Friday, August 31, 2007

Only 116 Shopping Days Left!


What a gorgeous morning! Once again I decided to soak in the dawn from the one and only Adirondack that chair that sits on my front porch. I've got no great view to speak of, just a quiet road and tons of trees. I can see my scrubby front yard and gravel driveway plus a neighbor's driveway and mailbox not too far away. Squirrels rummage here and there. On a more interesting day a moose would stroll through. Today just a peaceful quiet stillness punctuated by the smell of someone nearby using their wooden stove overnight into the early a.m. hours. Oh, the weather outside is far from frightful, but the first snowfall isn't far away. Earlier marked the first morning this summer that I had to put on pants for lounging outside. Actually if I was out on a hike or a run there'd've been no need for pants -- 43°F (6°C) with shorts and the right layered up top is so completely doable. But when just sitting and not moving around, and even with hot coffee, shorts would make me freeze. To me it was strange putting on them pants when for all summer long it's been nothing but shorts. The time is here for the darn chilly mornings and I suspect pants'll be the clothes order of the day much more frequently.

One thing's for sure about this weather -- it makes listening to the following a whole lot more appropriate... almost. Seeing how Christmas is a long time away and it's still actually summer, it's not exactly the season for St. Nick and Jingle Bells. But the cold weather sure makes it feel like it!







Harry Connick, Jr.


When My Heart Finds Christmas

1993





Sleigh Ride

When My Heart Finds Christmas
(It Must've Been Ol') Santa Claus
The Blessed Dawn Of Christmas Day
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
The Little Drummer Boy
Ave Maria
Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers
What Child is This?
Christmas Dreaming
I Pray On Christmas
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
O Holy Night
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

The more I listen to this, the more I like it! Still it remains uneven, bouncing from one kind of sound to another. That kind of got to me at first but it's alright considering each tune's got some nice holiday charm. Connick's big band swing sound is prevalent on many numbers. He's also got the Sinatra sound down pat harking right back to beautiful numbers of the 40's and 50's. What Child Is This? has much more of a traditional Christmas song sound as does O Holy Night... after it gets past its booming John Williams Boston Pops film score kind of opening. The original songs here even have been able to grow on me. One of them, I Pray On Christmas, has an old timey Gospel spiritual feel while The Blessed Dawn Of Christmas Day once again goes for the traditional carol sound. There's also fun here with a not very often heard Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers and children backing up Rudolph.

It took me some time to be able to really enjoy all of the album all the way through, from one sound to another and to another... but I'm glad I got it. On a cold and snowy day in December with the smell of freshly baked cookies in the house... or cabin, I can imagine this getting a spin and making it really feel like Christmas.





Thursday, August 30, 2007

once again -- close...

Zero Day, Zero Day. Zero Day.

Nada. Zip. ZILCH!

Life is grand. Yeah, so swell.

· Yesterday -- another day without going out on the trail.

· Today -- another day without going out on the trail.

So not ready to start running yet. And no hike.

Two more bloody days I'm sidelined.

Two more dang days on top of the 17 trillion sidelined days already this year. Yippie-Ki-Ay. Makes me oh so joyful to know I'm sittin' around allowing my health to deteriorate by not getting any significant exercise whatso-freakin'-ever. I should just go the doctor's office and ask them to give me diabetes right now, just get it over with. Because of this stoopid tibia fracture I've got 16 extra pounds to lose, 16 pounds gained from not being able to hike and run. My cholesterol's more than likely gone up. My cardiovascular system has fallen into a near state of disrepair, it seems... I might as well be smoking again. This is all depressing as hell. I'm not about to go Owen Wilson myself... it basically only sucks when I dwell on it like oh, right now whilst I ramble away, ramble, ramble, ramble because if I hit the trail I'll just freakin' do damage again and be set back even more than I have been.

So, I spend MORE time allowing this darn bone to heal, more time like so many other average Americans sitting on their ass getting unhealthy.

More Zilchness. Yay.

a constructive title this post will not have

The Thursday Threesome

::Over the Rainbow::

Onesome: "Over-- the Rainbow" Has someone 'Somewhere' done the song better than Judy Garland did in the movie? ...or does she still 'own' it in your opinion?
Judy Garland does it just fine in the movie...
but outside of the movie men are not supposed to listen to Judy Garland.

For a listen, all of these all have done the song just fine and dandy:
Tori Amos, Victoria Williams, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson,
Faith Hill, Martina McBride,
Papa John Creach, David Grisman,
Maceo Parker, Frank Sinatra, Rob Wasserman

Twosome: the-- best all time album in your collection? ...or one you'd like to have? Sure, the Go-Gos count, but hey...
I absolutely hate naming favorites or what's the "best" of anything especially music and movies. There is no best because best is subjective. But for the sake of playing along I'll say U2's The Joshua Tree is a great (non GD-related) album that I own. I don't physically own many albums but The Joshua Tree is a Can't Leave Home Without When Going On A Long Roadtrip CD.


Threesome: Rainbow"?--
As sung by Billy Ray Cyrus? (Yes, on his latest album.) Who has done the best "cover" of a song you like to listen to? You know, better than the original artist...
Any non-Grateful Dead written tune that they've done is better than the original whether it's Dylan or The Beatles. Methinks so. And that, for the most part, carried over to Ratdog and Phil & Friends, as well.

Morning Movie


This [rather than using the b-word, which I very much despise, I'll call this a website] seems to have immensely distracted me from movie watching lately. 241 days have gone by this year and I think I've seen only less than a 100 movies. Slow pace. Very slow pace. Oh well. In any case, I sat and watched one this morning.

Been many years since I've last seen this. So many movies, because of how friggin' mediocre or downright bad they are, I essentially forget about pretty much as soon as they're over. But this film is one that has always stayed with me in some small way. And with this viewing it was even more powerful.



Alamo Bay

1985

Starring: Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Ho Nguyen

Directed by: Louis Malle





In the years following the Vietnam War, to get away from the evils of Communism, many refugees fled all the way from their homeland to the mostly free United States. While this wonderful nation is so messed up, at least people here have a chance to thrive. The gulf coast of Texas was, and still is to this day, a great source of income from fishing the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Many Vietnamese made their living from the sea so this part of Texas was ideal for them.

Ho Nguyen, in his first of only two movies, plays one such refugee, Dinh, who happily makes his way to Alamo Bay where many of his people are. Glory (Amy Madigan) is working hard for her dad who owns one of the bigger shrimping operations on the bay. Many of the newly local Vietnamese work for her much to the dismay of other local Texans, Vietnam Vets included. They feel threatened by the foreigners who are taking their jobs, in some cases, and putting a dent in their fishing business.

Ed Harris plays one of the vets who has the loudest voice of them all. If he had his way, all the "gooks" would either be gone or dead. While frightened, the refugees just want the same chance as everyone else and they aren't all giving in so easily. And when getting rid of them is tougher than you planned on what do you do? Bring in the Ku Klux Klan, of course -- sheets, rifles, effigy burnings and all.

The film is somewhat slow moving but the tension keeps getting racheted up all the way through. What transpires is shocking, disgusting, sad, and not entirely just a fictious story. This is all Inspired by Actual Events that took place along the coast of Texas. The KKK was alive and well with good ol' boys opposing (legal) immigrants who just wanted a chance to work hard and live free. Malle's storytelling here has left me almost speechless. Light is shed on a very ugly part of the fabric that makes up American culture. The viewer is clearly shown senseless abuse of others because of the simple fact that they're different. Any American seeing this film should feel shame and horror and sadness and be left with a stronger connection to the injustice of human rights abuses that still exist in the world today.

It's hard to believe human beings would treat other human beings with such extreme condemnation. It's certainly not justified in God's great and holy name... but without God then I suppose it's okay. Without love and respect for Christ then everything is okay. All one has to do is live within the bounds of the law made by courts and politicians... or just not get caught. So I guess then that human rights abuses such as murder can be justified as okily dokily to the person who wishes to do the lynching so long as God doesn't exist.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Some Literally Cool Tunes


Yet again without a hike or a run in my day, I've gotta find a little time to give a good listen to something. Decided to just sit on my front porch at dawn this morning and do nothing except have this playing in my ears while sippin' on my coffee. And dang it's gettin' cold! At 47°F (8°C,) without moving around it's almost too chilly for shorts but the coffee and fleece jacket helped. Back in Jersey there were mornings when I'd be surfing on this day! Summer was not over, close, but with school never starting until a day or two after Labor Day, there'd still be a week or so of the beach remaining. Fleece was unheard of in August! I LOVE this!! Seeing my breath when I breathe, yeah, very cool. I'd trade the unbelievable awesomeness of Alaska to move back to Jersey in a freakin' heartbeat... but while I'm still living here, whether that's for a year, five years, or the next 107 years, I'll enjoy it. I suspect there'll be a snowfall within 2 weeks... and most definitely snow permanently on the ground before mid-October so mornings like this before the deep-freeze are mucho welcomed!





Joe Jackson

Look Sharp!

1979, debut






One More Time
Sunday Paper
Is She Really Going Out With Him?
Happy Loving Couples
Throw It Away
Baby Stick Around
Look Sharp!
Fools In Love
(Do The) Instant Mash
Pretty Girls
Got The Time
Don't Ask Me
You Got The Fever


Best album ever! Well, maybe not the best ever (definitely the best I've listened to this morning!) but su-freakin'-perb all the way through! Probably anyone over 30 who's listened to a lot of classic radio knows Is She Really Going Out With Him? and maybe Fools In Love, but without giving this a listen people are missing an incredible British post-punk album. From Portsmouth, Joe Jackson is very much in the same category as Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, The Pretenders and maybe even The Police. Jackson's vocal stylings add a unique touch in places while the sound overall ranges from kind of new wave to even reggae-ish to almost pure punk on a handful of songs, approaching and touching but not diving all the way in. Coming that close gives this a sweet knife edge while staying clear away from foofy electronic gayness. Pretty much every song just drips cool. I mean, look at the shoes on the album cover... ha ha, okay, maybe that doesn't exemplify cool beyond about 1980, I'm guessing, but this collection of tunes works so well today as I'm sure it did when the album was certified Gold back in '79.

192 kbps dload over --> this way

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

more more more oh joy

Yesterday: did not get on the trail.
another day to rest and heal my tibia.

Another freakin' day.

Today: another freakin' day not on the trail.

Tis not even noon yet but there's no way I'm a goin' out today.

Nope.

Another freakin' day o' rest.

Oh joy.

So desperately do I wanna get out to run. I can almost feel my healthy deteriorating as each friggin' day goes by.

And with lingering pain I'm unsure about even short hikes of only 90 minutes or so. If I'm unsure of short hikes then I'm really unsure about running. I feel like I'll never run again. That's almost okay with me but I love how running makes me feel, I love the healthy benefits of. Hiking alone doesn't get the heart rate up enough or keep the heart healthy like running does.

So basically I sit here feeling screwed. Oh joy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

ugh

Another rest/injury day due to reaggravation of my stoopid tibia.

Couple weeks away from a run. No hike.

Shoot.

this week went faaast!


Already time for this Sunday meme again!

Unconscious Mutterings

a free association game -- I say ... and you think ... ?


1. Uneven :: Not the same

2. Wonder
:: Bread


3. Spider
:: Man


4. Emma
:: no comment or, Jane Austen

5. Swing
:: bridge

6. Orbit
:: William

7. Flirt
:: Provacative talk to either let someone know you're interested in them or to just tease the living crud out of them when you have no intention whatsoever of hooking up.

8. Donation
:: Why not find a charity you've never heard of (or one you know and love) and make one as soon as you're done reading this?
Just go here -> www.networkforgood.org and look for what moves you, click, read, click, and make a donation even if it's just a couple bucks!

9. Veil
:: bride

10. Atmosphere
:: Earth

LunaNina.com... Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Oi, or Hiking and the Damage Done?


Tings no lookin' good, mon.


I meant for today to be a very simple day of rest,
not yet ready to start running yet, and no hike.

A second rest day in a row will be a good thing.

But I've been hurting.

My tibia feels like I've regressed about two weeks to where
there's minor pain when stepping forward in just the right way.

And when pressing down with a fingertip
right at the point of fracture -- OUCH!

Not good.

I was looking forward to another short rehab hike
at dawn tomorrow morning.

Now that's in jeopardy. Well, I could go, no problem... sort of no problem.
Easily I could head down the trail for an hour, turn around and come back...
the pain probably wouldn't be bad, might even seem to dissipate completely.

But what damage would I do?

Ohhh, maaaan. I thought I was in the clear.

I think what I really am is back to closely monitoring
and taking extra days to heal just to be cautious.

Once again -- this blows.

Is it Bruuuuce or is it Dead?


Since this most definitely still is very much a hiking and running [b-word,] I must report that yesterday was a day of rest -- not ready to run yet and no hike.

Out on the AT or CDT or PCT, would be goin' 5 or 6 or 7 days a week. But hey, on a long distance hiking trail I am not. Plus I've gotta make sure this leg sees no additional damage and finishes healing up as beautiful as can be.

Now how about a little music to finish off the night? Morning? 1 to 2:00 a.m. is technically morning. Isn't it? Doesn't morning officially start at midnight? Or is there a grey area?

In any case... I have been wanting to hear this particular show for years!

Bruce Hornsby 4-12-96
The Fillmore
S.F., CA


Spider Fingers
(Tighten Up) (First There Is A Mountain),
White-Wheeled Limousine,
Tango King, Talk Of The Town
(So What), Hot House Ball,
Stranded On Easy Street,
Every Little Kiss,
Rainbow's Cadillac
(Shaft Theme),
Cruise Control, China Doll

Pastures Of Plenty,
Down The Road Tonight
The Valley Road,
Sugaree,
On The Western Skyline

When I Paint My Masterpiece,
Jack Straw,
Truckin'

Turn On Your Lovelight
Not Fade Away

Encore: The Weight

First thing to say is -- holy crap and glory hallelujah! If certain places on this planet could be labeled as Heaven On Earth, the Fillmore on this night over 11 years ago 5,000% most definitely qualified!! Same deal right here tonight in 2007. Did I say holy crap yet?

It wasn't very far into Spider Fingers before knowing it was time to dance! The ensemble on stage is so tight and so blistering at times. At over 10 minutes, that was one heckuva way to start the show! Bruce didn't know how hot the Fillmore can get and he had to do a shirt change before the next song. (Actually wasn't for a couple years after this when I was first there but I remember sweatin' my ass off for Ratdog and Phil & Friends.) I imagine the backstage crew even set up an electric fan or two for Bruce to stay cool.

The show beautifully meandered on from there. I am no expertise on the catalog of music from this other Bruuuuuce, but in this Deadhead's ears, he played some fun music and outright jazzy and jamming at times. Without Jerry on guitar throughout Pastures Of Plenty, Bruce seemed to be channeling his dearly departed friend for a little inspiration to make the song flow here and there like any great Dead jam does. Outstanding! The same can almost be said for The Valley Road... while Jerry didn't originally played on that sort of early Hornsby tune, Bruce in this era of musicmaking surely could extend that basic song into a 10 or 12 minute jammed out crowd pleaser. It could've ended the show it was so great!

But this night wasn't over yet! Haha... far from it!

Bruce starts up Sugaree and is playing it gorgeously, a great tribute to Jerry and midway through out walks a special guest, a close and dear friend, one Mr. Bob Weir. What a freakin' moment! The crowd wouldn't shut up, they couldn't quite down, not only was Bobby jamming Sugaree with Bruce, the song was hitting an incredible fevered pitch just moments after he came out.

And here I am listening to this show for the second time in the past 48 hours and I'm not embarrassed to say, there are tears in my eyes asSugaree comes to end. Why? Contextualize this, okay... Jerry had died the summer before, just 9 months ago. Here in San Francisco, at the Fillmore, is Bobby on stage with Bruce, his former bandmate, playing together for the very first time since the Dead were in D.C. at RFK on June 24th, I believe, a couple weeks before Jerry's last show. This is a darn great moment.

Bruce's On The Western Skyline came next. The Dead never played this one and I wish after Sugaree they'd done another GD tune here but eh, with Hornsby on accordian and Bobby adding some interesting lead guitar (in his own style,) it wasn't bad. Masterpiece with Bruce on vocals was interesting. But it wasn't long before he got Bobby to take over the singing and he obliged. The song had almost a cajun feel to it and wasn't quite at the same speed and rhythm Bobby was used to with the Dead and continuing with Ratdog, but the professional musician he is, twas not a problem.

Two numbers with the accordian was enough and with Bruce back on piano the band started up a familiar tune -- Jack Straw. It would be almost two years before Bobby busted this one out Ratdog style so this was the first time since last summer for him. This version of Hornsby's band had no guitar player so again it was quite interesting hearing Bobby on guitar. He knew all his rhythm parts but he tried to fill in some lead as well. No, he wasn't trying to be Jerry or to take the place of Jerry or anything like that, just doin' his own thing. And the end result -- they smoked it! I got up, I danced my ass off like I hadn't since Spider Fingers and yeah, again some tears. This was great... and bittersweet, too.

What a great way to end the show! But wait, there's more!

"Ladies and Gentlemen -- Phil Lesh." Okay, well, I knew it was coming but really, this night gets better?! Just hearing him warm up that bass of his was awesome in itself! And the song they launched into is one of the most popular Dead songs ever, but could it get any better than this? After Jerry, probably not. So this was amazing! Seriously, Bobby, you can play lead guitar that well?! HOLY CRAP!!! No way. Way! No, he's not Clapton or Hendrix or even Garcia up there but for a few moments he shines like Garcia never needed to exist. BLASPHEMY and yes, I'm just kidding! Anyway, when the Furthur Festival rolls around a couple months after this show, Bobby does Truckin' a good handful of times during the Encore Jam at the end of the show but like Jack Straw, this is the first time post-GD. What a long strange trip it's been indeed but the music lives even if Jerry's gone. The wound is still fresh, and even if many Deadheads thought it was over, these guys clearly wanna keep the music alive.

And that theme just keeps going with the next songs. Both Lovelight and NFA are tunes, yet again, not played since the previous summer. Freakin' sweet. I'm really now at a lack of words because these three guys jamming NFA is just delicious, awesome, great, groovy, splendid, bitchin', gnarly, kick-ass, Heavenly. Phil's rockin' that bass and Bobby not just bein' Bobby but the guitar he adds is, well, it's just interesting and I've gotta use that word once more -- bittersweet. It's very cool what he adds but it's where something's missing. Still while there's sadness there's also the joy of this music being played. Bruce, Bobby & Phil -- reunited and it sounds so good!!

The Weight for the encore is just the perfect capper. Not a Dead song but a much-loved GD encore for many years. It gives all three guys a chance to be heard singing and for them to join together for the last verse just like they have many times before. As it comes to and end I've got tears in my eyes again.

It was a monster blowout of a Bruce Hornsby show at just over 2½ hours. The last almost 1 hour was a seminal moment in this post-Jerry age. For the first time since the days of Jerry's funeral and memorial, these three guys got together and made some great music on this night in San Francisco. There's no doubt that the crowd at the Fillmore left that place as exhilarated as I feel now. If life was about music then this would be king and my world would be nothing less than incredible. Above the greatness that spilled forth and filled me with all sorts of tingly good feeling, one other word needs to be said and related to the music I just experienced... and that word to describe what this night musically really was, and is -- special.


Bruce, Bobby & Phil -- Thank You, for a real good time!




MUSIC NOTE Courtesy of SugarMegs.org MUSIC NOTE
(it's all in one long .wma file)
Listen to 4/12/96 Here
and/or right click and
Save 4/12/96 Here

**** CLICK HERE TO GET TO A FRESH UPLOAD ****




Friday, August 24, 2007

a lil' sumtin sumtin fer friday, yo


Appetizer
Say there’s a book written about your life. Who would you want to narrate the audio version?

Daffy Duck


Soup
Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence. (Example: Perhaps every avenue needs understanding today.)

Mandy ate candy and drank ammonia Monday in Amchitka.

Salad
If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose?

1960's probably. Summer of Love. Haight Ashbury.
Killer Grateful Dead shows!

Main Course
Name a song that brings back memories for you.

Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
...ahhh, the Jersey Shore!



Dessert

Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?

Uhh? Why wash in cold water when you have warm or hot water? The hotter it is the better it kills germs. And when it's cold you freakin' freeze your hands!

Friday's Feast

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Beautiful Time On The Trail Tonight!

2nd Rehab Hike

A little more time out there tonight: 1 hour & 32 minutes

Didn't get back until nearly 10:15 p.m. Still enough light in the northern sky to see the terrain underfoot. Slighly cool bordering on warm, about 66°F (19°C) when I left. Gulped down Gatorade before leaving and gulped more the second I got back but again I took no water -- I like pushing myself a little. Had it been 85 or higher, yeah, water would be needed but for 90 minutes at this temp, no big whoop.

Went a little further tonight before turning around. Much aching in both calves. I do believe there was more aching in my calves than from the tibia fracture.

Unfortunately I have no confidence to run yet because of lingering minor pain but I'm itching to. Originally I figured on two weeks. We'll see. The blister hot spots from my 1st hike got way red and huge this time. Oww. Hurts worse than any aching and worse than my tibia. Am so looking forward to my feet being used to my heavy boots again. All in good time a blister'll be a rare thing again. Won't have beautifully smooth gorgeous looking feet but I'll be able to enjoy blister-free hiking!

Bottomline -- just awesome to be out there! Such a short little hike but tonight and my hike a couple days ago, combined for just over 3 hours, is more time on the trail than I've had in just about 10 freakin' weeks! Crickey! So, this is most definitely a good thing.




Sarah McLachlan

Touch

1988, debut




Out Of The Shadows
Vox
Strange World
Trust
Touch
Streaming
Sad Clown
Uphill Battle
Ben's Song
Vox (Extended Version)


Back in 1994 I remember first hearing Sarah McLachlan for the first time. When her single, Possession, became a hit outside of Canada, eh, that's when most people heard her for first time. I loved that song and it eventually got me to buy the CD it's on, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, which I owned for awhile, back before the days of selling off my collection for money surely to be used for nefarious purposes. Pretty cool album as I recall. Several years before that, this Halifax, Nova Scotia native, relocated to Vancouver, started her rise to national prominence in Canada with this debut album.

At only 19 years old at the time, she doesn't quite have the intensity in her voice that she would have later on. The sound overall is quite varied from almost Celtic-ish in Touch, quirky and uneven in some songs, beautifully flowing in Ben Ben's Song, to a little darker and with a more alternative feel. There's a feeling almost of bubblegum pop in one song, Vox, which almost makes me dismiss the whole work as not worth listening to. Thankfully that's just one song and that pukey poppiness sound isn't prevalent throughout.

This isn't a stellar debut by any means. Only 1 or 2 songs really have a great sound to them, methinks. I'm glad I listened to it but not so sure I ever will again.

192 kbps dload located over yonder --> here abouts

It's Thursday already?!!??!!?!

The Thursday Threesome

::Calculators may not be Used::

Onesome: Calculators--
and such: are you good with numbers? Do you have a calculator built in? ...or does the presence of a second column demand some help from something electronic?
In my head I can't easily multiply 134 x 27 but 125 x 7 is very easily doable. Division? 125 ÷ 7 is easy but 4921 ÷ 394 a lot less so. Pretty much any addition or subtraction is easy. With bigger stuff I'll often use a calculator just 'cause it's sometimes faster. But basically math's not too hard unless it's like square roots and crap then seriously, I don't care.

Twosome: may not be-- where you left them. Hmmm... What have you misplaced lately? You know: the item you are flat positive you left in one spot but somehow mysteriously migrated to another!
My head, I can't find it and it's been about a week and a half now. I took it off for routine maintenance but it's gone. Maybe I'll find it, maybe not.

Threesome: Used-- cars? When you buy, do you buy new? ...or do you go for those with a few thousand miles on them?
I would never buy a new car. Never. Ever. Well, maybe. Most likely not. For the most part, I don't like new cars. No individuality. When you can walk into a full arena parking lot or (God forbid) a mall parking lot, or some similar large parking lot, you know, with lots and lots of cars, if there's a big chance there'll be another make and model in the same color of my car, then that's not a car I want. The only new car I'd buy would be a Porsche or Ferrari but my conscience couldn't really allow me to make such a purchase considering both cars, while GORGEOUS, are ridiculously not needed. No expensive car is needed. I can respect someone's need for reliable transportation but there's no true need to spend on a BMW or a Mercedes or Hummer. That's just a selfish want and consumer excess like that is disgusting. Expensive cars are usually pretty freakin' nice but what's nicer is driving something modest and donating money to charities that work to help ease some of the damn suffering that people face every single day in this world. Driving a shiny new Jaguar helps starving children how?

In any case, I've had the same 1973 VW since 1996 and the same 1995 Ford Bronco since 2000. I probably won't get anything else for years to come and when I do it'll be something from last century, without a doubt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rest - Mets - Yee Haw


N
o run. No hike -- just a day of rest. After yesterday's monumental 80 minutes on the trail, I'm a little freakin' achy! But wasn't it just a simple hike? My first in 10 weeks... not exactly in shape, I am, and used to being out there so my body's gotta adjust. I truly could've gone out today but eh, I'm goin' with the belief that this day of rest will do more good than two days in a row so soon.

Mets were on TV again this afternoon (3 o'clock on ESPN... normal 7 p.m. NY time.) Gotta watch my Mets every time I can! I'm definitely not a nutty fanatic, I don't check league stats daily or collect memorabilia, couldn't tell ya what David Wright's batting average is or how many home runs Delgado has, but I love the Mets. No longer living in the NY area and unable to see every game kinda sucks. I could pay for the cable tv Major League Baseball Extra Innings to see every game, or pay to watch 'em on the internet, but nah, with access to nearly every game from every team, that would be overkill! But since the Mets are the only team I positively give a darn about (vs. negatively giving a darn about the Atlanta Braves who I hope lose every game ever) it's cool that I get to see 'em on national TV quite often. A lot of teams don't get national coverage like the Mets so I'm glad I'm not an Orioles fan, or a fan of so many teams that only a handful of national games while the Mets get dozens! But unfortunately tonight they lost. A valiant effort was made in the bottom of the 9th but it fell short. At least Atlanta & Philly lost too. And as disappointing as every loss is, only 1 team in the National League is hotter over the past 10 games... and the Mets are still the best N.L. team percentage-wise.

And they're on ESPN again Sunday night (well, 4 p.m. in Alaska.)



Donna Fargo

The Happiest Girl
In The Whole U.S.A.

1972, debut album



The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A.
You Can't Be A Beacon (If Your Light Don't Shine)
Superman
U.S. of A.
Funny Face
I'll Try A Little Bit Harder
You Were Always There
Whatever I Say
Little Girl Gone
Don't Be Angry

This is by far not a usual selection for me. I'm not even sure how the heck I even found out this woman existed. She might been named on the Allmusic entry for Lynn Anderson who I listened to earlier this year. (And I'm not even sure how I found her name! Maybe one of the times I've spent a few minutes on Music Choice's Classic Country channel.)

From the same hometown as Andy Griffith, Mount Airy, North Carolina, Donna Fargo was the 1972 and 1973 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year. Hey, not bad. She also won some Grammy Awards but everyone should know those don't really mean anything. Ms. Fargo didn't have a huge career but this album (and her sophomore effort as well) made it to #1 on the country music charts. I guess back in this era she was pretty big. Maybe not a Tammy Wynette and most definitely not a Loretta Lynn... but this kind of success puts her up there.

One thing that stands out about this music is it really is not timeless at all. There's no way Martina McBride, or whoever else is hot in country right now, could sound like this in the 21st century. The fact that it's not like today is possibly what appeals most to me. Not that today's country music is bad, a lot of it's pretty good, but it's often not close to pure country as much of this is. Hearing a lot of these songs really makes my urge to move to Texas kick in, and not in the suburbs of a big city. Country livin' -- cowboy boots and country bars with country bands, jukeboxes with Strait, Willie & George Jones, and men crying in their beer... not that this Donna Fargo album is crying in beer music, per say, but you'd see that in the bars I envision. Texas away from the city where men drive pickups and have dogs and go huntin'.

Of course right after moving to live in such a place, I'd still be me, the one time hippie, mountain climbing, backpacking, outsider from New Jersey in his VW bus. So maybe Texas ain't for me but sometimes, when listening tunes like this, it feels like it.

192 kbps dload found over at DeaconBlues's place

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So, This Is What Hiking Is? or, I'm Back, Baby!



My First Rehab Hike!

Short hike but still a little longer
than I expected to be out there:
1 hour & 20 minutes


Way early in the morning, left before 6 a.m. Overcast. Wet.
Wonderfully chilly, 52°F (11°C), long sleeve hiking shirt needed.

Back, cleaned up and resting. Twas unbelievably strange earlier when getting ready to go. Hiking shorts -- first time in more than two months! Not that I haven't worn shorts in two months, I wear 'em everyday! But my hiking shorts have been sitting untouched and to put on a pair was a weird feeling, in a way. Same deal with the hiking shirt, onto sock liners, lightweight Smartwool socks, then finally lacing up my hiking boots. Vaguely familiar yet... an odd feeling since it's been so, so long.

Three minutes or so out the door and I stepped onto the trail for the first time in forever, it seems. Itching itching itching to go meant there was no way I could take it at a slow pace, had to cruise just as swiftly as usual.

Fracture Status: pain twice, both times a very quick jolt lasting a mere split second. That was about it.

Frustration: blisters. Couple of hot spots that I hadn't counted on but it makes perfect sense since I haven't been in my boots for quite awhile. What's great is the blister pain was worse than pain from the so close to fully healed stress fracture in my tibia. Blister pain wasn't really bad, hardly distracted me at all. After a dozen hikes or so my skin will be all used to those spots rubbing and I'll be done with that problem. Once I started running in a couple weeks maybe, I'll have to get used to slightly different spots in my running shoes but no big whoop.

Bottomline: while there's still times of super-minor discomfort at the point of the fracture, the 80 minutes on the trail in hiking boots seemed to have done NO harm whatsoever! I hope.

Basically: I was so stoked to get back out there. Couple o' times I took the deepest breath of beautifully chilly Alaska air, almost completely blissed out by something so simple but something that's been missing... well, it's not like I haven't deeply breathed in Alaska air in the past almost 70 days but seemingly forever now it hasn't been done in hiking boots feeling free on a trail like I was earlier.

Tomorrow: a day of rest that will only be rest but I do believe that I'm done bein' injured. No more! I'm not exactly 100% healed yet but I think it's safe to have these short hikes... and if I'm wrong then LOL HAHA [nervous laugh] yeah, that'll be bad but we'll see.




Caedmon's Call

Long Line of Leavers

2000






Only One
Love Is Different
Prepare Ye The Way
Prove Me Wrong
Mistake Of My Life
Masquerade
What You Want
Valleys Fill First
Can't Lose You
Love Alone
Dance
Piece Of Glass
Dance
Ballad Of San Francisco


Nice album of music. First time I've ever Pressed Play on anything by these guys from Houston, Texas. This is their third major album but actually their ninth total release since about 1997, I think. Their sound is, uhh, for the most part kind of... not soft rock but folky-adult alternativey. A wide range of sounds is present from lots of horns to quiet to lots of bongos and percussion but never loud with any kind of edge to it. One song approaches that territory, in fact, is completely there... except they had an orchestra in the background. Without that it would've been stripped down and really sweet. There's definitely great writing throughout. And while there are plain and clear biblical references or talking to God in almost every song, the lyrics aren't overly preachy, at least not that I could hear during a first listen. A couple of tunes do not even touch the subject.

I'd certainly listen to this again, it's good stuff, and I'm gonna check out their other albums eventually, but unfortunately this isn't my favorite cup of tea by any means. Love the message in the songs but I only liked most of the music, not really loved it.

320 kbps dload over yonder --> this a way

Monday, August 20, 2007

Whatever

Another day, another day.

Me no happy thinks me.

Why, after almost 10 weeks, why is there still slight aching?

Shouldn't a freakin' stress fracture in the tibia be healed already?

Well?!?!

Apparently not. Oh joy, oh joy.

Another day, another day.

Zilch Day 68, I do believe.

Certainly not ready to run. No hike either.

Oh joy, oh joy.

Monday Morning META

Tame Yourself, a benefit album for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ... featuring The B-52's, The Pretenders, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., members of The Go-Go's: Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin, Howard Jones, River Phoenix with his band Aleka's Attic, Erasure, Lene Lovich, Exene Cervenka, and more.I guess you don't have to be a vegan to support PETA. Probably don't even have to be a vegetarian. Afterall, God gave us animals to eat, right? They should be killed humanely, though. And we should always give thanks for the food we are blessed to eat while so many have nothing to eat at all.

But if you're Michael Vick then I suppose animals don't really mean much. Use 'em for fun by staging dog fights? Why not! Shouldn't they just be a spectacle as they viciously bite the hell and the life out of each other and make, literally, a bloody mess? Yeah! And gamble on 'em, what tremendous fun! Those that are losers, the weak ones, kill 'em, discard the carcass, go bury it out back somewhere and shhh, hush hush, no one's to know. No, wait, THAT'S NOT RIGHT, Michael Vick. Dumbass.

PETA may be pretty wacky and looney in some of the things they do but it can't be denied that they do some good in this world concerning the treatment of animals. Personally I believe its human souls and human suffering that needs to be addressed a trillion times over. But as a side-hobby, animal rights as well as environmental matters are good to care for too.

In any case, this morning I indulged in a little META:

M
usic for the Ethical Treatment of Animals...

Tame Yourself (album to benefit PETA) (front cover)Tame Yourself

An album to benefit
People for the
Ethical Treatment
of Animals


1991






256
kbps

Don't Be Part Of It -- Howard Jones
Tame Yourself -- Raw Youth
I'll Give You My Skin -- Michael Stipe & the Indigo Girls
Damned Old Dog -- k.d. lang
Quiche Lorraine (live) -- The B-52's
Slaves -- Fetchin' Bones
Born For A Purpose -- The Pretenders
Don't Kill The Animals ('91 Mix) -- Nina Hagen & Lene Lovich
Fur -- Jane Wiedlin
Asleep Too Long -- The Goosebumps
Rage -- Erasure & Lene Lovich
Bless The Beasts And Children -- Belinda Carlisle
Across The Way -- Aleka's Attic
Do What I Have To Do -- Exene Cervenka

Tame Yourself (album to benefit PETA) whole album @ 192 kbps
Tame Yourself

Some pretty cool tunes here. I'm most definitely not a fan of k.d. lang or the indigo girls so for me those two songs help make this not as good as it could be if I did like them. Hey, that's just me so oh well. And just 'cause this is a benefit for PETA, that doesn't mean everything here is animal-related. It's not. The song The Pretenders do could actually 100% qualify as a Christian music tune since it's about God. Other songs are clearly about animal rights while a few more one could associate the meaning of the song to animals. Interesting to hear River Phoenix and his band Aleka's Attic. Across The Way is one of their only songs to be released on CD since the dumbass OD'd and they never could finish up and release a record. The B-52's live is awesome! I guess there's nothing truly remarkable here (that's why it can be found in the bargin bin) but I like it, it's not bad. The best part is you don't even have to support PETA at all to listen.

Tame Yourself (album to benefit PETA) (rear insert)

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

 
Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated