Archive for October, 2011

As the old joke asks: Who does what, and to whom?

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Headline: Transgender lesbians who fathered five children between them tie the knot.

It puts me in mind of the Mark Graham song, Rufus and Beverly. Not quite the same situation, but …

There are three renditions of the song on Youtube (one, two, three), but none by Mark himself.

Miscellany 20

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Running into a booby trap can ruin your entire day.

This is good news for me.

Watching this video makes me want to buy an iPad, just to take advantage of the deal. Not quite enough to actually make the purchase, though. However, if I ever do acquire an iPad, I may buy it, even at the normal price.

You know, I’ve never had a really impressive Halloween costume like this.

Where are they now?

Scientists and the public both speak English, but not quite the same version, which leads to misunderstandings.

It’s been a bad month for computer people. Following the deaths of Steve Jobs and Dennis Ritchie (creator of the C programming language and co-creator of Unix), we now have the death of John McCarthy, creator of the LISP programming language.

I had known that blue-screen technology had been largely replaced by green-screen technology, but I’d never known why. Now I do.

It sounds to me like this guy is a jackass.

Sure, kids will be able to make their own toys with this, but I’m not sure how much of a positive step it is. After all, kids have always been able to make their own toys; this is just a high-tech method. That’s not to say I wouldn’t want one, though.

This is worrisome. The Yellowstone supercaldera is closer to me, though.

You knew it had to come to this someday.

Does a zombie apocalypse change your criteria for who to date?

Speaking of zombies, this is some pretty effective makeup. At the last wedding I attended, the bride could have made good use of it.

Your underwear-fu must be strong to wear these.

I love candy corn. I’ll have to try this recipe.

I like H. P. Lovecraft’s writings, and they’ve apparently had some effect on me. Recently, I watched this documentary on his life, which I found to be quite interesting.

These are interesting photos of the progress made cleaning up after the tsunami in Japan.

I have to admit, I don’t understand how this works. Not that that’s unusual, or anything.

Somewhere, I have a button that reads, “I don’t need a weapon. I have a banjo.” It’s a paraphrase from a novel. I’ve never had anything quite like this happen to me, though.

I’ll bet that her mother has definitely had better days. Speaking as a father, I must say that this is one of the nightmares that parents of girls have, even if they know their daughter would never do such a thing.

My unsophisticated palate

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Last night, for the first time, I did a side-by-side taste test of batches 68 and 70 of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. Each batch is supposed to be pretty similar, but not necessarily identical. I couldn’t tell any difference between them, so I guess that’s a test I’ll have to repeat. Probably several times. At least.

Technology just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Tunesday 4

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Personal musical history today.

“Hot Smoke and Sassafras” by The Bubble Puppy was a big hit when I was in high school down in the San Antonio area. I hadn’t realized how regional the song’s popularity was until some years later, when I was only able to find one other person among my friends and acquaintances who’d ever heard of it.

It was their only big hit, and they played it when they were inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame this year.

When I was in the Navy and stationed in Connecticut in the late 1970s, some friends turned me on to Renaissance. I really loved their music, so I bought every LP of theirs that was available, and then some. That’s right, I picked up a Renaissance LP that they hadn’t recorded – there was another group trying to use the name, and after I bought the LP, I discovered that the liner notes stated that they couldn’t use the name anymore. Ah, well. My friends saw the group in concert in NYC, but as I recall, I couldn’t go that weekend.

Renaissance had a distinctive sound; Annie Haslam, the lead singer, was operatically trained, and they would sometimes perform and record with a backing orchestra. Some of their music borrows from classical music, as well. For example, they borrow from Debussy’s The Sunken Cathedral here.

I liked their longer pieces a lot. I can recall listening to this one while driving wooded back roads at night.

Bonnie Raitt was starting to make it big around that time, and I loved listening to this song when it came on the radio.

When I was in the West Indies with the US Navy (my last duty station before I left the Navy), we had a few LPs available to play in the watch area. One of them was “Now We Are Six,” by Steeleye Span. This was my favorite tune on the LP.

Because of that LP and one a friend stationed there with me let me tape from a Canadian band called Barde, I started to get into Celtic-flavored music and picked up a Lindisfarne LP. The only song I can name off it is this one.

My musical tastes started to really diversify around that time, but I don’t want this post to get any longer, so I’ll leave it for another time.

You can’t spell ‘diet’ without ‘die’

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

… or something like that. I enjoy watching Man vs. Food and Bizarre Foods. I wouldn’t participate in any of the food challenges in the first show (although, thirty or so years ago, I might have), nor would I eat some of the things Andrew Zimmern does.

Thus, my discomfort with the following news stories:

Two people were taken to a hospital after competing in a restaurant’s spicy chilli (sic) challenge – one of them twice.

An Australian man ate two garden slugs on a dare. I imagine he thought they were probably similar to escargot. He’s been in the hospital for a month so far as a result, but they do expect him to live.

Related articles, without the potential for immediate death, include:

A British TV chef has stated that eating pork is the moral equivalent of eating puppies. I’m not sure that I disagree with him, but I will state that I find most puppies to be cuter than most piglets, which is probably why I have qualms about eating dog meat that I don’t have with eating pork. Then again, I’ll eat rabbit, even after having had rabbits as household pets.

And, some scientists are claiming that many plants, including such things as potatoes, ought to be classified as carnivorous plants.

Tunesday 3

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I ran into this version of the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor over at Theo Spark (main site probably NSFW), and thought it was pretty fun. My daughter reacts to it like fingernails on blackboard, though.

I thought about finding other pieces performanced on glass harp, or perhaps on glass harmonium, to use as my theme for the day, but I decided to look for some other performances of the Toccata, instead. I thought about looking for a performance by Virgil Fox on the Royal Albert Hall pipe organ (my favorite performance), but decided to go instead for some less usual instruments as the theme.

I was glad to find a performance by the California Guitar Trio – I’ve got one of their CDs, which has a very nice performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

The next one I found was this version. There’s a lot of accordion music I don’t care for, but I do like some. Specifically, I have a fondness for French accordion music of the type I associate with sidewalk cafes. This isn’t that type of music, of course.

I’d never imagined a trombone quartet as a viable instrumental group, but this Costa Rican group does fairly well with the music.

And, finally, just for sheer off-the-wall splendor, here’s a visually impressive performance on Zeusaphone:

And how is your daughter, Dr. Rappaccini?

Friday, October 7th, 2011

I thought of Hawthorn’s story the moment I read this.

Via Ghost of a Flea.

Tunesday 2

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

I haven’t done this in about a month, so … let’s go with a drinking theme today. First, a song that’s more generically about drinking, rather than a specific drink:

Here’s a nice song about something I don’t drink (I do drink Scotch, but not with soda):

I have the “Nighthawks at the Diner” LP, and figured this would be a good one to include:

I’m used to hearing this from Dean Martin, so I thought this would be a little different:

Somewhat interesting, but a little too self-indulgent for my tastes:

And, we’ll finish with something a little lighter: