Tuesday, March 31, 2009
There's a report that some "rock" radio station in DC is changing formats to easy listening. My friend Peter (a fellow rock cognoscenti) and I exchanged a few emails about it and agreed that it was no loss - the station sucked, with a playlist criminally limited to about 60 songs, when 6000 should be the norm. The Kinks released this cut over a quarter of a century ago (to minimal airplay, of course) and it's even more true now. If you're reading this and you're under 30, you gotta believe me - radio used to be so Cool! Check out Little Steven's Underground Garage. That's what it used to be like. WPGC in '67, WHFS in "69, WGTB in '77 - there were gods in those days....
One of the best and most famous song intros in the history of humankind. Sheer nostalgia, and genius.
Another interesting little footnote to the war.
Frankly, I'm amazed this didn't occur in Florida....
Monday, March 30, 2009
Another repeat for me. I'm going to keep plugging these guys until th end of time. The best band you've never heard of. Genius. Essential.
Another tune I've linked to in the past. Great song.
These guys should've been much bigger. Great stuff. A perfect song for that period between the third and fourth bourbons...
Classic. An original. One of Linda's faves...
Wonderful song - and a great title.
Lousy video, great performance.
Classic early 70's rock.
(Thanks for the head's up on this, Peter!)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
One of the great pop soul songs. Really moving. I don't think things do get easier or brighter, but for a few moments, it allows you to hope they do. See ya tomorrow.
I heard this song a few hours ago during one of my rare forays into network television. It was being used in an ad for Visa credit cards. Sigh. The soundtrack of my soul is being used to shill for the Bank of America. The gods have a wicked sense of humor.
But for me, it'll always be a reminder of sitting in my friend Edmund's basement in the early and mid 70's - discussing politics and Buddhism, drinking bad scotch and smoking great pipe tobacco.
Fun song by one of my favorite named groups.
Almost nobody remembers this song. It's like it disappeared from consciousness. The group went on to back John Lennon.
Great band and song. Should've been bigger.
Shakin' All Over in Cantonese. Cute girl, gang fights while dancing in time. This is the way it should be.
strange fruit in the old neighborhood
The instructions were that you'd carefully wrap the parachute around the figure in some sort of weird origami configuration that my fumble fingers could never get quite right. You'd then hurl him into the air as high as you could. The parachute would unfurl and he'd glide back to the ground. That is, if you lived in Kansas. But NoVA is not Kansas, (a fact I get on my knees and thank the heavens for each day). We have trees, houses, lamp posts, telephone wires and all manner of skyward obstacles. By no later than the third throw, your brand new toy would be stuck 30-40 feet up on a tree limb, gutter, or telephone pole. By the end of an afternoon, the entire neighborhood's supply of these poor toys would be hanging about, in a grim display of the futility of trying to have fun above a height of 10'. The place probably looked monstrous to any Billie Holiday fans...
Fortunately for the sake of the view, the trees would shortly fill out, obscuring most of the victims, while heavy winds would cart away the rest, (I don't think it took too long for the string on these things to rot away from exposure to the elements).
At any rate, a quick search online only revealed a few smallish and wussified versions, (and going for $4.95 - no way my mother would spring for that type of extravagence). There's no real point to this story, it's just some old memory rattling around in my head today.
And while we're on the topic of aerial fun, does anyone remember model rockets? I think the main company was called Estes, out of a little dump of a town in Eastern Colorado called Penrose. And although I desperately wanted one, there was no way my folks were going to spring for it, and in retrospect, I must agree with them. There was just no place even remotely safe from lawsuits that you could shoot one off around where we lived. I knew one kid whose father was a teacher up at the Seminary and he did have the room in that wonderful field they own that's now partially taken up by their stadium. He'd invite me up occasionally to watch his missile launches.
There were two things about Estes rockets that were always interesting to me. The first was the safety pamphlet they'd put out warning you to NEVER EVER, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS should you even attempt to think about the possibility of making your own rocket fuel/engines, but should only buy from them. They'd put out these horrific pictures that I now suspect were simply outtakes from the photos taken after Hiroshima, with captions saying stuff like "Little Timmy thought he could make his own fuel cells in his parent's basement -AND THAT'S HOW WE LOST CEDAR RAPIDS". I also seem to remember tales of blown off hands and heads, etc. , there was a certain level of gruesomeness to the hobby literature.
Added to that was the second feature to model rocketry, which I call the Junior Mengele syndrome. Some of the models came with payload areas. There were the usual earnest sales pitches about high altitude experiments for young and growing scientific minds. But the fact of the matter is that you give something like this to a kid, and I guarantee you, the first and only thing going in that paylaod is going to be alive. Who knows how many hamsters died - shoved into a plastic chamber with little or no air, sitting on top of an explosive charge and hurtled a few hundred feet into the air at about 10g's. So much for growing minds. (This leads to the question - do Germans become rocketeers or do rocketeers become Germans*...).
At any rate, just some random thoughts on a Spring afternoon...
*Oh irony of ironies, Wernher von Braun was buried barely a mile from where I saw these model rockets being launched.
One of the more interesting stories and what-if scenarios to come out of WWII.
I wish I could make it up there....
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The quote within is probably the coolest thing LBJ ever said.
It's amusing that Dean Stockwell is in this one too.
Friday, March 27, 2009
One of those situations where I wonder if a concert is an appropriate memorial. The situation that they are recreating was the fault/creation of nazis. Are the victims being honored in such a recreation? I can see arguments both ways.
This explains why people always spread newspapers around when I visit...
It's the smoke that adds flavor!
Actually, I think this proves that cotton swab makers are psychopathic killers...
I'm just surprised this didn't occur in Florida...
This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Really.
Actually, I guess any type of lobster decorating is pretty cutting edge...
Face it, you haven't had a REAL birthday cake until you get one that a dwarf jumps out of...
Thanks god we're got Col. Sanders to protect us!
Opie meets Cthulhu - I like it!
Too bad it's only a short clip.
Judging by the gargantuan size of these singers, I'd say they haven't quite given up on breakfast yet...
(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
A good article on an important topic. As an amateur history buff and fanatic personal archivist, I constantly worry about this. I would think that this would be a poerfect joint project for the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the National Bureau of Standards.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
RIP Lewis Likes, 3/21/21 - 3/20/09
Wonderful cover. Essential.
Ah, how times have changed....
I confess to not being familiar with this gent. Anyone?
It's not that great a story, but I loved typing the Title....
Needless to say, I believe that these so-called scientists are waaay behind the tech curve here...:
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tee hee! See ya tomorrow...
Great version of a great song.
Yes kids, once dinosaurs ruled the Earth....
Classic. Essential. A lightning bolt into reason.
I always thought this was a cute video and a great song.
A little classic...
As usual, the pups at the Post are a day late and a dollar short. There's already a very nice vampire novel that takes place in DC, written by my friend Roger. It's called "Before". I helped out with research and proof reading, (and you might just recognize a character or two in it...).
Of course, if you want to see explosions by Gtown all you have to do is wait another two months until warm weather truly hits - the manholes can be expected to explode with regularity.
Monday, March 23, 2009
We live in strange times...
(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Another great song and artist. Fragility, violence, fear, despair. See ya tomorrow....
A supernaturally great song. Beyond good & evil.
Classic. The Queen of Rock'N'Roll.
Classic early 70's rock.
What a cool song. Whatever happened to those guys?
One of my fave movies. A great dead-on satire, but quite charming too, with a love for the subject.
Great song - see if you can recognize all the authors backing him up...
One of the great hams. Originator and master of the Spasm School of acting. A living icon. A force of nature.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Great version, one of the best.
Great band and song.
Pure Winter of '79...
some stray thoughts from a nice afternoon
I suppose Autumn is still my fave time, (there is too much Autumnal darkness and decay in the back of my mind to give up on it); but I've noticed in the past few years that Springtime is making something of a comeback for me. I want to go pick some strawberries...
(Thanks for the link, Doug!)
Friday, March 20, 2009
(Thanks for the link, Pete!)
the cutting edge of dog walking muggings
The Associated Press
HART TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Police say a naked 14-year-old boy taking a walk with a large white poodle has assaulted a woman in Michigan.
Sheriff's Lt. Craig Mast says the boy walked away from a behavioral treatment facility Monday. He was strolling unclothed in Hart Township with the dog when he encountered a 53-year-old woman in her yard.
Mast says, "The young naked man approached her with this poodle, and she immediately realized something peculiar."
They spoke briefly. When the woman took out a cell phone to call for help, the boy pushed her and fled with the phone, which he later broke in half.
Deputies found the boy. He's charged in juvenile court with strong-arm robbery and assault.
(Thanks for the article, Pete!)
That Ghost Host with the Most! Creature Feature and Count Gore are DC legends. And I can't recommend his website too much. It's essential.
I veiw Alan Brady (as well as Fearless Leader from the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show) as a management role model. I've found that many problems can be solved by telling an underling to "Shut up, Mel". I should also point out that he appeared in a wonderful little Lovecraftian comedy bit in Rod Serling's Night Gallery series, called Professor Peabody's Last Lecture.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Great band and song. Should've been bigger...
I believe I'm using Windows 3.1
I believe the Beatles dealt with this situation earlier:
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)
If you're ever in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the Autumn, you've got to try the pumpkin whoopie pies. They're to die for...
(Thanks for the link, Karen!)
(Thanks for the link, Doug!)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
(Thanks for the link, Linda!)
One of my faves. A great musician and songwriter - one of the few who can still invoke the innocence of childhood. The only guy who could make the autoharp look cool. Essential.
Another somewhat obscure holiday that I'm single-handedly reviving.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Actually, anyone attempting to travel up Route 236 during Rush hour will find an abundance of eunuchs behind the wheel...
This sounds pretty cool! I myself have been undergoing a rigorous regimen of taking ever-increasing amounts of cabernet, just in case I have an allergy to it someday....
Great actor, and one of the most connected to modern times: Rumpole, The Prisoner, Help, The Omen, The Mouse That Roared, and many more films and series.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The One. The Only. Premiered on this date in 1959. Essential.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Lousy sound - it doesn't matter. A great Stevie Wonder- penned song. Great memories from '71. In 1776 America determined that it want' going to be ruled by any more Queens - until Aretha came along...
One of my fave songs from late '68 and early '69. You had to be there...
Wonderful song and band. The Furs should have been much bigger than they were. Those first two albums were awesome. A perfect example of a group that only record store clerks knew about. Really great stuff.
Another (over the top) guilty pleasure. A disco-fied rip-off of Los Bravos' Black Is Black, (but I like it anyway...).
Horrible suits, great song. A hit from '70. There was something about travelling back then in the early 70's, as if Kerouac had finally sunk in. I wanted nothing more than a car and enough gas to get keep going. In some ways, I guess I still do.
A guilty pleasure. It was early Summer of '74 and the nights were hotter than a pistol. When not hanging out at the disgusting clubs on 14th Street, we'd be at around Foggy Bottom drinking whiskey at Tammany Hall and shooing away barflys....
One of the great vocal groups. Really amazing.
Friday, March 13, 2009
One of my all-time fave movies. Debuted on this date in 1971. The movie that taught me how to drive...
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Fun From Japan!
I think that that alarm clock is the coolest I've ever seen...
(Thanks for the links, Mathew!)
Another almost-forgotten holiday that I am single-handedly resurrecting.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Scottish capitalism lives! Taking whatever trailings of muddy water are left over after fermentation and distilling, bottle 'em, and sell the crap to rich arabs. Gentlemen, I salute you!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sort of modern alternative cabaret. Very strange....
All of this is well known to any serious student, but this article is a nice synopsis. (Actually, old man Ford was quite a nazi, we'll never know his total involvement in German espionage and influence in America in the 30's and 40's)
Sunday, March 08, 2009
My friend Tom just introduced me to this groups music. His description of them seems quite accurate - a cross between the Jefferson Airplane and Black Sabbath. Very cool...
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Life now immitates South Park...
If only the District were a state...
Nederland is a cute little town that we got to finally visit a couple of years ago.
Friday, March 06, 2009
But he has an insatiable desire for crackers...
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Switzerland was always a slavish, if secret, ally of nazi Germany, (just like fellow "neutrals" Spain and Sweden), make no mistake about it. It's rather absurd to think it took over 60 years to "pardon" the only Swiss with guts, and that they need "rehabilitation". Fucking nazis....
Yes if you use two hands you'll gain more accuracy. Duh. BFD. And if you stand closer you'll gain more pins. And if you use a bigger ball. And if, like duck pins, you allow three balls; or throw two balls at once. Just bowl the way it was intended, stupid cheaters....
I can hardly wait for Klingon Musk! Perhaps Horta Bath Salts. "Warty, yes - but I like it too!"
Pretty clever - very neat.
(Thanks for the link, Missy!)
Premiered on this date in 1954. Fun movie.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
(Thanks for the link, Nancy!)
A fun little amateur video.
(Thanks for the link, Carol!)
Monday, March 02, 2009
You'd be sitting there in home room at TC, waiting for classes to begin, or be disrupted; listening to the student radio station over the loudspeakers. And then the morning's announcements would always take place, preceded by this song. One always ignored the announcements - no one gave a rat's ass about the pep rally or the Key Club car wash, but the song stuck with you. Very cool.
The old school is gone, knocked down to make way for supposedly bigger and better things. (It is amusing that at the time of its demolition, the work crews were suddenly removed for several weeks due to hazmat concerns. Me and ten thousand other kids go there for years and it's okay, but a couple dozen illegals and hardhats are asked to go in and it's "Whoa! Bring out the Andromeda Strain Suits!". Life was always cheap at TC...
At any rate, although I can't lay any personal claim to coolness in high school, collectively, we were THE coolest. And Soulful Strut was as good and expressive a theme song expressing that as you could ask for.
I think the Buckinghams are an under-rated band. Should've been bigger...
I always loved this tune. Great girl group sound.
Near-sensory overload. So many different sounds and images mixing in sometimes brash and sometimes subtle ways.
Sounds like a Darwin Award nominee to me...
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Bittersweet song. The snow has started here. See ya tomorrow...
The Calm Before The Storm...
But if it snows, we are ready and well stocked, with enough food, whiskey, books and films to keep us well occupied until the Spring thaw.
Speaking of warm climates, I've a favor to ask folks. There's a job opening for caretakers of a tropical island that my friends Nick and Alexandra are applying for. Apparently, one must compete for what is described as the best job on earth, through a video contest. Their entry is found here: http://www.islandreefjob.com/#/applicants/watch/sCfAzLHk8zI . I'd encourage you to go out, view the video and rate/vote for it. It'll be a wonderful opportunity for them, and it will build up huge Karmic points for you, dear reader, (Which you desperately need -Remember, I know most of you and what you're guilty of...). I am hoping that they win and invite me there, where I can finally answer that age-old question of whether or not one can really install laser beams on sharks and rule the world.
*For those of you who've never been to the Manor in Winter, our fires are Legend. You know that point in a blast furnace where the orange, black and white blend into a hellish inferno? Well, that's just a starting point for me. My fires heat up the whole home - next door. You can forge mithril in my fires. US Steel would kill to get their furnaces as hot as I do. The mere mention of my name can cause members of the Krupp family to lapse into nervous hysteria. Lucifer, (a frequent guest...), sweats at my house. You can get a full body tan just walking by - on the street. One doesn't feed the fire in the traditional manner, you just can't get close enough to place anything inside the fireplace. You have to stand back 20 feet and try to toss logs into it. Accuracy is unimportant however, as anything getting within ten feet instantly combusts due to the intense heat.
The last fire usually occurs in mid March, and by early July the brickwork has cooled enough to allow cleaning. It's always fun to field questions from the chimney sweeps regarding the liquid pool of goo that used to be the grate and the flue...