November 29, 2010

These Are The Days

I was watching James Taylor and Carole King performing live at the Troubador on PBS. It sounds every bit as good as it used to.

Carole King's first big hit; 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow'

November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Depending on the source, the term dates either from the 1980s or back as 1966, although its usage was primarily on the East coast. The term has become more common in other parts of the country since 2000. On this day many U.S. retailers open very early, with most of the retailers typically opening at 5AM or even earlier, at midnight.

The day's roots may have originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Others claim it was part of mid-1980s anti-consumerism backlash, when people took a pledge to "blackout" that day - staying home, rather than shopping.

I'd rather be drawn and quartered than to go anywhere near a mall on this day.

Steely Dan  'Black Friday'  1975

November 24, 2010

Messin With The Camera

Has it really been that long ago?


Ready for the big day.

November 23, 2010

Law and Order

Ben is no longer an officer but was promoted to detective and was on TV a week ago.

November 18, 2010

A Day in The Life

'A Day in The Life'  is one of the Beatles most famous and influential songs.

the song comprises distinct segments written independently by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with orchestral additions added later. While Lennon’s lyrics were inspired by contemporary newspaper articles, McCartney’s were reminiscent of his youth.

George Martin, the Beatles' producer, later described explaining his improvised score to the puzzled orchestra:

"What I did there was to write ... the lowest possible note for each of the instruments in the orchestra. At the end of the twenty-four bars, I wrote the highest note...near a chord of E major. Then I put a squiggly line right through the twenty-four bars, with reference points to tell them roughly what note they should have reached during each bar ... Of course, they all looked at me as though I were completely mad."

McCartney had originally wanted a 90-piece orchestra, but this proved impossible; the difference was made up, as the semi-improvised segment was recorded multiple times and eventually four different recordings were overdubbed into a single massive crescendo. The results were successful; in the final edit of the song, the orchestral bridge is reprised after the final verse.

Following the final orchestral crescendo, the song ends with one of the most famous final chords in music history. Lennon, McCartney, Starr, and Evans shared three different pianos, with Martin on the Harmonium, and all played an E-major chord simultaneously. The final chord was made to ring out for over forty seconds by increasing the recording sound level as the vibration faded out. Towards the end of the chord the recording level was so high that listeners can hear the sounds of the studio, including rustling papers and a squeaking chair.

'A Day in The Life'  The Beatles  1967.

November 12, 2010

Ooooooooh Scary

Hailee as Eighty's Girl and Tristan as Dash Incredible. Tristan's mask looks upside down but we turned it over and that looked upside down too.

Death Grip

I was pulling the dead zinnias out of the ground. They'd served the previous season's purpose, giving summer color in our house. I'm surprised at the death grip strength of the roots as I pull. I can't help but feel a slight sorrow for the zinnias and the passed Summer. Do plants have a slight consciousness? Do the trees around me mourn at their dormancy?

Not to worry; next Spring comfort will come in seed packets and the trees will wake to watch the planting and watering in of their next of kin.


November 4, 2010

The Theremin

The Theremin is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

Theremin demonstrated the device to Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was so impressed he began taking lessons in playing it.

The theremin is associated with a very eerie sound, which has led to its use in movie soundtracks such as Spellbound, one of my favorite films.

November 2, 2010

Roto Rooter

On the way home from work yesterday I was behind a Roto Rooter truck most of the way and this morning on the way to the hospital wife and I saw another. When I made the appointment for my colonoscopy I didn't think about it being on election day. I suppose there's a certain irony about that.

The evening before I drank three liters of that goop which cleans you out and early this morning I drank the final liter. I was miserable. Five years ago I took the horse pills but they have since discovered a threat of renal failure with the pills. I'd almost take my chances with the pills.

They wheeled me into the procedure room and put the twilight cocktail through the IV. The doctor looked like Rand Paul behind the mask and the nurse became Sarah Palin. I went kicking and screaming into unconsciousness.