Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So... was E.T. an Illegal Alien?

Oakland, New Jersey NJ · Hiking Time --- 2 hours 23 minutes

· Temperature: 28ºF (-2ºC)

· Trail Time in October -- 24 hours 6 minutes

____(starting Oct. 1)
· Weight Loss Goal -- 24 pounds (11 kg)
__________· So Far -- 7 lb.

7 pounds gone this month. Not bad but it was eight that I was hoping for. That means in November, with a day less than October, I've gotta do 9. Whew. All I've gotta do is lay OFF the ice cream and cheeseburgers... and not make any cookies. Or cannolis. An uphill battle but I did 7, I can do 9. Cooking with fresh ingredients and making ultra-healthy meals I do... almost every night but when I don't, that's when I really indulge. So I've gotta be more careful. Oh, and no popcorn? That means no movies and... and.... and no movies? Ugh.

Maybe I can do popcorn and not have to pass on a few of those cheeseburgers if I keep up with regular running and hikes like the one this morning.

Hit the trail, I did, just as the very first light was showing itself on the horizon. Each day that time is creeping ahead by minutes. Lately I hadn't even noticed that dawn's first light, on a morning without clouds, isn't until well after 8:00 a.m. In no time at all it'll be close to 9 a.m. and then first light will eventually creep all the way towards 10 in the morning. LOTS of darkness ahead.

In any case... it has been forever since I went out [for a hike] in the a.m. My hikes and runs, since getting back to this after my dang tibia fracture, they've been at the opposite end of the light of day. Straight through dusk is when I'm usually out there, right up until the sky is almost purely black. Today that's what it was when I started. But I turned around and came home no more than 4 minutes after getting out there.

False start.
Decided I needed some breakfast.
Mmmmm... pancakes!

Then off I was for a great hike on a relatively warm morning (for this time of year.) Same old trail, same old out and back but it was freedom and it was exercise. It was a time for some good music and a time for some good thinkin'. Same old trail, same old out and back but it sure beat being inside, sure beat sittin' gettin' fat, that's for sure!

Trail Tunes...

The Extra-Terrestrial

Music From The Original
Motion Picture Soundtrack

Music By John Williams (1982)

[1996 Digitally Remixed,
Remastered And Expanded Edition]

Far From Home/E.T. Alone
Bait For E.T.
The Beginning Of A Friendship
"I'm Keeping Him"
E.T.'s Powers
E.T. And Elliott Get Drunk
At Home
The Magic Of Halloween
Sending The Signal
Searching For E.T.
Invading Elliott's House
E.T. Is Dying
Losing E.T.
E.T. Is Alive!
Escape/Chase/Saying Goodbye
End Credits

I've said it before and I'll say it again, when it comes to classical music -- give me Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, etc? No way, José! Give me a film score composed and conducted by John Williams!! Those other guys I just can't get in to. I don't care how immensely genius they or their music might be considered to be. Just not my cup of tea. But a film score with a classical music kind of feel to it, I always seem to dig.

With E.T., John Williams weaves together non-stop drama, bringing the listener on nothing less than a ride full of ups, downs, and back up again with a few nearly scary twists and turns thrown in for good measure. Knowing the movie, I was able to recognize Unknowing, Discovery, Fright, Dark Times, Fun Times, Relief and Freedom.

Forgetting the movie even exists, the music here flows effortlessly along. These individual pieces -- beginning and ending, beginning and ending, over and over -- work as one giant composition. At times the beautiful orchestration is lush and loud enough to reverberate through your entire body. Other times you've almost got to bend your ear to listen, to hear the quiet instrumentation before Williams brings the music booming to life again. And through it all that same familiar E.T. theme emerges here and there to tie it all together.

I haven't heard each and every Williams film score but it would be a great guess that this is perhaps one of his best!

320 kbps dload right here
E.T. -- Part 1 ·· Part 2 -- E.T.

Also on the trail:
Rebecca St. James...

Here I Am
I Thank You Lord
Above All Things
True Love
We Don't Need It

Midweek Muttering

From day to day there's issue after issue I could rant about. A lotta people sit at home during the TV network's Primetime hours watching all those shows. What shows? Beats me, I don't watch (most of) 'em. For me: Sunday's got The Simpsons, Family Guy, and American Dad. Then during the weeknights there are a couple of half hour comedies that I might catch. Other than those few shows, it's mostly news and whatever. When something really grabs my attention, I'll often research it a little further online -- maybe I'll look for a little opinion by BOTH sides of an issue (gotta see what the looney left is sayin'!) but 95% of what I want is just the cold hard facts without any freakin' editorialized spin. (Unfortunately that's how so many people get their news that makes up their mind about things. Yeah, that's brilliant.)

But when it comes to this blog, it wasn't really my intention for there to be pessimistic rant after pessimistic rant in order to push my ideas on people. Hey, some of that from time to time is okay but this was just my log of hiking & running, music & movies, not too much more than that. And that's how I kinda wanna keep it, for the most part, on the simple and light side. Then yesterday that dillhole from the All The Republicans Are Bad/Liberal News That's Fit To Print NY Times really got me so ticked off that I posted a video of Islamo-fascists cutting the head off of an American citizen. Man, that brought me down, and I am deeply sorry for using that video to illustrate a point, but Republicans and conservative values in the White House is NOT more dangerous than people who want to destroy Israel and allow their extreme brand of Muslim extremism to cover this planet from pole to pole and 360 degrees around the equator. Bush's foreign policy is not the cause of that way of thinking. I don't know how it can be stopped but to ignore it in order to socialize America -- that ain't no answer.

So, while I don't want to ignore important matters, I just kinda wanna get back to havin' a little fun... and the following is fun for me so without furthur ado.....

Unconscious Mutterings
(from July 7, the week before I started doing this meme)

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

1. Happen :: stance -- a word that I can't recall ever using before.

2. Terribly ::
cold it is not yet. October has seen the temperature occasionally dip down to 0°F (-18C) and while that's fairly chilly, even bordering on a little bit cold, it's not terribly cold... yet. Stay tuned!

3. History ::
Class... I did not care for that too much in high school. I floated through averagely and if averagely isn't a word then who's to say it's not a word? Well? Anyway, I took a U.S. History class in college, have a friend who graduated the University of Utah with a degree in history but today he's the co-owner of a SCUBA shop and is a SCUBA instructor. Now talk about an entire college education for nothing! I LOVE IT! But anyway, anyway, I love reading about history nowadays. Would much rather fill my mind with knowledge than fictional stories... not that Stephen King or whatever someone likes is garbage, it's not, at least not all of it, but me likes learnin' 'cause is there a reason to really ever stop? Well, huh? Is there?!

4. Master ::
and Commander -- starring that dude who's now the co-owner of a Sydney rugby team. Crowe, right? Russell? Yeah, that's him, in a new movie with Denzel Washington and was on Monday Night Football a week ago, in the booth for a little while chattin' with the announcers.

5. Petrified :: Forest: movie with Humphrey Bogart circa 1934, one of his first co-starring roles. Also a National... Monument, I think, or a National Park, in kind of northeastern Arizona. Gorgeous landscapes and tons of petrified trees scattered to and fro. I'm wondering if most of the pieces are vanishing by people stealing them. I stole a piece once when I was there. Was a bunch o' years younger at the time and just a pothead radical dork. I don't even have it anymore, no clue what happened to it. If I did have it, I'd mail it back to them anonymously with an apology note... before wiping my fingerprints off it!

6. Moan ::
K.C. -- song done quite often by Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman and in the early days of Ratdog. Listen Here.

7. Attack ::
Of The Killer Tomatoes -- some cheesy B-movie horror flick from probably the 50's when the Drive-In was at the height of popularity in America.

8. Picture ::
Perfect -- another movie, this time with the lovely Rachel Green a.k.a. Jen Aniston. Also with Kevin Bacon and Jay Mohr. I saw it this year, I think, I'm pretty sure.

9. Students :: high school, college, learning, getting pregnant, getting birth control pills as young as age 11 without even needing permission from parent or guardian. Yay America, way to go with letting morals go down the drain. It's no wonder Al Qaeda wants us wiped off the map.

10. Potter :: Joey... lived not too far from Dawson on the creek. And since I didn't first think of that wizard kid What's His Name, I wonder what that says about me? Haven't read the books, haven't even seen the movies, but I watched the show... what? She was cute, Katie Holmes, before she became brainwashed into that kooky UFO cult.

from this meme is called: Unconscious Mutterings

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just a stoopid fool with popcorn

No hike again today. Stoopid me. I just don't have any idea why I didn't get out there on the trail for at least a couple hours. Oh, and the weather, don't even get me started -- the temperature went all the way up to Freezing today. Al Gore might be on to something afterall! Out there in my hiking boots, some time to think and some time to listen to some great music, it woulda been perfect, I tell ya what, a mini-moment of bliss, if you will. Sorta. Maybe not bliss but extra special nice, surely indeed. But I just wasn't in the mood. Not in the mood for hiking? I must have some sort of fever... or a cancer! Probably more like a mental illness to not want to get out on the trail for some exercise and fresh air. Oi vay, ay caramba. Yes, I'm having a cow over this. Well, a small cow. Am I turning into a normal lazy American? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

But I decided to watch a flick tonight, a movie, a film, a talking picture. It's been so long since I made popcorn and put one on. Holy geez, I needed something to take my mind off that awful video I posted earlier. And now thinking about it again, it's just refreshing my memory. Great, yeah, swell.



starring: Elizabeth Taylor,
S.Z. Sakall,
Mary Astor,
George Murphy

A young, 15 year old, Elizabeth Taylor plays Cynthia Bishop, a girl who isn't like all of the kids at school. Cynthia's sick. Her disease? She's just sick, that's all. Her illness has been one she's had since birth. Mom and Dad (Mary Astor & George Murphy) as well as her Uncle and Doctor (played by Gene Lockhart) are immensely over-protective. If Cynthia happened to get excited too much, if she exerted too much energy, that could spell trouble for her. So mother and pop made sure to watch, as best as they could, over everything Cynthia does. She's got a mind of her own, though. Her wonderful music teacher, played by S.Z. Sakall, encourages her to sing for she has such a lovely voice, perhaps the best around. Mom and dad don't like this idea. Too much freedom for Cynthia could mean the end. But Cynthia's determined.

There wasn't too much that was special about this film. Liz Taylor was seemingly held back from the top notch performance that she was capable of even at age 15. Still she did shine and S.Z. Sakall was the lovable old foreign dude that he always is. Mary Astor turned in a nice performance, also, keeping this family grounded and being reasonable when that's clearly what it was time for.

Not bad but also not too particularly memorable, either.

no worries, we're safe!

Jack Krugman, NY Times:
"there isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination."

Whew, I'm so glad we're safe from Islamic terrorism. I had no idea it was all a con. They sure did pull the wool over my eyes, I tell ya what. Thank you, kind sir, thank you so much for giving me that news. I am so relieved!!!

"Al Qaeda is a real threat" you say near the end of the editorial.

Wait now, they're Islamic, right? Their brand of Islam is extreme, not believing in democracy or equal rights for women, believing the United States and Israel are the Great Satan... they're ultra-fascist, you might say (you should say.)

So then, that would be Islamo-fascism.... right? Okay, now I'm confused. I thought Islamo-fascism was fiction, about as real as the Jedi Force and Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. Ohh, wait.... the United States and the Jews must be the Great Satan indeed, so that's what's true and Muslims who wish for our destruction, their thinking is justified?

Wow, Mr. Krugman, I'm really confused now. If Islamo-fascism is totally imaginary then beheading is done by people who are not Muslims or by people who are moderate Muslims and the beheading is probably justified? Or each time someone's head is cut off, it's just a Hollywood-style horror production? Oh wait... I know, it's all done by the Bush White House, another tool of theirs, to sacrifice Americans in the name of producing fear so they have justification for going to war because it's fun to watch American soldiers die while stealing oil in order to fatten bank accounts. Ahhh, I get it now. Aside from Al Qaeda, who are not Islamic fascists, we have nothing at all to fear from Muslims. I think I'll start planning a backpacking trip through Afganistan, Iraq, and the Gaza Strip 'cause afterall, what's below will never happen to me. So good to know, Mr Krugman. Thanks again.

I have a feeling Eugene Armstrong's family and friends kind of disagrees with you...

Monday, October 29, 2007

No hike but some tasty tunes!

Today I kinda messed up by not going on a hike. Not truly messed up but I should have hit the trail. Sunday is often a day for church, a day for football, a day for hiking... but it wasn't imperative that I go. Woulda been a fan-freakin'-tastic way to burn some calories, that's for sure. But hey, another way to burn calories: dance, baby, dance! Seriously. Get up outta that chair yer sittin' in, put on one seriously delicious nugget of a show and just dance. Know what I'm sayin'? Well, do ya??!? I don't think yer hearin' me -- DANCE!!!!!!!!!!

The Dead this is, at the Warfield Theater or some might say, the Warfield Theatre.  No Jerry Garcia here.  Nope.  No Ron Pigpen McKernan, no Vince Welnick or Bruce Hornsby, no Donna Godchaux or Keith Godchaux and Bruce Hornsby opted out of this go around... why?  Who knows.  In any case, some songs by Robert Hunter, some by John Barlow, and one by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and/or Paul McCartney but probably not George Harrison or Ringo Starr.

"The Dead" -- 2/14/03
The Warfield, San Francisco

(Robert Hunter opened)

The Band
Phil, Bobby, Mickey, Billy,
Jimmy Herring - guitar
Jeff Chimenti & Rob Barraco - keyboards

1st Set
tuning/Jam -> Hell In A Bucket -> Iko Iko,
Lazy Lightning -> Supplication -> Lazy Lightning,
Loose Lucy#, Hard To Handle²³, Casey Jones²³,
Cumberland Bluesª -> Sugaree³

2nd Set
A Love Supreme Jam -> Looks Like Rain ->
Sittin' On Top Of The Worldª -> Spaceª ->
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds³, Born Cross-Eyed ->
Jam -> Help On The Way -> Slipknot -> Jam,
Turn On Your Lovelight²³ª-> Slipknot²³ª-> Franklin's Tower²³ª

Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad³ -> Not Fade Away²³ª

² with Joan Osborne; ³ with Warren Haynes;
# with Sammy Hagar; ª with Michael Kang
What band is this now? The Grateful Dead? Nooooo. The Other Ones? Nope... well, yup, sort of. Between the show on New Year's Eve 2002, just 2½ months before, and this show on Valentine's Day, for whatever reason, Bobby, Billy, Mickey & Phil decided to ditch the TOO moniker in lieu of, simply -- "The Dead." Very same band members, though. The Other Ones was just fine with me so why the change. Marketing reasons? I don't know. In any case, ladies and gentlemen -- The Othe, er, umm, I mean -- The Dead!

Right from the start this is a hoppin' and jammin' show! The
Jam-> Bucket-> Iko is over 18 minutes long and just so wonderfully retro, almost, harkening back to the good ol' Grateful Dead, but this time with Mickey covering vocals on Iko. He has a fun time with it, too. Cool as that opening was, holy cow, Joe, let me tell ya, that was just the tip of the iceberg!

After rollin' through Lazy Lightning -> Supplication, twas time for a little Van Halen flavor, kinda, sorta, courtesy of Mr. Sammy Hagar. "A good friend of mine, a guy who needs no introduction so he gets none," Bobby says jokingly. Could there seriously have been anyone in the house who really needed to be told who that was walkin' on stage?! And what song would this guy be joining in on? Loose Lucy? With Sammy on vocals? I bow down to Jerry, okay, but this was
just plain freakin' sweeeeeet!!! Did Jerry & Sammy know each other? No clue have I but this is fun tribute! He does it justice and then some! Afterwards Phil says to the crowd: "Everybody say, 'Thank You, Sammmyyy!!!!'" with Bobby quickly adding, "Everybody say, "There goes the neighborhood." Ahh, great music, good laughs, very cool and the grin splashed wide across my face as it comes to a close again right now can attest to my pleasure so far.

Two more guests on the next tune and what an intro this song gets... it could just about get its own Jam label but soon enough they're kickin' into Hard To Handle. Mmmm, Joan and Warren playing off each other... with all due respect to Pigpen, this is amazing and I bet Pig watchin' down just nodded and grooved in agreement at how awesome this sounded.
15 minutes ooozing with bluesy groove to melt the mind... I'm on my 4th listen in a few days and good God, it only gets better with each listen!

Casey Jones with Joan on lead vocals was interesting yet very standard GD-sounding. The next song, though... for me it's probably the #1 highlight of Set 1. Yes, I know this isn't the Grateful Dead but why couldn't they do Cumberland like this? At nearly 18 minutes long, this has the best jam of the night so far, hands down. Again, it ventures off and away from Cumberland altogether, enough to almost be called Cumberland-> Jam-> Cumberland. Bobby finally pulls everybody back to finish it up... but then off they go again into another mini-journey before truly heading into the final song of the first set -- Sugaree. Beautiful.

That could have been a short one-set show, an hour and thirty three minutes worth of music, and I woulda been one happy camper, I tell ya what! Ain't done yet -- still a set to go!

Out of the gate we're treated to more jamming in Set 2 but instead of keepin' the high speed dance theme, Bobby takes us through a slow and smooth Look Like Rain. Soon it's time to get ones groove on again as the boys slide into a little Sittin' On Top Of The World. A little? Whoops, I meant about 11 minutes worth! Yes, kids, jam mode is full on once again. No Drum session for the Rhythm Devils on this night but out of Sittin' appears a bit of Space, a brief Space, but most definitely Space none-the-less. Quickly the sweet sounds of John, Paul, George and Ringo emerge in the form of a little L.S.D. -- just as good as ever!

Valentine's Day this is? More like Halloween, in a way, 'cause what comes next is one of the best treats these dancin' kids could ask for. A week before this show, Bobby busted out Born-Cross Eyed with Ratdog -- first time in just shy of 35 years. (To this day, that remains the only time he's ever played it with RD.) Now it's making it's second appearance here with these guys. Way too short but oh so cool and then the jam was on again diving into Help-> Slip-> Frank? Nah, that would be way too pedestrian for a night like this... more like: Help-> Slip-> Jam-> Lovelight-> Slip-> Frank. Yeah, that's the stuff!! Excuse me while I get up and dance for awhile!!!

Mmmm, as they explore the outermost boundaries of Slipknot and leave it behind, a nice mild Jam ensues, slowing down to a pace where the surely sweaty Warfield faithful can catch their breath for a moment or two. My only complaint of the night comes here where the Jam essentially comes to a halt before Lovelight starts up -- no smooth transition from one to another. Ahh, well, the pause was brief enough to allow some to consider it a Jam-> Lovelight but no matter how it's typed up, soon it's time to dance again. Enter both Joan and Warren again to give Bobby a break while they each take vocal control of this one, spinning it a little differently than normal. While nothing can ever reach the monumental heights of Pigpen, Warren helps this along in great fashion before an abrupt left turn at the end brings on a whole 15 seconds of Slipknot before good ol' Franklin's Tower to end the set. Just a great finish. I can barely imagine bein' there, one of the blissed out 2,000 or so inside the Warfield, one of the lucky few who got to see this show. Not over yet, though! Just a quick encore, and then.... finally out the door.

Quick encore? Ha. Almost nothing was done quickly on this night. GDTRFB-> NFA goes on for nearly 20 minutes strong... and then the night was over. At just over three hours, this was a monster of a show. A cool night in San Francisco it probably was as the crowd exited the theater and strolled out onto Market Street, a scene done so many times before after a Jerry Garcia Band show, or after all those nights of the Dead back in the early 80's. After a show like this, Jerry would smile for what those guys did up there.
Pure heaven and nothing less.

"Our love is real, Not Fade Away!"

Sound Quality: Digital Soundboard
A+ might be a bit conservative...
truly this might be more like A++++

I'm unaware of this being available anywhere
for listening but here's the Soundboard
for your downloading pleasure.
Due to my slow-speed internet and my
insistence on using only High Quality mp3 files
(441 megs worth!) I had to break it up
into four parts... but here it is. Enjoy!

2/14/03 The Dead -- Part 1
Part 2 -- The Dead 2/14/03
The Dead 2/14/03 -- Part 3
Part 4 -- The Dead 2/14/03

Sunday, October 28, 2007

These Mutterings Are Not From Africa

Upper Volta is not Upper Volta anymore. If I was in what is now Upper Volta... and for the life of me, that country's name is now escaping me but the capital starts with the letter O and has like 6 syllables.... anyway, this is now bugging me... thinking... still thinking.... oh, maybe because it's nearly 3:30 in the morning, that's why I can't think of it? Hang on.... more thinking.... ouch, this hurts..... grrrrr, I STILL can't remember that country's name and I JUST SAW IT on a map like a week ago!! Oi, it's right under Niger. Dang it.

Anyway, if I was in Niger, I wouldn't be muttering. Probably not. Maybe. I guess there's no way to know until I go there. But seriously for the life of me I can't see myself muttering from Africa. I'm hungry for Entenmann's donuts!!!!

In any case, right now it's time for...

Unconscious Mutterings

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

1. Inaugural :: Presidential...

2. Pledge :: furniture cleaning spray stuff... or something all presidential candidates make yet it's never really up to them whether they can truly keep the pledges they make because there's this little thing called Congress who usually gets not much done while they're supposed to be working for the people yet they're really just working for lobbyists/special interest groups. It's all really sick: Dems and Repubs BOTH. Run the country the way the PEOPLE want? HAA!!!! LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!

3. String ::
fun with cats

4. Trot :: horses do it

5. Fitness ::
Why is it that not many Americans actively take part in staying fit? Laziness rules? That's just wrong. Sad is what it is. Working out is often something that completely sucks... but isn't it worth it for the feeling afterwards and knowing that you're doing something positive for your physical health? I'm sorry, but in the future, I don't feel like dealing with some disease/cancer that's related to physical inactively i.e. being a fat, lazy, careless land whale while not constantly taking part in a level of fitness that will help to keep me healthy!!!

6. Cinder :: Floating through the air, they often land to help spread fire to other places. Not good.

7. Edge ::
Bono's little friend, David Evans

8. 31 :: That's random. For some reason Ken Griffey, Jr. is coming to mind (uniform number, but I'm not sure that's his... but it might be.)

9. Blue ::
I'm fairly sure blue is a color. And now time for a sing-along again, ready, and a 1, and a 2, and a 3 -- "Guh-huh-honna be a Blue Christmas, without you." Sing!!!

10. Leather :: and Lace... oooooo, sexxxxy!

Unconscious Mutterings from Luna Nina

Friday, October 26, 2007

What A Long Strange Hike It Was

Grateful Dead - What A Long Strange Trip It's Been.  Starring: Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Ron Pigpen McKernan, Tom Constanten, Robert Hunter, John Marmaduke Dawson, David Nelson, David Grisman, Howard Wales, Merl Saunders, Keith Godchaux, Donna Godchaux.  Not with: Vince Welnick, Brent Mydland, Bruce Hornsby or John Perry Barlow. · Hiking Time --- 1 hours 53 minutes

· Temperature: 30ºF (-1ºC)

· Trail Time in October -- 21 hours 43 minutes

____(starting Oct. 1)
· Weight Loss Goal -- 24 pounds (11 kg)
__________· So Far -- 5 lb.

This afternoon my hike was a little shorter than usual... but darn great it was to be out there. Under the overcast sky, it was rather warm today. No gloves needed! Yes, going up from like 16 to 30(F) is indeed getting a bit warm. Could also unzip my fleece jacket and let some cool air in. Ahhhhh, a warm day on the trail. Ran into 4 moose... well, they were hangin' out munchin' on some exposed leaves or high grass or something, about 8 feet off the trail. Had to wait about two minutes or so while they walked away and then I was able to ease on by without startling them. Never a good thing to be chased by moose who think you're too close for comfort. Haven't had it happen to me, but have seen it a couple times with someone I was hiking with. Usually the baby moose are really young when this happens, mom being protective and all. These guys were all adults or some were like teens so no worries.

In any case, after turning around, daylight faded fast from the sky on my way back. All I could sneak in was just less than 2 hours but hey, that's better than nothin'! Wasn't even sure I wanted to go, bein' tired beforehand and knowing my boots are still new and still needing be broken in. Applied some band-aids and tape to one problem heel and that ended up being no problem at all. So very glad I am that I got out today to hike down the trail through this Winter Wonderland that is central Alaska.

trail tunes...

What A Long Strange
Trip It's Been

The Best Of The

Grateful Dead


disc 1:
New, New Minglewood Blues
Cosmic Charlie
Black Peter
Born Cross-Eyed
Doin' That Rag
Dark Star
High Time
New Speedway Boogie

disc 2:
St. Stephen
Jack Straw
Me & My Uncle
Tennessee Jed
Cumberland Blues
Playing In The Band
Brown-Eyed Women
Ramble On Rose

For a short time way back, Skeletons From The Closet was the only "Greatest Hits" album for the good ol' Grateful Dead. Then just a few years after that, Warner released WALSTIB -- What A Long Strange Trip It's Been. 4 LP's long, and two cassettes, this became a treasure for the casual Deadhead. Many years later, it was a staple in my tapecase, that's for sure. Probably almost never went anywhere without it. With almost a whole different set of songs, Skeletons was still a must have; it was great for a one tape listen while WALSTIB has a greater song selection, good for well over an hour of listening time.

There really is absolutely nothing to complain about with this release, methinks. But being a Head who listens to live Dead shows means this one really just sits on the shelf getting dusty. Yup, once upon a time the tapes got listened to so much they broke but today I'm not even sure why I got the 2-CD set. This blog is the only reason I gave it a spin and really I'm glad I did 'cause it's a cool bunch of songs. Recorded from '67 to '72, it's a blend of studio versions while others are taken from Europe '72 and the Skull and Roses album which was recorded live in April of '71 (but then edited in the studio.) And one track is from the Fillmore East 1970. Together they weave a perfect picture of early GD. Not a perfect picture of early live GD, but a nice painting never-the-less.

So while the CD case may have been dusty, the music was clean... and a great listen was had!

P.S. what is The Phantom Finger Cult?!?

320 kbps dload right here
WALSTIB - Disc 1 Disc 2 - WALSTIB

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just a Little Muttering

For like two months I've loved doing the below meme each and every Sunday. This and other memes were an excuse to type something when I couldn't hike or run due to my friggin' broken leg.

But this past Sunday I couldn't find ten or twenty minutes to devote to it. Then the week went on and yada yada yada, it's now days late but I feel like doin' it anyway. Better late than never!

Unconscious Mutterings

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

1. Las Vegas :: Gambling, TV show that had James Caan but now has Magnum, P.I., and lots of fun times seein' the good ol' Grateful Dead at Sam Boyd Silver Bowl!

2. Linus :: Snoopy, Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

3. Struck :: Lightning

4. Movie ::

5. Anxious :: greatly anticipating something.

6. Bandit ::
Smokey & The!!! Fun movies, well, the first is a classic. 2 is okay. Anything after that, especially those Made-for-TV pieces of tripe, they're worthless. "Eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin', we're gonna do what they say can't be done." Come on, sing it!!!

7. Picks ::
I dunno..... lottery number picks?

8. Lasso ::
Roy Rogers, the ultimate B-western Hollywood cowboy... I'm sure he lassoed a few bad guys in his time.

9. Dinner :: King crab Gumbo with bear meat and reindeer sausage... I got the idea just a little while ago. I've never done a gumbo before but I think I can knock one out pretty easily. Probably not common in Fairbanks so I might have to invite some friends over that night!

10. Bargain :: Always good to find one to save a little money for other needed items or, probably more importantly, to give away to charities to help others in need.

from this meme is called: Unconscious Mutterings

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bush Has Broken Everything In The World

ednesday night I did not watch Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC. It's essentially never that I do watch, only once in a while out of curiosity, juuust to see what he's gonna say and how many times he introduces a non-liberal viewpoint to a story. (Never.)

On the FOX News Channel I did happen to catch Dennis Miller
define what MSNBC means...


Two night ago I did catch some of Countdown With Keith Olbermann and here's what came to mind:

In their pre-show production meetings, they probably have a banner on the wall proclaiming something like:

With EVERY story, spin spin spin to make Bush look bad!!!

Well, kicking off the show two nights ago was the fires in SoCal. No surprise. But what was so interesting was that within a mere minute or two, (God, it's so hard to refrain from calling him some sort of name here.... God, please hold me back from releasing the hounds!!!)

...within a minute or two, it was already inferred that Bush was responsible for these fires getting out of control.

And again -- not one single Republican, Conservative or opposite side of the issue viewpoint.

All that's allowed on his program is Air America type of propaganda for left-leaning Democrats, anything and everything to make the approval rating of the GOP dive while doing everything possible to bring about a nation of liberals so they always have the majority voice on every issue... that's what Air America is, right? I don't listen to the radio but that's what I hear about them. Is Air America responsible enough too allow honest debate like the Fox News Channel does? I'm guessing no. (I've seriously heard that what they mostly do is just insult those who have the gall to think with a conservative mind. Insults get so much accomplished and do so much to bring people together, don't they?) So Olbermann must be following in their footsteps, in a way, on the TV screen.

So sad.

Probably why so many people make fun of the "Faux" News Channel is because they have the balls to give both sides a chance to speak. Allow people to see TWO points of view and let them make their own minds up? Get out of here! Many liberals simply cannot stand that. Dangerous. Very dangerous. These people who speak from a conservative point of view, they must be silenced!!!! Right? LIBERAL VIEW ONLY!!!!

Also, doesn't the Fox News Channel get their Talking Points directly from the GOP and from the White House? That's the accusation, most famously by former CBS news anchor, Dan Rather.

Of course, he never defended his statement.

Keith Olbermann enjoys molesting little boys. It's an accusation. Do I have to defend my statement? Why should I? Liberals often never do. Where's the evidence Bush and cronies started the war in Iraq to steal oil to fatten their bank accounts??!? THERE ISN'T ANY. (Bush is dumber than rocks... but he's brilliant enough to fool everyone? Which one is it?!?!?!) Just idiotic statements made and never backed up. Just like the statement about Fox News and their talking points.

In a lunkhead kind of way, I want a Democrat president in '08 for one reason and one reason alone -- and that's to see if Olbermann will be fair and balanced when it comes to criticizing the new Commander in Chief. Or will he praise the new Pres at every turn while slamming all Republicans who don't bow down to the Dems wishes?

Wait. Paying attention to him so much is a waste of anyone's time so that's a really bad want to have so let me change it to -- I want Olbermann to just go away. Go join Air America so no one will hear you.

P.S. I think I have a cavity in one of my teeth. Should Bush be impeached for that? The buck stops there, doesn't it? Hey, Olbermann, how would you spin my possible cavity to reflect badly upon W.? There's a way for EVERYTHING, isn't there? If you found out that you and Bush both liked the same music, wouldn't you say something like -- he listens to it wrong, or: Bush liking that music just makes it worthless now. Something like that, right?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

With Running, My Aim is True

· Run Time --- 10 minutes 40 seconds

__· Temperature: 12ºF (-11ºC)
__· Total Trail Time: 59 minutes

· Trail Time in October -- 19 hours 50 minutes

____(starting Oct. 1)
· Weight Loss Goal -- 24 pounds (11 kg)
__________· So Far -- 5 lb.

This afternoon I had my easiest run yet since returning to running after healing from my tibia fracture. Not since May have I had a run that simply was not difficult. I've had the past like 8 hours to shower and relax and veg out on some TV, do some reading, take a nap, cook some dinner, and still I'm amazed at how effortless my run was all those hours ago. 640 seconds and not 1 when I was thinking, "PLEASE LET THIS BE DONE NOW!!" I hit my end cue and could've kept running. That's just freakin' sweet! Perhaps I've turned a corner. No lung/breathing problems. No leg fatigue. Just a great damn run! There ain't nothin' better for me to keep my blood pressure down and to shed some of these excess unneeded pounds. Some kind of illness due to high BP and being overweight is not what I wanna face in the future. I'd rather not have to deal with it, especially diabetes if I'd have to give up all sorts of delicious Good Eats that I like to indulge in every now and then... so I run. And I despise running. Running sucks $^%*#^&@ *(&%^$#&* %^&%#~# !!! But so worth it.

Tunes on the trail...

Elvis Costello

My Aim Is True


[Ryko Reissue
with Bonus Tracks, 1993]

Welcome To The Working Week
Miracle Man
No Dancing
Blame It On Cain
Sneaky Feelings
(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
Less Than Zero
Mystery Dance
Pay It Back
I'm Not Angry
Waiting For The End Of The World
Watching The Detectives

bonus tracks:
Radio Sweetheart
Stranger In The House
Imagination (Is A Powerful Deceiver)
Mystery Dance
Cheap Reward
Jump Up
Wave A White Flag
Blame It On Cain
Poison Moon

Bonus tracks aside, there's almost no better album I have listened to this year; there's almost no better album that I will ever listen to.

London pub rocker/singer/songwriter Declan MacManus a.k.a. Elvis Costello delivers an extraordinary set of tunes on his 1977 debut, My Aim is True. Why some people call this punk, I do not know. New wave is almost more appropriate. Tunes do range towards a punk sound but there is no three-chord thrashing. Far from it especially with Allison and Watching The Detectives and I could go on and on. No matter what the sound, beat, or rhythm, songwriting is brilliant all the way though.

The bonus tracks on this release are mostly solo acoustic numbers. Interesting they are but they don't add to the greatness of the tracks making up the original release. Stranger In The House is almost confusing. This guy coulda been a star in Nashville within the country music industry? Not quite the British pub rock sound that dominates throughout the debut. Imagination (Is A Powerful Deceiver), on the otherhand, while slow like Allison, would fit in rather well.

Basically just great music here. Woulda been very cool seein' this guy back in his early days in a bar in London. I definitely need to be pickin' myself up a used copy of this CD!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Zero Today ... GD 40 Years Ago

BooYahhhhh!!!! Less Than Zero, baby!! And that's the last time I will ever type booyah in any form whatsoever.

As far as I know, this morning is the first time this Fall when outside the temperature has been at 0°F (-18°C) or less. I think there were icicles INSIDE the house this morning. I'm so glad this isn't a cabin without indoor plumbing. People choose to live in homes like that around here. Tis quite common; I was at a friend's cabin like that this weekend. Hey, I'm all for wilderness living, I'd even like to move off the road system one of these days... maybe... to a village you have to fly to in a small plane in order to get there... but a cabin with an outhouse, without plumbing and with no real heating system? Uhhh, i dunno 'bout that. Damn my parents for raising me upper-middle class in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City. It's not that I can't adapt... it's that I don't really want to. Outdoors I can live in a tent indefinitely. I can survive in a non-Arctic environment. But when it comes to living, I want something that resembles a real house, thanks.

In any case, brrrr f'in' cold this mornin'. Less Than Zero indeed. A momentary shock it was upon seeing
-2°F (-19°C) on the thermometer just outside my kitchen. Not a shock was the fact that I had to wake my dog up by knocking on the glass. Cassidy was soundly and happily sleeping on the snow in the backyard. At some point around fifteen or twenty below zero fahrenheit he'd rather be inside. But right around zero is just perfect for him. If it wasn't first thing in the morning, he'd have been annoyed by my bothering him. Instead he bolted up and came in through his dog door, ready for a biscuit and some attention.

And now that the morning's gone, before I head out to go watch the Colts-Jags on Monday Afternoon Football at 4:30, what needs my attention is this Dead show from a few years ago. I've already listened to it a couple times in the past few days, but now it's time for another!

Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Ron Pigpen McKernan, Mickey Hart, Billy Kreutzmann.  Did Robert Hunter write any of these songs?  I'm not sure.  John Barlow sure didn't.  No Tom Constanten here.  No Bruce Hornsby or Brent Mydland or Donna Godchaux or Keith Godchaux or Vince Welnick.  Owsley Stanley may not even have created the Steal Your Face yet.  Obviously this is wayyyyyy before the Jerry Garcia Band or Jerry and Merl Saunders.  Wayyyyyy before Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman or Kingfish or Ratdog or Bobby and the Midnites.  Oh yeah, and way before Phil and Friends, The Dead, The Other Ones, and the Crusader Rabbit Stealth Band as well as Mickey Hart's Mystery Box, Planet Drum, Rhythm Devils, the Mickey Hart Band or Global Drum Project.

Grateful Dead -- 10/22/67
Winterland Arena, San Francisco

Morning Dew
New Potato Caboose
It Hurts Me Too
Cold Rain And Snow
Turn On Your Lovelight
Beat It On Down The Line
Cryptical Envelopment
The Other One
Cryptical Envelopment

also on the bill:
Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company

Mmmm. Unfortunately this show doesn't start out as perfectly as one would want. Dew is a great song but one's really gotta just wait out the unevenness in sound and then hang on for New Potato. This is the same band that years later would play (Keep Your) Day Job and Samba In The Rain?!? No way. The band's sound, Jerry especially, is absolutely mesmerizing.
When the song finally comes to an end, I'm not sure whether this life is real or if I'm really pissed off that the tune is over.

What follows is equally gorgeous but in a whole 'nother way. The band shifts gears here and goes from psychedelic mode into 'dem good ol' blues with Pig singin' It Hurts Me Too. Short but oh so sweet! Another quick (but good) number, Cold Rain & Snow, comes and goes and then it's again time for the band to really crank it up.

While Pigpen is in control of the lyrics,
Jerry goes into incredible cruise control on Lovelight. The only thing there really is to do is sit back and enjoy the ride. Wow. He's just goin' non-stop for what seems like forever. Holy lysergic acid diethylamide, Albert Hofmann! When they finally kick it down a gear for Pig to resume singin', I'm left in awe. If anyone ever wanted to argue that there's no reason to listen to post-'67 Dead, I could almost agree, at least right at this moment.

But ugh, noooo, Lovelight cuts off... what the heck? Nooooo!!!!! Oh well. For almost thirteen minutes that was a sweet slice of Heaven, I tell ya what. It's criminal that it cuts out but then again, perhaps it's somewhat of a miracle that even a minute of this show exists at all (and in this quality!)

BIODTL, between that delicious Lovelight and the last almost fifteen minutes of the show, seems to be almost kinda sorta rudely placed here. Song placement they maybe had not yet mastered.

While this Other One has early, odd sounding lyrics, and it doesn't have Phil's mighty thunderous bass, it's filled again with meticulous Jerry, cruise control Jerry, blistering and smokin' Jerry. Behind him the rest of the band plays so perfectly in unison. Listening to this, in a way, makes me sad that every show from 1967 doesn't exist in this quality. Pickin's are wayyyy too slim so this 55 minutes is nothing less than a treasure.

"The sound quality in Morning Dew starts out a bit grungy, but then clears up
suddenly at 6 min 14 sec into the song and remains near CD type quality for
the rest of the tape. Maybe the first second or two of New Potato Caboose is clipped.
Before Turn on Your Lovelight Jerry says 'sing you a little song'
to which Phil replies 'thank you Jerry!'. Unfortunately Lovelight cuts off
just as it was getting into a pretty heavy jam.
Before Beat it on Down the Line,'uh-hum' is said jokingly several times by several band members and then Bobby says 'good PA'. Jerry says 'twelve' and they begin Beat it on Down the Line (with twelve beats of course). The vocals to the Other One on this tape are the earliest known and go like this: When I woke up this morning, my head was not intact. I asked my friends about it, try to find out where it's at. A wind came up inside of me, blew the dust clouds all away. The heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day. Comin', comin', comin' around... etc. Well the heat down in jail, they weren't very smart. They taught me how to read and write, they taught me the precious art. Of breakin' out of jail, well I learned that right away. and they didn't need me to telling them 'bout smiling first then running away! Comin', comin', comin' around... etc."

10/22/67 is @
for listening only

- or -
dload the Soundboard right here!
Grateful Dead - 10/22/67


Sunday, October 21, 2007

If Barack Obama's related to Dick Cheney, maybe Terri is to Jimi?

· Hiking Time --- 2 hours 11 minutes

· Temperature: 21ºF (-6ºC)

· Trail Time in October -- 18 hours 51 minutes

____(starting Oct. 1)
· Weight Loss Goal -- 24 pounds (11 kg)
__________· So Far -- 5 lb.

It almost got down to 0°F this morning. I don't think it's been to zero yet but we're a gettin' close! Something like an hour or so after the sky started to show its first light, around when football was starting at about 9:15 a.m. (football on Sunday in Alaska, especially the hour-long pre-game shows, starts at breakfast time!) I remember checking the ol' outside thermometer on one of my semi-regular checkings and it showed about 4°F (-15.5°C.) That's why I was feelin' a little extra brrrrr, a little more than usual. One of the only bad things about this cold weather -- I don't think I've got enough wood. Now it's all frozen and even tougher on the hands to chop... and snow-covered. Surveying my stacks out back it doesn't look good... but not bad either. Luckily I do live in a house with central heating. It's always a good thing to use it as little as possible seein' as how with each degree I turn it up, the more propane I use, and the more I've gotta shell out to have my tank refilled. No worries.

When it "warmed up" this afternoon, I hit the trail once again for my second day in row to work on breaking in my new boots. I've acquired a new blister or two thanks to how stiff these are, how unfamiliar my feet are with them. Oi. Not bad but needing a band-aid. Better to have new boots in snow then ones that'll freeze my feet. Uh huh, that's for shore. Shore? There really are at least a couple ways to pronounce "sure" -- the normal way and the other way, the Jersey way, like "shore." What's the other way, then? My mind's confuzled. People've in good fun made fun of my spoken words sometimes, bein' from North Jersey and all, we got that accent goin' on. Through the years I do believe mine's discipated some having lived (mostly) in western Montana and Utah and for the past few years here. But still it occurs. It's who I am. Bite me.

By the way, my 2+ hours on the trail was essentially just an out and back routine hike today. All I wanted was to concentrate on makin' the time for the benefit of my feet becoming one with my boots. Out and back, some nice exercise with interesting tunes...

Trail music included...

Terri Hendrix

The Ring


Goodbye Charlie Brown
Spinning Off
I Found The Lions
Truth Is Strange
From Another Planet
Long Time Coming
Consider Me
The Fact Is
The Ring
Prayer For My Friends

Labeling music by style seems weird sometimes. This is called "contemporary folk" according to some. Maybe it's me that's funny. Contemporary folk, huh? Really? Okay. To me it's just music. Within that category called "music" usually there are two sub-categories -- music I like and music I don't particularly care for. This fit into Music I Like.

This is an instance when I didn't know what to expect. No clue. Singer/Songwriter/Musician Terri Hendrix is from San Antone/Austin/San Marcos so for some reason I was thinking this would be country music, not like Martina McBride or nothin' but real independent downhome Texas-country. What's really coming to mind about what's on this album -- Edie Brickell and a little bit of Sheryl Crow. Co-produced by the great Lloyd Maines, this is a slick sounding collection of tunes. Heavily acoustic, it surely leans towards country but not full blown into that genre of music. Tunes here that venture to a jazzy sound to modern NashVegas country to traditional country to a more folky feel. Nothing here makes me really think country, not at all, and certainly not Texas, either.

What everything really boils down to is this is nice album of music.

256 kbps dload right here
Terri Hendrix -- The Ring

Saturday, October 20, 2007

65 Shopping Days Left... Gettin' Closer

· Hiking Time --- 2 hours 7 minutes

· Temperature: 23ºF (-5ºC)

· Trail Time in October -- 16 hours 40 minutes

____(starting Oct. 1)
· Weight Loss Goal -- 24 pounds (11 kg)
__________· So Far -- 5 lb.

Holy Foot Fatigue, Batman! That's what I woulda said after my hike this afternoon.

I hit the trail a few hours ago, with about 2 hours of available light left in the sky. A gorgeously overcast day it was, with a wonderful just-below-freezing temperature that's perfect for a short hike like this one was. Everything is white everywhere the eye could see. Didn't take along a whole arsenal of music, just enough for part of the roundtrip. Sometimes out there it's just nice to have that time for some thinkin' without any musical distraction. Sometimes it's nice to just marvel at God's immensely amazing creation. I felt like doing some of that today and set out with just one short album of tunes.

And in new boots I did walk. My last pair I wore down as much as I could. If this was a snowless environment, I'd probably still be using them. The sole is split on each as is the heel. No wonder my socks often got wet. Not so with this new pair. So stiff they are compared to the super-high level of comfort of my previous pair. There's a long way to go before these'll be broken in... and I didn't even try to do it properly but then again, that requires soaking them in water and to walk in wet boots when it's this temperature, uhh, not so bright. I will have to break 'em in the old-fashioned way, just by walking in them... and that's gonna hurt my feet a little like they did today. Hurt's not really the right word. Some discomfort, sure, but what really happened was my feet seemed to get really tired about three of four times faster than they should have. After two hours I shouldn't have been wanting to collapse inside in front of the wood-burning stove. After two hours I should have been good to go for another 6 to 10 hours! Ahhh well, still a nice hike out there.

Christmas tunes for a snowy day...


Christmas In The Country

[MCA, 1988]

White Christmas - George Strait
I'll Be Home For Christmas - Reba McEntire
There's A New Kid In Town - The Oak Ridge Boys
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Lee Greenwood
Christmas At Our House - Barbara Mandrell
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - George Strait
O Holy Night - Reba McEntire
That's What I Like About Christmas - The Oak Ridge Boys
Christmas To Christmas (Loving You) - Lee Greenwood
From Our House To Yours - Barbara Mandrell

While each of these artists is considered to be centrally rooted in the country music industry, the album doesn't have an overall country feel to it, though. I could still definitely see this on someone's stack of mostly-played Christmas CDs. One song in particular, O Holy Night by Reba McEntire, is just so beautiful. Overall, not a bad little collection of tunes.

256 kbps dload right here
Christmas In The Country

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated