Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our newest National Memorial

    Another step forward for Racial Equality, and another slap in the face to Bigotry and Hatred.  I like it that MLK has a "don't give me any sh*t" expression on his face. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    As he stood shaving at the open window of his room, a crossbow quarrel had passed beneath his elbow, demolishing a set of Venetian-case bottles before burying itself in the far wall.  Henry, infuriated by the attack on his person but even more by the loss of so much fine and irreplaceable glass, had ordered an immediate search for the marksman.  His soldiers unearthed a handful of malcontents, all of which had resisted arrest in a more or less desultory way...

(from Pavane, by Keith Roberts)

The complete review is here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

it really is simple

    Of course, it never has been a matter of stupidity.  It's always been a matter of religious bigotry.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

psychic deaf illiterate

    A triple blessing, if you ask me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    The gunslinger thought this man, prisoner or not, was probably better at the fine art of survival than any of the other men he had seen in the air-carriage.  The others were fat things, for the most part, and even those who looked reasonably fit also looked open, unguarded, their faces those of spoiled and cosseted children, the faces of men who would fight - eventually - but who would whine almost endlessly before they did; you could let their guts out onto their shoes and their last expression would not be rage or agony but stupid surprise.

(from The Drawing of the Three, by Stephen King)

The complete review is here.

Monday, August 22, 2011


     A great Sunday comic strip that contains three pun(ch) lines in it.  How kewl is that?!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

RockZome Saturday

I made another foray to RockZone on Saturday.  Sold 45 albums; got $19 of in-store credit, which I thought was quite fair.

   More importantly, I managed to walk out of there with only 15 new albums - nine "normal ones", plus 6 freebies.  RockZone has no use for classical LP's, so they all get dumped into the "buy one, get one free (out of this "nobody-would-want-these" pile).  I even walked out of there with $5 in-store credit remaining.

    I picked up the three albums shown here, plus three Kingston Trio records, two Leo Kottke LP's and one Michael Quatro (Suzy's brother) album.  The freebies were six classical ones, including two by the fabulous pianist Artur Rubinstein

   Overall, I reduced the LP glut in the computer room by about 30 discs.  Plus there are another 16 waiting for a friend to drop by and take them off my hands.  This leaves about 250 still in the computer room, but only about 100 on the floor.  Which are the source of Liz's criticism of my hoarding habits.  Progress is being made.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    I hadn't been off-planet in eleven years, and the press of six gravities was like an old lover holding me in her arms again.  And the curve of the planet below - well, if I had been a sentimental man, I would have cried.  But sentiment is for middle age; just as romance is for youth.  Old age, like war, has colder feelings; it is, after all, a struggle to the death.

(from Bears Discover Fire by Terry Bisson)

The complete review is here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


    I am a follower of this.  With the added stipulation of catsup.  If you can melt cheese over it, and put catsup on it, it gets my seal of approval.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    "Look.  There's no reinforcements coming for us.  We can give in.  Or we can wait - and we won't have to wait long!  Make them come in and fight us through the streets, today or tomorrow.  We'll maul them.  But we'll lose.  Either way, they execute Florian."  Ash spoke in a pragmatic tone.  "Look at the situation.  There's fifteen thousand men out there.  We're two and a half thousand.  That's us outnumbered over five to one!"

    She grinned at Florian.

    "You're right.  There's only one thing we can do.  We attack."

(from Lost Burgundy, Book #4 of Ash - A Secret History by Mary Gentle)

The full review is here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

     And we are very public service oriented at this blog.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Weekend Chrono-Hopping

    I took Friday off and spent an extended weekend 3000 years in the past.  Yes, that's Atlantis you see in the picture, although it wasn't the huge mega-continent you read about in myths.  It was actually a rather small island with a rather large metropolis, just off the Atlantic coast of Spain.

     I worshipped in an oak grove with the local druids.  Gave them some "prophecies" that they naturally didn't believe.  It doesn't really matter; all the records of my predictions are going to get lost in the deluge.

    Ate some local cuisine - hearty but spiceless.  Chit-chatted with the Beaker people.  Enjoyed a good night's sleep without air-conditioning.  Then came back to the heat and humidity this afternoon.

    All in all a lovely bit of time-jumping.  I might do it again next weekend.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Vinyl Giveaway #2

    Same deal as last time.  The LP's are free, you just have to come pick them up.  A majority of them are from the $1/$2 piles at the used record stores; with some-to-lots of scratches.  There are some in mint condition though.  One or two have a forward skip in them; any that had back-skips were thrown out.  As before, these are LP's that I've converted to MP3 files and cleaned up the scratches.  If you want them in electronic form as well, let me know.  They are listed in no particular order below.  Unclaimed ones will go to RockZone next Saturday.

01. Lindisfarne - Happy Daze
    Meh.  Past their prime.
02. Long John Baldry - Long John Baldry
    Excellent, as is anything he does.
03. Steve Earle - Copperhead Road
    Excellent Outlaw Country!
04. Golden Earring - Something Heavy Going Down
    Live album.  Has both their hits.
05. Canned Heat - Living The Blues
    Double LP.  Hippie blues.  Their defining album.
06. John Stewart - Willard
    Americana folk music.
07. Josh White - In Memoriam
    An old-time black blues/folk singer with a golden voice.
08. Loudon Wainwright III - Album II
    Uneven stuff from the guy who sang "Dead Skunk in the middle of the Road".
09.  Barclay James Harvest - Baby James Harvest
    BJH can do no wrong in my book.
10. Ten Years After - Ssssh
   A studio album from a band better known for their live performances.
11. Tom Paxton - New Songs for Old Friends
    Meh.  For Paxton fanatics only.
12. Camper van Beethoven - Key Lime Pie
    The LP with "Pictures of Matchstick Men" on it.
13. Renassance - Azure D'Or
    Not their best; but still pretty good.
14. Lettermen - The Best of...
    Uncool group; but I liked them as a kid.
15. Steeleye Span - Original Masters
    Double LP.  Greatest Hits.  Very good.
16. Alan Parsons Project - The Turn of a Friendly Card
    Good stuff.
17. Kim Carnes - Lighthouse
    No hits, but still a nice LP.
18. Grand Funk Railroad - Mark, Don & Mel
    Double LP anthology.  Decent, but I still find GFRR to be meh.
19. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Dirt, Silver & Gold
    Triple LP.  Anthology 1966-1976.
20.  John Stewart - JS in Concert
    From a 1974 concert in Phoenix.  Okay.
21. The Brothers Four - Sing of Our Times
    Think Kingston Trio.
22. Clear light - Clear Light
    Their best album.  Their only album.
23. Blues Project - Projections
    Honky R&B from Al Kooper and friends.
22. Santa Esmeralda - Beauty
   A 2-hit wonder, neither of which is on this LP.
23. Renaissance - A Song for all Seasons
    Has "Northern Lights" on it.  Kewlness.
24. Don NixGone Too Long
    You don't know who Don Nix is?  Shame on you.
25. Alan Parsons Project - Pyramid
    Nice Stuff
26. The Brothers Four - Greatest Hits
   Including their biggie : "Greenfields".
27. Leo Kottke - Greenhouse
   Nice guitar work from someone who never really made it big.
28. Pure Prairie League - Two Lane Highway
    With a kewl tongue-in-cheek tribute to Merle Haggard
29. The Kingston Trio - Something Else
    From their Decca years.  This is when they were pretty much done for.
30. Kim Carnes - Barking at Airplanes
   Excellent!  Has "Crazy in the Night" on it.
31. Blues Project - Lazarus
    One of their later albums, but very nice.
32. Doug Kershaw - Devile's Elbow
    Cajun fiddling at its finest.
33. Eric Burdon & The Animals - Winds of Change
    From their peak period.
34. Brothers Four - Rally 'Round
    Happy folk.
35. The Brothers Four - Cross-Country Concert
    Live.  They stopped at Tempe - at Arizona State College.
36. Bette Midler - Thighs & Whispers
    No hits, but good stuff.
37. Blues Project - Pop History Volume 20
    Double LP.  I think this is a German release.  GH.
38. John Hartford - Slumberin' on the Cumberland
    Excellent bluegrass.  Autographed album.
39. Melanie - Garden in the City
    Melanie can do no wrong.
40. Melanie - Ballroom Streets
    Double LP.  Live and non-acoustic.  Very strange and very good.
41. Justin Hayward & John Lodge - Blue Jays
    Moody Blues alumni.  If you like MB, you'll like this.
42. Flatt & Scruggs - The World Of
    Classic bluegrass.  Double LP
43. Vassar Clements - Vassar Clements
    Bodacious fiddler.  He shooda been more famous.
44. Steve Goodman - Someone Else's Troubles
    Nice Stuff.  Think 'Arlo Guthrie'.
45. The Ventures - ...Play Telstar & The Lonely Bull
    Yeah, you remember roller-skating to Telstar.
46. Leonard Bernstein - Beethoven Fifth Symphony
   The whole enchilada.  Awesome.
47. Kingston Trio - Nick - Bob - John
    Another LP from the Decca years.  No hits, but nice.
48. New Riders of the Purple Sage - Brujo
    Hippie country.  Nice.
49. Tim Weisberg - Nights in White Satin, etc.
    Hippie flute music.  In wrong album cover.
50. Josh White - Sings Great Folk Songs
    Great artists.  Lousy LP production.
51. Jim Kewskin Jug Band - See Reverse Side for Title
    Hippie jugband music.  Funny and nice.
52. Leon Russell - Best of Leon
   All his hits.
53. Soundtrack - Doctor Zhivago
    Back off.  I like Dr. Zhivago
54. John Mayall - Empty Rooms
    Think early-Clapton blues.
55. Soundtrack - Honeysuckle Rose
    Willy Nelson sings his hits.  Giood thing, cuz he can't act.
56. Leon Renbone - Double Time
    If you like Muddy Waters and Leadbelly, check this guy out.
57. David Bromberg Band - Midnight on the Water
    Excellent stuff.
58. Jimmy Dean - Big Bad John
    I'm embarrassed to say I know most of the tracks.
59. Linda Ronstadt - Hand Sown
    Her first solo album.  Good covers.
60. Brothers Four - Roamin'
    Includes the "Green Stamps" ballad.  Say what?
61. Brothers Four - The Big Folk hits
    Tie Me Kangaroo Down, etc.
62. Arlo Guthrie - Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys
    Good stuff, even if the album didn't sell well.
63. Joe Cocker - Mad Dogs & Englishmen
    Double LP.  Live.  With Leon Russell figuring prominently.
64. David Bromberg - Best of...
    With Mr. Bojangles, etc.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Make up your own story

    The Decemberists concert is this evening, so blogging/FB time is short.  Fortunately, I am taking a day's vacation tomorrow, so keeping late hours tonite is NBD.

    In the meantime, here's a photo to amuse you.  Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to try and figure out what the story behind it is.  Yeah, I know they're spelling O-H-I-O, but why?  They look like stodgy old folks; and the guy in the coffin looks ...well... quite dead.  Are they fulfilling one of his dying requests?  Were they all Village People fanatics, and this is their salute to Y-M-C-A?

    There has to be a great story here.  I just have no idea what it is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Will's father reached across the breakfasting area and placed a mighty hand upon the forearm of his son.  "You are a good lad, Will," he said.  "You make your mother and me proud of you.  We care about you, you know that, don't you?"

    "I've never had cause to doubt it," Will eased his arm from beneath the pressure of his pater's portly palm, "except upon one or two occasions, such as the time that you tried to sell me to Count Otto Black's Circus Fantastique because you needed money to buy Mum a new wig."

    "A God-feeling woman can never have too many wigs," said Will's mum, downing another fried eggette.

(from The Witches of Chiswick by Robert Rankin)

The complete review is here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

this pretty much sums it up

    Okay, peeps.  You've had your bigoted fun, electing Tea Bagger idiots to office.  Now wise up, realize you've been duped, and kick their a$$es out before the economy is irretrievably f*cked up. 

Friday, August 05, 2011

timing is everything

    Oh Bizarro.  Given that you have to send your cartoons to newspapers several weeks in advance, how is it that you timed this one to appear the day after Warren Jeffs got his polygamist pedophilic a$$ handed to him on a platter?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Imagine my surprise

    The big news over at Faux News today was that two of their "reporters" admit they go "easy" when doing stories about Sarah Palin.  They say it's cuz she's a co-worker.

     Can you imagine that??  Faux News slanting their coverage???   My gast is absolutely flabbered.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Demotivational Wednesday

    The farther I get away from the original Star Trek series, the more I think that Captain James T. Kirk was one royal a$$hole.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

   "Don't waste your effort on smoke and sacrifice, Ainvar," he said harshly. "We're winning through our own strength, not because of some dubious druid magic."

    Winners, my head observed, believe they succeed on their own merit. It is only losers who require gods to blame.

(from Druids by Morgan Llywelyn)

The complete review is here.)

Monday, August 01, 2011

and her movie's a flop too

    Did you see those box office numbers for her self-glorifying film?  Absolutely abysmal.