...more recent posts
big game hunting
"Nay, I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but 'Mortimer' ...." -- Henry IV
The story goes that some guy released in Central Park all the birds mentioned by Shakespeare. The European starling , released in 1890, now occurs throughout much of North America. The English house sparrow, like the house fly, house mouse, and Norwegian rat, followed Europeans throughout the world, currently occupying a greater range of habitat than any other bird on earth. Some claim exotic species should be welcomed due to their ability to occupy habitat so disturbed that native species are struggling, but the most successfull invaders are known to outcompete and displace native species. One year i cleared out some starlings nesting in cavities in an old box elder tree in the front yard, and some northern flickers nested there instead, succesfully hatching out two chicks. I felt pretty proud watching over them with an air rifle. The monk parakeet though .....
The ballad of John Henry came up the other night. We dated it to the late 1800's since it involves railroads, but it seems to be more freighted than that (sorry). It's not a railroad song the way Casey Jones is, though it relates to the building of the railroads. It's not really a work song, either, though it bears some similarity to Take This Hammer (both songs sung by Lead Belly). TTH would have been sung while actually swinging a hammer, with an appropriate exclamation for each strike, even as the singer dreams of walking away from the job. John Henry is more of a story song, and a complex one at that. Man versus machine is the main theme, and man wins, but kills himself in the process. Seems like a theme that would appear earlier in the Industrial Revolution, but I'm not coming up with any examples off hand. Anybody know any tales of weavers outpacing the new mills, or suchlike? Beyond that, there are racial and sexual angles that have sometimes been bowdlerized. This page goes over some of the ground. Apparently there's some basis in fact, and the West Virginia tunnel in question is certainly real, but the truth gets harder to discern over time (oh wait, that's a work of fiction?). Although JH is almost always assumed to be a black man, the song seems to have had more resonance in the 30s than the 60s. Perhaps his noble victory in defeat was more appealing to the labor unionizers than to the civil rights movement?
another reason to hate IRWIN
Dud of the Month
THE LANGLEY SCHOOLS MUSIC PROJECT Innocence and Despair (Bar/None)
Hans Fenger was a gifted teacher on a mission. Cutting keepsake vinyl for his kiddie choir was a great way for him to reward past involvement while inspiring more. Irwin Chusid is a tedious ideologue with a hustle. Turning that vinyl into a collectible CD is the latest way for him to remind the converted that artistic intention is reserved for the beholder in these postmodern times—especially if the beholder has a hustle. A few of these songs were great, a few of them sucked, and every one was more innocent and/or desperate in its original version except Barry Manilow's (but not the Bay City Rollers'). A special annoyance is the reportedly tear-jerking "Desperado" by a 10-year-old who doesn't seem to have any idea what the song means, which is to her credit as a human being but not as a singer. The sole revelation is Brian Wilson, whose six songs still sound like themselves. C MINUS
Waitaminnit, is this what one has to look forward to in Montana?
"One was a species of falcon called the Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a long-tailed, swift-flying bird about a foot long or longer. The other was a shorebird called a Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva), a plump creature about 10 inches long, with a black belly and golden highlights in its feathers."
Jacques Yves Cousteau with some interesting views on population, envioronmental activism, dolphins, global warming and an optimistic statement about the world's fish populations.
i am amazed that it took me this long to get a backyard space....yes it involved moving out of NYC due to costs but now i have a 20 foot forsithia(sp?), lilac, roses, roderdendrums (sp?), herb garden, violets, etc besides cahirs, tables, bugs, and soon a grill....
There was recently a big write up in the local (New Orleans) paper about those parrots I had been seeing, they are Quaker Parakeets, aka, Monk Parakeets, and they are thriving here. So there is clearly more of them around than just the eleven I had counted.
"Note: The Quaker Parakeet is outlawed in many states, including : California, Wyoming, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Georgia. The reason they are outlawed in several states is because they are considered a potential agricultural pest. There are now established breeding colonies ( originally escaped pets) in several states, including New York, New Jersey, New Orleans-Louisiana, Dallas-Texas, Bridgeport/Fairfield CT, and Illinois."
thors hammer goes quiet
Alex, could you do somthing about the pollen coming off all these decorative fruit trees they've planted all over the area. It's thick enough to write your name on the hood of the cars parked under them. I dont even have alergies and my lungs feel tuburcular.
I can't find toms original post but Gary Wilson is playing Joe's Pub 5/15 @ 8:00 as per Brian.
Preview/delete bug bit again. For those who missed it, this thread derived from Wheel's absinthe post.
For the first time in more than 50 years, Eastern screech owls have successfully bred in Central Park.
This is pure newspeak: the administration is adopting the term "homicide bomber" instead of "suicide bomber". When we sacrifice ourselves we're "heroes"; when they sacrifice themselves they're just murderers. If we eliminate the word that indicates their degree of commitment, maybe they'll just go away. If not, we'll have to hit 'em with one of our atomic homicide devices.
This is amusing: warbloggerwatch keeps track of the rantings of pro-war crazies and makes a running acerbic commentary.
"point+pelee+topless" and "difference+between+faith+and+knowledge"
Porno and philosophy on the same log; do I cover the bases or what? (or maybe I just use too damn many words). Unfortunately, nobody with blocking software will ever find my "pictures+of+pussy+willow+trees".
When I was posting the article on Gary Wilson on my Miscellaneous page, I noticed a tag in the New York Times's html for the piece. The article mentions someone picking up a burger at McDonald's, and that word is followed by this tag (invisible unless you're looking at the source code):
org idsrc="NYSE" value="MCD,MCJ,MCW"/
What's going on here? Is this a way for major advertisers to track how many mentions it gets in the Times? If so, that's fucked up, yo! I can't think of any innocent reason for doing this.
where were we talking about donahue? anyway, hes back.
Page Six it ain't.
The Papua New Guinea Gossip Newsletter
"We're using dogs in their purest form"
I don't want to see what they do with cats.