screaming.  Just another indication that the main line news providers are essentially useless.

If you are looking for actual news, it can be disturbingly difficult to find.  During this couple of weeks bombing news cycle I have seen a total of one article about congress' passing of the very invasive "cyber security" bill.  That one affects our rights to read things on the 'Net without incriminating ourselves.  Easy to think that it might not affect you personally, but the chilling effect reaches us all.  The post War on Terror erosion of our hard won rights is a real problem, but it is largely an invisible problem. 

There's finally one congressman who is trying to free the Post Office from the disastrous legislation that mandated the pre-funding of all retirement and other entitlement amounts that will become due in the next seventy-five years.  This legislation is the only reason that the Post Office is racking up deficits and quickly going bankrupt.  It was a back-door attempt by congress ("Republicans") to allow the privatization of the Post Office.  Most people don't know about the original bill or the congressman's recent efforts, how could they?  It's not in the news.

These news providers would tell you that they closely track the kind of news that people want and if people want bombing news for weeks on end they are bound to provide it, you know, as a service to the community.  Other news providers are so biased by an ideology that their entire presentation is propagandistic and useless.  There are a few that actually present solid news in a relatively neutral manner, but they are condemned as having a "Liberal bias."  I'm thinking of Slate and Salon for news, and Think Progress and Crooks and Liars for politics, to mention a few.

Don't even get me started about the Huffington Post, which was pretty good for a few years there.  Now they seem to be concentrating on Kim Kardashian, cute animals and "side-boob."  The Raw Story and the Daily Beast are better, but not by much.

Twitter?  I'm not a follower, but it seems to offer only the illusion of information.  A total fact-checking nightmare.  "White House bombed; Obama injured," followed later, if you're particularly attentive and kind of lucky, by "oh, excuse me."

Real news is worth finding, and it's out there.  Finding it is a lot of work, but it's worth the effort. 


GUN CLUB jack on fire 1981

Very rude song.  "The Jack on Fire Gun Club" would be a good name for a gun club, don't you think? 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Robert Palmer - Sneakin Sally Through The Alley (with lyrics)

This album is hits back to back, hits-all-the-time, a totally nuts cornucopia of great studio musicians and fun, fun, fun.  Robert became famous a few years later for more commercial ventures, and he'd been working for years before this, but this single album (1974 or so) is his high water mark.  For sure, y'all.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yes, Lenny Would Definitely Do That

Lenny D. was one of the toughest boys in my little working-middle-class neighborhood in New York City.  It was a tough town, so Lenny had to work pretty hard to keep up his reputation.  He proved the old truism about fighting: it ain't a damn weight lifting contest.  Lenny wasn't the strongest boy in town, or the biggest, but he was strong, and very fast, and he was determined to hurt you badly, pretty much in the blink of an eye.  He's been dead for a while, but everybody on the "Memories of College Point" website remembers him, if not always fondly, quite well. 

Recently a long thread was turned over to discussing a certain family in town.  They were famous for having "a child in every grade," eleven children all together.  I didn't know the oldest boy, Tommy, but evidently he was a terror.  He would have been maybe five years older than Lenny, but being older didn't stop him from picking on other boys, and other boys being bigger or older never slowed Lenny down either.  It seems that Tommy and Lenny got into it a few times. 

So the story, from Lenny's older brother, went this way:

Many years ago Tommy died, and Lenny showed up at the funeral.  One of Tommy's five brothers was at the door, and he knew about the bad blood that had always existed between Tommy and Lenny.  Probably existed between this brother and Lenny too.  So the brother asked Lenny, "what are you doing here?"  Thinking that maybe he should not let Lenny in. 

"Don't worry," says Lenny, "I just want to make sure the prick's dead." 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Birth, Death And Infinity On August 16th

Lots of notable people have gone out of their way to die on my birthday, and I for one have always been quite impressed.

Babe Ruth died on my actual birthday, the same day in 1948.  Elvis Presley, depending on whom you believe, died on my birthday in 1977.  Robert Johnson, uber cool bluesman, died on August 16, 1938.  I found myself wondering earlier today if this was an unusual confluence, and, perhaps not surprisingly, they have a web site for that now.

For one thing, the list of people who had died on August 16th was rather long.  Besides the above mentioned luminaries it included, inter alia, Idi Amin (2003), Bela Lugosi (1956), Max Roach (2007), and Bobby Thompson (2010).  The list also included Stewart Granger (1993), famous romantic Hollywood start from the 40's and 50's.  I only include him herein because I saw him so many times shopping at Bay Cities Importing, a great deli in Santa Monica, and I can tell you that he was a giant pain in the ass.  He just wanted to be noticed.  I'd be there on Sunday morning, in the crowd, and he'd be standing there with a number like everyone else but he was the only one complaining, loudly, all six feet, three inches of him, recognizable.  A right pain.

So, not a bad death list.  I checked another couple of dates and my list holds up very well.  Leading off with the Babe!  On the very same day!  And Elvis!  Robert Johnson is a mysterious touch, you must admit. 

Grasping at straws, really. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1/4 Scale Running Model Offenhauser (Offy) Engine By Ron Colonna

I'm still amazed by these miniature engines.  "1/4 scale" means one quarter inch equals one foot.  What imagination goes into them!  Solving a thousand "little" problems of metal working and engineering!  The parts are usually made from scratch.  These guys sit around the basement for years grinding tiny valves, making tiny springs and bolts.  And they run! 

We are a very capable race, we humans, we can do amazing things.  Why anyone would take on such a challenge is beyond me, but it's somehow reassuring that some do. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Local Boy Makes Good

This is a picture of Patrick J. Purcell, the owner and publisher of the Boston Herald.  He has had a very, very successful career in the newspaper business, and this comes as no surprise to me. 

We, Patty and I, grew up in the same little working class corner of Queens, we went to the same Catholic grammar school.  He was an all around great guy. 

Even back then we could all see that he had leadership potential.  I was reminded of Patty the other day when the subject of informal baseball games came up on the "Memories of College Point" website.  These were "choose-up" games.  During the summer a lot of boys would show up spontaneously at the park with their gloves, ready to play baseball.  Two boys would be appointed team captains, they would then play some kind of contest to see who chose first, like throwing odd or even fingers (like rock, paper, scissors, but different), or catching a bat in the air and then seeing whose hand came out on top.  Then they would take turns picking their team.  Patty was frequently picked to captain one of the teams.  He was athletic, a good player, and he was a natural leader.  So, no surprise that he's made something of himself.

Patty, I hope you're doing good.  The wealthy and wise are in the public record, and I hope that the health is right up there too.  Live long and prosper, brother.  People remember you fondly. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Les Paul & Mary Ford - Bye Bye Blues (original 78 rpm)

With guitar players, even more than with most people, what goes around, comes around.  Maybe with musicians in general.  You may know that I am Mr. "All Music Is Theft," I believe that all musicians essentially recycle what they've heard.  Well, let's say most, there are exceptions, five or ten in the Twentieth Century, tops. 

Les brought something of himself to the party, but mostly he was a mirror, not a hammer.  You can hear his influences in his playing.  Les, in turn, influenced people.  In this cut I can clearly hear two tricks that Jeff Beck has used frequently throughout his career.  Maybe he got them from Les; maybe they both got them from the same place, from some other guy.  None of this is any criticism of Les, or Jeff, or anybody else.  It's just the way it is. 

But how about that Les Paul!  More below, with dream references. 

Obama, Chained

How ironic is it that the debriefings regarding the first black president will prominently feature the word, "chained."

As in "chained consumer price index."

The world always turns out to be more wonderful than we could ever have hoped. 

Les Paul & Mary Ford - How High The Moon (original 78 rpm)

It's a strange thing, the brain.  Especially the sleeping brain.  I woke up the other day, just another morning, and the breaks, the solo guitar parts, from this song were running in my head for at least an hour.  None of the vocal sections, just the guitar player working out.  At first I was wondering what it was; then I thought it must be Django, but it's too electric, and where did that T. Bone Walker stuff come in?  Finally I got it: Les Paul (and Mary Ford) "How High the Moon."

Incidentally, I hadn't listened to this song for a few years anyway, hadn't even thought about Les Paul for quite a while.  Just out of the blue, in dreams.  

Boy, wasn't Les great?  1951, hard to believe.  Lots of Django, sure, and some T. Bone as well, and Charlie Christian (who's all over the place, really, all electric guitars should have his name printed on them), but mostly loads and loads of Les, pure and simple. 

Those Demonic Bastards, The Liberals

Are Liberals being demonized these days or merely dehumanized?  The answer depends upon whose eliminationist language you are listening to.  Plenty of it is being directed at Liberals these days. 

I’m reading a book by D.J. Goldhagen called “Worse than War: Genocide, Eliminationism and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity.”  It’s very interesting, I’ll give it that, the quality of the analysis is generally very good.  It’s a tough read though, not for the feint hearted, the presentation is very dense and the style is (faux) academic.  The sentences themselves can be grammatically maddening.

The victims of the various murderous eliminations of the Twentieth Century are divided into categories and examined.  Some are dehumanized; some are demonized.  Some can be rehabilitated; some must be exterminated.  Some of the analysis describes the treatment of Liberals in America right now, although the question of Liberals is not reached in the book.  In my reading, Liberals seem to fall into the category that Mr. Goldhagen calls “Heretics,” people who are demonized without being dehumanized.  Heretics are “conceived of as not biologically different from other people, they, for some articulated reason-usually in the grip of a pernicious religious or secular ideology-willfully dissent from the hallowed creed and seek to harm you or prevent humanity’s salvation.”  P. 332. 

(See what I mean about those sentences?)   

The whole situation is comical for several reasons.  For one thing, what is a Liberal in Twenty-First Century America?  The best definition might be anyone who does not completely agree with the popular Conservative orthodoxy.  For another thing, somebody like me could turn that “Heretic” definition right back on the Conservatives with approximately equal justification.  (Without, I hope, resorting to eliminationist rhetoric.) 

As usual, nothing is simple.  Quite a few ideologies are competing for attention in America.  It’s not a simple question of “Right” v. “Left.”  There’s the Right of congressional Republicans, the Right of Senate Republicans, the Right of the Christian Dominionists, the Right of the Tea Party, the Right of the militia crowd, the Right of the Rand Paul/Ayn Rand Libertarians, and even the slightly gentler Right of President Obama and most Democrats.  Yeah, I said that. 

What’s happening on the Left?  The Left is far less vigorous but it does encompass some activism and considerable diversity.  Oh, excuse me, “diversity” is a code word, I mean diversity of political opinion.

What most categorizes the current political debate in America is that there is no debate.  There is only a lot of sloganeering and shouting across the chasm.  Almost everyone claims to be protecting democracy, or expanding it or something, restoring it maybe.  To me the almost universal truth is that democracy is suffering, at best, and, at worst, disappearing.  Given the choice of voting for either one side of a coin or the other side of the same coin, you get the coin no matter who wins.

I am not, however, suggesting some kind of “they all do it” argument.  There is one important difference between the modern American Right and the modern Left.  The Difference is the degree to which the Right embraces violence and eliminationism. 

So far this comes in the form of violent language and eliminationist rhetoric.  There’s very little of this on the Left, just some open mocking, and lots of sarcasm, nothing as serious as what you find on the Right.  The content of Right Wing media is bad enough in itself, but what you find in the comment sections is frightening and extreme.  The writers of these fantasies are not scholars, they are largely uninformed and they are, like most people, of average intelligence.  Somehow, from someplace, they are being fed an agenda of fear, hatred and eliminationism. 

A truly delusional world view is prevalent, a view in which Liberals are actively conspiring to deprive people of their rights, their freedoms, to take away their guns, or even their children, to put people in camps for some reason, to turn the United States over to the United Nations or some other international group, to put America’s black people in charge and subjugate the poor white folk, really strange, unlikely stuff for which there is no compelling discoverable evidence.  It’s all very “Turner Diaries.”  Some individuals, like Timothy McVay, have even taken this paranoid novel as their blueprint for reality. 

Faced with this perceived reality, how else can the Right respond but with violence and extremism?  As Mr. Goldhagen says, “if a being willfully threatens all that is good, the Volk, God, a world of justice and plenty for all; if a being is evil incarnate, then it follows that one must eradicate the disease, squash the bug, kill the wild animal, expel or slay the barbarian, destroy the threat, or extirpate the evil.  Not to do so would be negligent folly, like leaving your young child in a bear-or devil-infested forest.”  p. 330.

Note that Mr. Goldhagen is not suggesting this as a rational course of action, no, he’s just stating the position that has been maintained by lots of groups in the recent past, right before they up and killed a lot of their demonized enemies.  In each case, the pot-stirring that preceded the horror bore disturbing similarities to the current anti-Liberal rhetoric. 

Let’s hold this thing up to the light.  Liberals, if they even exist anymore, are no threat to freedom and justice, no enemies of liberty, nor of the family or the American Dream.  So maybe we can back up on the word play here. 

I don’t think anything like that is going to happen though, not the backing up thing, I’ve given up already on anything like common sense prevailing.  This particular Genie is hard to get back in the bottle.  The denouement, when it comes, may not reach the fever pitch of that episode of Tutsi v. Hutu in Africa, but whatever it is, it won’t be pretty. 

P.S.  I read that Bryan Fischer is afraid that “Homofascists” will soon treat Christians in America like the Nazis treated Jews during the Holocaust.  (Raw Story, April 12, 2013.)  And Janet Mefferd, who evidently is some kind of syndicated host on Christian Radio, has very similar fears, also couched in Holocaust language.  (From the blog, “Brilliant at Breakfast,” which coined the phrase, “Holocaust envy.”)  Point made!  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

magic sam - love me with a feeling

This guy is so good.  For some reason he gets overlooked when the subject of Chicago Blues comes up.  He always sounds great to me, what enthusiasm!  And he keeps it rockin', he never seems to come up for air.  Great tone too. 

And I love that he seems to be playing Earl Hooker's guitar in some of the footage accompanying the video!  I think that I did read somewhere that he often showed up for gigs and then had to scrounge up some equipment. 

Magic Sam, write it down.  The guy deserves a lot more play than he gets. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bing Translations As Poetry, Or At Least As Punk Prose Extraordinaire

นะโม:พ่อๆมาต่อสู้กัน พ่อเป็นสัตว์ประหลาด นะโมเป็นอุลตร้าแมนปล่อยพลังแสง(พร้อมท่าประกอบ)
หลังจากนั้นฉากบู๊ก็บังเกิดขึ้น หมัด เท้า เข่า ศอก มาพร้อม สัตว์ประหลาดก็ตาย
นะโม:นะโมจะชุบชีวิตสัตว์ประหลาด(กำหมัด+ทำปากขมุบขมิบประมาณเสื้อสั่งฟ้าแล้วก็ขว้างมาทางสัตว์ประหลาด)พร้อมสั่งว่าสัตว์ประหลาดฟื้นสิๆ มาต่อสู้กันใหม่ เป็นอย่างนี้รอบแล้วรอบเล่า
"Return home soon my son hasn't played a down shift fin layout designed Namo: the pho comes to fight. His father is a monster is a light power noploi Namo Ultraman (with berth) father: it was a scene of fighting, then. Knee elbow and feet with fists Die Monster Namo Namo to life: plated Monster (make fists to jerk around mouth + shirts, blue order, pitching into a monster) and ordered that Monster come si. This is a new fight comes around and around over father time: in addition to Namo: OK go. " (Translated by Bing
That Bing translation is almost certainly much, much more gonzo than the original.  It looks that way to me, although I have neither the time nor the inclination to actually take the time to work out the original.  But Bing is funny on its face, and I have always maintained that the modern world sucks so big time that it is imperative that we take our pleasures where we may while being forced to live with the wildly unacceptable negativity.  
(The original Thai is a Facebook post by a friend of mine.)  

Mitch McConnell Has The Brass Balls To Consider Ashley Judd "Emotionally Unbalanced."

McConnell planned to attack Judd as “emotionally unbalanced”

I don't know Ashley Judd, don't know much about her.  She's sure pretty, and I've enjoyed her work in many a movie, but I don't know much about her, not really.

Would she have made a good public official?  A good elected official?  Who knows?  And it looks like we'll never find out.

Why?  Because she has admitted in the past to being depressed, and to having experienced suicidal ideation at some remote past moment, and a couple of other things that could be twisted against her.  That's all it takes these days, the threat of exposure of things that may or may not be meaningful, although they probably don't amount to a hill of beans.  Y'all, you voters, are that easily manipulated by the cruel, self-righteous monsters that control American politics these days.

You may not think of yourself as "conservative," and you may not vote "Republican," but you are being controlled, as sure as you're born, by those same evil sons-of-bitches who just destroyed, without half trying, a woman who was considering trying to make a difference.  

As for Mr. McConnell, I think the evidence of his emotional deficiency is manifest, and in spades too.  I wouldn't let the man walk my dog.  

rare footage of 1950s housewife in LSD experiment.flv

Thanks again to Boing Boing.  They really do find the good stuff. 

What comments do I have?  Nothing really.  These experiences cannot be generalized, there are certain things, firearms and motorcycles among them, that can be useful for some people and downright life-threatening for others.  So make your own judgments. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The World (Is Going Up In Flames)

Good singer; interesting story.  Thanks to Boing Boing for the heads-up. His name is Charles Bradley, and he's been up, down and around this world, mostly down and around.  I hope he's making a living, I really do. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blogspot Is Back

Blogspot came back to life again here in the tropical paradise of smiles.  For two days it was all "Cannot open website," all the time.  This was true for all Blogspot sites, not just this one.  I tried multiple sites on three different computers, so it couldn't have been a problem with settings on my machines. 

What happened?  I sure don't know.  Were they fixing something?  Was someone blocking them?  Some kind of censorship?  Since it was simultaneously happening to all Blogspot sites, it couldn't be that they were all too busy, or that they were being hacked. 

Very mysterious.  Now lets see if everything stays up. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

North Korea 2012 Military Parade [1/5]

Way too much bounce in that Goose Step there boys and girls.  If you want to really scare anybody, you need to slow it down and settle it down, put it on the sinister side.  This jittery presentation looks mostly like y'all are kind of nervous. 

But I'd be nervous too, come to think of it, if I was telling the strongest kid in my high school to watch out because I was about to kick his ass, while he, if he actually took offense, could easily pull me through a keyhole for my trouble. 

Alert The Media: Jay Leno To Be Saved From Himself

 I often check out the Late Night Jokes page on Ask Dot Com, just to see what America thinks is funny these days.  Usually I try to avoid the Jay Leno jokes, partly as a concession to the brevity of life and partly because, well, he hasn't been funny for at least twenty years now, so let's cut out the middle-man.  This one is so short that I got stuck reading it, with predictable results:

"The Associated Press, the largest news gathering outlet in the world, will no longer use the term 'illegal immigrant.' That is out. They will now use the phrase 'undocumented Democrat.'" –Jay Leno

So let's see: it's not funny; it's offensive; it's racist; it's a pathetic attempt to pander to a certain stupid segment of the American electorate . . . let's just call it a misguided attempt at humor, misguided and unsuccessful.  A misguided attempt at political humor, which is even more elusive than regular humor, which is elusive enough.  Just try it sometime. 

Oh, Jay, please excuse me, and please, may I buy back my introduction? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Over the Rainbow (1953) by Art Tatum

Hey, reader!  (and commenter below) . . . "am I boring you yet?" 

Hot Rod Rag - Paul Westmoreland & His Band (Dig that Hot Rod)

Testing . . . one, two . . . is this thing on? 

Thank you, Professor Google!  The procedure has changed, there's another step or two in there, a few more clicks.  Okay, I guess I can handle that.

This is one of those songs from Chrome, Smoke & Fire.  A nice little song with some great video footage of the hot rod scene in Los Angeles long ago and far away.  

Proctoring Tests At Ramkhamhaeng University

This rather thin turn-out is typical for my university.  This afternoon, my row saw three students show up to take a test for which twenty-one were "expected."  The pink strips of paper hanging from the corners of the desks have the names of students who were registered for the class and for whom, optimistically, preparations have been made. 

Not showing up for a final would lead to a terrible result in my American alma mater.  As in "F."  We're much more gentle with our students at RKH.  I approve of this forebearance, we are the "open" university, one of the universities of last resort, and many of our students come from educational environments where nothing was made easy for them and nobody really helped them.  So we help them, and I think it's great. 


Note the rollers on this "raft."  This is a screen shot from a TV show, the kids had to pole the thing across the floor, handing a roller from the back to the front as they went, like moving those giant heads on Easter Island.  They made it look like fun, but then again Thai people can make anything look like fun. 

The rollers are pieces of what I call "the ubiquitous blue PVC pipe."  You see this stuff all over Thailand, in all guages and used for such various purposes that it is almost unbelieveable.  For instance, I have seen it used in the creation of everything from a TV antenna to a golf club.  It is very common to see a section of this pipe used as a mailbox.  And, of course, it's the plumbing in most homes. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

LIfe's Little Mysteries

Life has always been a little mysterious, that's been my experience anyway.  These days it's all been compounded exponentially by all of the machines that surround us.

For instance, yesterday and today I can't get YouTube to properly share a video.   I'm doing just what I have done for years, hitting the same buttons, but the video will not appear in the to-be-shared dialog box, and it doesn't show up on this blog either.  Only the naked text, added by me, appears.

So what's up with that?  I'll try again later.