August 31, 2013

Another Beatles song the world forgets

In the many children's books enumerating large things in the world, the ego of Paul McCartney is unaccountably omitted.  It is not large, it makes Asia look preposterously undersized.  To paraphrase Drew Carey, McCartney's ego is so big it has its own ego, it's so big Spielberg takes its calls.

I habitually mock McCartney for his insecurity and self-importance (because I am immune to those things, apparently), but there are times when one must admit he has a case.  For example, "I'm Down" is a great Beatles song, and was obviously one the band enjoyed playing, as in their finale at Shea.  It was the B-side to the "Help" single...and, yet, it didn't make the album, or the 62-66 anthology we grew up with.  McCartney said they buried it so everyone would focus on "Help", and he might have been right.

I can't help feeling that another song omitted from that anthology - "She's a Woman" (1964) - has suffered from similar, if less severe, neglect. It is one of McCartney's finest early songwriting efforts, and, although a massive debt to Little Richard is evident, it is also one of his very best vocal performances.

It was a major musical departure for the band as well.  The estimable Alan Pollack reports:
This song would be just about the Beatles' most blues-like number to date on compositional grounds, as well as those of performance style. The tune and the chord choices are bluesy in flavor, and the instrumental break and outro sections even sport a true-blue twelve-bar form. Even the verses turn out to be in a subtly disguised expanded variation on the standard twelve-bar framework.
This is a problem.  Don't get me wrong, I like the blues.  But most blues songs - even good ones - are, to modern ears, boring.  Fortunately, "She's a Woman" is not boring. The form may be blues, but this is a commercial popular song, and it is optimized for teenage attention spans.  McCartney's tripping, playful lyrics never allow us to settle down and space out.

Sung in Little Richard's register, there's also the visceral thrill of waiting to see if the man's larynx will explode. Like "The Star Spangled Banner", most performers automatically excluded from performing the song on athletic grounds. Those who can sing it with some accuracy can get away with murder on all other aspects, up to and including playing it on a ukelele in a bar.

Hard to say where to start with song - the version I grew up with was great, but had a bunch of added reverb.  That worked, in my opinion, but Londoners heard (2:26 here) a more austere, blues-authentic version.  Here is how it sounded in live performance at the BBC in 1965 - a little less mechanical than the studio version, it even swings a little (and dig that pink record).  This stereo remaster, which sounds good to me but is reviled by some, further complicates things.  There's a good mono remaster here.

"She's a Woman" was the B side of "I Feel Fine", and Master Pollack sees a strong musical connection between the two:
[T]here may have been times when John and Paul would, if not quite compositionally compete with each other in any explicit, technical way, subliminally work out some similar musical problem in parallel with each other; the result of which might be two very different songs which, nonetheless, betray a similar lyrical thesis or technical structure at a level below the surface... 
I suggest we have this phenomenon here between "I Feel Fine" and "She's A Woman". In this case, I am particularly struck by the euphoric subtext of the words, the stylized handling of the blues, and especially the V -» IV -» I intro in which the ensemble doesn't quite start until the I chord.
I was hand-waving and hooting at first, but he does have a point.  These two characters discover that you can add all sorts of "I Feel Fine"-like guitar to "She's a Woman" and get away with it.  Well, almost.

One of the nicest aspects of reviewing performances of "She's a Woman" is how briskly the auditions go.  Although the notes and rhythm are not complicated, it's not an easy song to play well, or even start well.  In the first ten seconds the performer(s) must:  execute the guitar intro, transition in the other instruments, and get the vocal ("my love don't give me presents...") off on the right foot.  Most fail in one of more of these tasks, and can be dismissed without too much investment in time.

In addition, we exclude from consideration the following:
  • Bass covers, guitar covers, karaoke covers, etc.
  • Garbage like this.
  • Attempts to play it exactly like the Beatles, but with a lesser vocalist (honorable mention here, however, to the The Substitutes of Melbourne Australia).
  • Any performance by Paul McCartney between 1970 and 2010 (dude, what were you thinking?
  • There are some fun things going on in Japan,
  • This one flunks for the cartoonish vocal, but further demerits for bad dancing.
A successful cover requires a different take on the song, talent, and the musical insight to discover something new and special in the music.  Ideally some artistic expression will also be involved.  Here are a few examples to consider:
  • Chet Atkins plays the country card, which works well, but discards the bluesy urgency of the original, which I personally find essential.  I'm not saying it's bad - Chet Atkins never played anything bad.  (Listens again.)  It's not bad at all.  It's good.  It's just...
  • By contrast, I don't care for the well-regarded Jeff Beck version at all.  It's a bit too Spinal Tap-ish for me, although if you like listening to long, self-indulgent, semi-random guitar solos, give it a try.
  • This talented fellow on Youtube does a disarming, beautiful, and even slightly soulful version on his Gretsch...very articulated but retaining some of the underlying rhythmic structure.
  • If you like jazz (I'm not judging), Joe Derenzo's interpretation is ok - similar in approach to some of Ramsey Lewis' covers - and I found myself alternately wishing I knew who was playing piano and hoping the saxophone player would go away.  Is there a take without the sax?  Hello?
  • Jose Feliciano, as usual, makes it his own.  Think I'll play it again.  (Listens again.)  Man, that's good.  Dude changes the second word of the song and gets away with it.  Nice flute, too, back when that sort of thing was still allowed.
My favorite, though, is the Deadhead version - wasn't this on Shakedown Street? - by Chicago jam legends Mister Blotto.  I hadn't thought you could do the song without that clockwork rhythm guitar, but they drop it after the intro and get everything else right:  a strong vocal performance, good guitar work, and fine playing in the rhythm section.  It goes on the playlist.

But they always marry the other kind (*sniff*)

When you get down to it, Spock really is the perfect man: tall, mysterious, brilliant, a bit of an outcast... he's like James Dean and an art history professor all rolled into one pointy-eared package.


For our Japanese friends

August 29, 2013

The economics of "You Know Me Al"

Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al traces the (self-told) adventures of a promising young pitcher who has just signed on with the Chicago White Sox.  It's a little unclear when the stories are set, but we know Lardner arrived in Chicago in 1907 and the first You Know Me Al story appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1914, so that's the approximate era.  Kid Gleason is assistant manager but doesn't appear to playing, so that means it must 1912 or later.

Perfect:  the BLS inflation calculator goes back to 1913.  So let's see what our hero was spending on his way to the Big Leagues.  (These are taken from the comic book version, scripted by Lardner, and collected and reprinted in 1979):

  • While still in the minors, Jack asks a player on another team what it will cost to live in Chicago.  "How long are you goin' to stay?"  "I'm goin' to be with the White Sox."  "Oh, about twenty one dollars ought to see you through." --> about $500, good for a month or two at the most.
  • Jack orders a small sirloin steak in a fancy restaurant, $1.75 --> $40 in today's money.
  • Later we see him walking, with a big smile, into a restaurant advertising t-bone steak for $0.25.  That's $5.90, much better
  • Jack meets Chicago owner Charles Comiskey, and demands $5,000 ($118,000) per year.  Comiskey tells him to come back when he's sober.
  • After carefully explaining that the taxes on $5,000 will ruin him, Comiskey offers to pay him $5,000 for two years instead of one, to spread the tax bill out over a longer period.  Jack accepts this generous offer, so signs for a still-nice $59,000 per year.  Median family income in that era would be about 1/4 of that.
  • Jack rents a room for $8 week (after seeing the landlady's cute daughter).  This is no bargain, unless you count the daughter - he is signing up for about $755 month, although it does have its own bath.
  • Later the landlady offers to make him breakfast and dinner every day for an extra $10 per week ($40/month), or $940 per month in today's dollars.  $30/day for breakfast and dinner is a bit rich - the landlady seems to have figured out math isn't his strong suit.  
From the book:

  • Jack sends a girl $30 for the train fare from Cleveland to Chicago, about $700.  She wanted $100 so she could buy clothes, too, but he tells her to buy the clothes when she arrives.  She calls him a cheapskate and keeps the money.  (Not clear if it was supposed to be a round-trip ticket.)
  • "Then [in Boston] I went down the Main Street again and some man stopped me and asked me did I want to go to the show. He said he had a ticket. I asked him what show and he said the Follies. I never heard of it but I told him I would go if he had a ticket to spare. He says I will spare you this one for three dollars [2013: $70]. I says You must take me for some boob. He says No I wouldn't insult no boob. So I walks on but if he had of insulted me I would of busted him."
  • "I have gave up the idea of going to Australia because I would have to buy a evening full-dress suit and they tell me they cost pretty near fifty dollars [2013: $1,200]."
  • After baby comes, two minor doctor visits (house calls), $2 each [2013: $47].

August 28, 2013

Mistakes were made, apparently

 photo Grades_zps4a10432b.jpg

I take solace in this:  I took personal control of drafting after round five.  The report card states "Creationists had a strong finish, accumulating the most projected points in the league over the second half of the draft."

Surely this soothes the sting of my projected 4-10 finish.

Darth Queenan

I was in a book store last night and idly perused a tattered copy of this book.  I opened randomly to this passage in the essay by Joe Queenan:
It is the Empire, not the Rebel Alliance, that offers the best hope for the future of the [human, presumbably] race.  The set-to between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance is a textbook example of what happens when a feudal society crosses swords with a modern one...  On the one hand, people living in the twenty-first century typically exhibit a knee-jerk sympathy for colorful aboriginals with their primitive weapons, garish attire, and unsophisticated economic system. On the other hand, these same modernites secretly admire efficient, ruthless, well-dressed leaders with cutting-edge technology and terrific organizational skills.
I have very little to say about any Star Wars movie after the original, but I will admit I showed up for Return of the Jedi.  And I thought this was the least-inspiring scene ever:

In particular, that guy in the beard is trouble, a platitude-mouthing civil service specialist of exactly the type that let Palpatine get out of hand in the first place. The Republic needs iron (examples here and here) if it is to survive, and I see precious little iron here.

Yeah, 10. Who's laughing now, Facebook?

Also:  I'm against changing things.

Just a flesh wound

Monday:  Hunter Pence slams into wall in embarrassing Giants loss, apparently injured.

Tuesday:  Longest home run in the majors this year.

Hard not to like the guy.

August 25, 2013

Show trial of the century

He's taken the trial off-script.  Son of an Immortal...  A villain from central casting...

He knows, as Cheyenne would say, how to play.  His father faced down tougher guys than these:
On February 9, 1967, Kang Sheng and his associates organized a rally in the Beijing Workers Stadium to criticize and "struggle against" Bo. Bo was paraded through the stadium with an iron plaque around his neck describing his "crimes", but he was more defiant than most victims persecuted by Red Guards, and demanded (unsuccessfully) to speak in his own defense. While being paraded he shouted: "I am not a traitor! I am a member of the Communist Party!" Bo's insistence that he was a loyal Communist Party member and that Mao had approved all of his actions created a chaotic atmosphere, and the rally was cancelled after three minutes.  
And his wife - the woman he denounces now - what has become of her, really?

A shame...they seemed like such nice kids, all those years ago.

[Actually, he was a Red Guard and beat people up in front of audiences.  Great rundown on the whole affair here.]

Ozymandius chuckles

The various tribes of Britain possessed valor without conduct, and the love of freedom without the spirit of union.  They took up arms with savage fierceness; they laid them down, or turned them against each other, with wild inconsistency; and while they fought singly, they were successively subdued.  Neither the fortitude of Caractacus, nor the despair of Boadicea, nor the fanaticism of the Druids, could avert the slavery of their country, or resist the steady progress of the Imperial generals, who maintained the national glory, when the throne was disgraced by the weakest, or the most vicious of mankind.  At the very time when Domitian, confined to his palace, felt the terrors which he inspired, his legions, under the command of the virtuous Agricola, defeated the collected force of the Caledonians, at the foot of the Grampian Hills; and his fleets, venturing to explore an unknown and dangerous navigation, displayed the Roman arms round every part of the island.

[Footnote 7: Claudius, Nero, and Domitian.  A hope is expressed by Pomponius Mela, l. iii. c. 6, (he wrote under Claudius,) that, by the success of the Roman arms, the island and its savage inhabitants would soon be better known. It is amusing enough to peruse such passages in the midst of London.]

Gibbon, Edward. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 

Definitive, I think

August 24, 2013

Trump University Mascots


August 23, 2013

Isn't intrusive surveillance romantic

Many many more here.

August 22, 2013

Gibbon is awesome

[Footnote 87: I have read with pleasure Mead's short, but elegant, treatise concerning Pestilential Disorders, the viiith edition, London, 1722.]

Decline and Fall &c.

August 21, 2013

Before her time

Marian McPartland.  Unclear how I will spend Sunday afternoons in the 1980s now that she is gone.

If you haven't bothered, consider starting here.

August 20, 2013

Amazon does the right thing

All funny reviews in one convenient location.

"I gotta talk to Scotland here and hope it goes over"

My review of Temple Run 2 is stuck in post-production, but if you have played it, you know you have to stay alive for awhile before you can really start to score.  And there comes a point in the game where you get into the super-bonus zone, where every minute you can stay alive is pure gravy, 10x points, sprinting for a shot at the high score.

If life is anything like Temple Run 2, Rickles - now 87 - is there.

How old is Don Rickles? Old enough to have been roasted (brilliantly) by Henny Youngman (with an assist from Milton Berle) in 1968...when he was 42.

Mr. Warmth:  The Don Rickles Project - now seriously out-of-date - is available here (cheap!).

August 18, 2013

Patton Oswalt wins the Internet, again

I stopped following Patton Oswalt on Twitter a few months ago, so I missed his triumph yesterday. I read the recap, and it was the hardest I've laughed in a year.

August 17, 2013

Breitling... that sounds German...

While in an objective sense, the FW-190 might (arguably) be considered the finest plane of WW-2, as others have pointed out it didn't achieve victory (thank goodness)

So, if I may, present to you what victory sounds like:

Two shower quotes

Trying to compensate for age-related lower energy levels and IQ points - as well as not giving a fuck generally - by consulting self-help types.  Like this guy, very popular here in Mountain View.  He has an interesting story.  Today's tweet of enlightenment:

Ordinarily I would ignore this like any other tweet, e-mail, verbal command from spouse, or scream of children I encounter in the course of my day.  But the tweet reminded me of something I heard Nolan Bushnell say a couple months ago.  He had it on a slide, so I guess he says it a lot:
“Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference.”

Ok...showers.  Noted.

Do we need to mention the drone targeting feature?

Not at first...

I'm sorry but...

...what follows are the best vine compilations ever:

You're welcome.

August 16, 2013

US/UK merger part 2

Premier League is starting to make inroads into American culture 


US/UK merger talks progressing well

The Curse of 370

I think this article is wrong - there definitely is a curse and you guys should totally avoid Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster when you draft.

Congratulations to CNN and NBC

The RNC just gave you the Hilary Clinton franchise and absolved you from all equal time requirements.  Go!

 Ooh, Oprah on line 2...

August 15, 2013

Tremble, Putin

August 14, 2013

With all this talk of P-51s, p-47s etc...

I got a chance to tour The Wright Patterson AFB museum with the illustrious Robert Shaw

I knew Robert thanks to the fact that we both played the late-90s massively multiplayer WW-II air combat simulator, Air Warrior and had gathered in nearby Indianapolis for a convention of folks who played the game (I also got to meet "Turtle", but that's a story for another time)

So naturally the group was sharing all sorts of opinions about the various aircraft that were on display but Bob remained silent until one plane came into view.

He said (and I paraphrase) "Gentlemen, you're not going to like this... But this was the finest fighter aircraft in all of WW-2"

Bob quite literally wrote The Book on Air to Air combat, so I'm inclined to agree with him.

August 13, 2013

Did *not* wear a Breitling

Or so I'm told

Three valuable lessons from the enjoyable documentary, American Grindhouse (now playing at a Netflix near you):

What we needed at that time were heroes.  We needed physical heroes.  We didn’t need creative heroes, we didn’t need actors, we needed somebody saying “spray their water on me, put those dogs on me, I’m killing ‘im, and after I’m finished with him I’m gonna kick your ass.”  I don’t do no singin’.  I don’t do no dancin’.  You guys ain’t killing me, and I win my fights and I get the girl.  That’s it, bottom line.
- Fred Williamson
There’s only so much you can do with Nazis.
- William Lustig

Anything that makes money…is good.  It’s America.
- John Landis

One of the nicely made points of this movie (alternate titles:  Conversations with John Landis and 11 People You've Never Heard Of and A Modern History of the American Subconscious), is that Hollywood has been stealing grindhouse tropes all along.  Some well-framed examples from the film:
  • Psycho
  • Beach Blanket Bingo
  • Easy Rider
  • Jaws
"Although," I am misquoting this one guy, "that slowed down after the giant rabbit movie."

Landis gets the last word:

"The only real grindhouse movie of the past 15 years has been The Passion of the Christ."

Problem solved?

You know there are real concerns that bees are disappearing and...holy crap.

August 11, 2013

On spiritual maturity, schlock jewelry, and the P-51

Hate is wrong.  Hate is bad, we shouldn't hate.  Jesus counsels us to love our enemies, and the Dalai Lama warns us that "the destructive effects of hatred are very visible, very obvious and immediate. For example, when a strong or forceful thought of hatred arises, at that very instant it overwhelms one totally and destroys one's peace and presence of mind."

Well, what about anger?  Jesus had his moment with the money changers.  Can we be angry, or is this also delusion?  The American zen teacher Joko Beck shared this story in Nothing Special:
Suzuki Roshi was once asked if anger could be like a pure wind that wipes everything clean. He said, “Yes, but I don’t think you need to worry about that.” He said that he himself had never had an anger that was like the pure wind. And our anger is surely not that pure, either, because of the fear that lies beneath the anger.  Unless we contact and experience our fear, we will have harmful anger.
So, let me acknowledge that what follows is my choice to express something that, unexpressed, has had an undesired claim on my attention.  I'm expressing, ok?  I'm not hating.  I'm not angry, you know?

It all started when the following ad appeared, several hundred times, on Bloomberg television - a channel I am professionally compelled to monitor:

After the promising appearance of the magnificent P-51, the ad then proceeds to fail on every level, from a guitar riff that would have been hackneyed in 1980, to the Boomer-bait monkey-cycle, to our hero's concluding dick move of pointing to his watch and flying away because the girl is late (because he has a date with another girl).

It is some kind of triumph of assholery, a Trumpian melange of egotism, mean-spiritedness, and bad taste.  And there is only one brand that could compose such a malignant symphony of fuckwittery:  Breitling.

Breitling.  The name sticks in my craw like a half-chewed cockroach.   Breitling - the firm that has made mannered ugliness its stock in trade.  Breitling - the company that has industrialized the design and production of horological atrocities like this, this, and this.  The Breitling section of EBay is a freak show of inelegant, non-utilitarian, poorly-designed, illegible, ugly watch-like whatchamacallits.  There are no exceptions - there is not, in this world, a single defensible Breitling.

This is an incredible achievement, to have driven everything good or beautiful or praiseworthy from your product.  General Motors had a good try in the 1960s, but even then there were a few exceptions for the motivated contrarian - maybe you could fall for a Toronado, and convince yourself that it was the one GM product that was ok, that had it somehow evaded the company's stupid/ugly stick.  But the Breitling mojo is too strong.  Every single Breitling product is an aesthetic disaster.

Usually the free market takes care of such things.  Most people don't want bad, ugly products, after  all.  Yet, somehow, they sell.  Breitling styles its products as "tools for professionals," but no professional would be caught dead wearing one.  Buzz Aldrin wore an Omega Speedmaster.  Steve McQueen (professionally cool) wore a Rolex Submariner.  Russian cosmonauts - not known for their delicate sensibilities - nonetheless like the undeniable functional austerity of Fortis.  Airline pilots prefer better-designed watches as well - I personally endorse (and wear) the TimeFactors Speedbird II, which is designed for this exacting clientele.

(It is true that Navy SEALS use Tag Heuer, which shows the incredible damage the Bush administration did to this country...but that's really a different topic.)

I wondered if the P-51 ad might have been a mistake, or a low-level screwup - you know, like the intern who made up the goofy Asian names after the 777 crash.  Maybe it was just a case of "mistakes were made"?


Orchard Road, Singapore, 2013.  The dork in the commercial has been replaced on a gigantic billboard by another even more gigantic dork:

 photo IMG_0116_zps9dc89a6c.jpg 

(Although Travola at least got rid of the silly helmet.)

Consumed now by a spirit of scientific inquiry, and blessed with a few moments between engagements, I traveled to the advertised address, and observed Breitling's Singapore headquarters in all its glory:

 photo IMG_0019_zps719185ca.jpg

In case you're missing the subtle imagery there in the window, here is a closer look.

And it began to dawn on me that this is no mistake - this is no accident.  The whole strategy became clear to me:  they mean to dominate the asshole market.

Assholes are doing great right now.  In all of human history, has there ever been a better half century for assholes?  Not the true monsters, mind you, the first half of the 20th century was their playtime:  I mean the little fuckers, the small men in big cars, the wannabes, the pimply mediocrities itching for an opportunity to fuck other people over without consequences, the loudmouth jerks who delight in taunting the weak.  Yes, we have always had them, history is full of them.  But was there ever an era where so many of them did so well?

Their pockets are full, and Breitling is there for them.  In the age of Trump, Breitling has achieved incredible success selling to the Trump wannabes, men for whom the word "loser" springs to the lips more felicitously than "hello" for you and me.  Breitling is the watch for someone who wants everyone to understand that they are powerful and have money and don't give a fuck, and need fear no consequences for their callousness and cruely.  Not "tools for professionals," then, but tools for tools.

I don't hate them.  I'm not a hater.  But if Breitling and its enabling ads disappeared from the face of the earth, I'm not sure we, as humans, would be the poorer.

And then there is the little matter of the P-51.  I understand that the ill-informed engineers of Air Warrior rated the P-51 below various Yaks and Focke Wulfs, and that is their own look-out.  The fact is, the plane won the war.  Goering said he knew it was over when he saw American fighters - the long-range P-51 - over Berlin.

Of course using an engineering triumph like the P-51 to sell schlock jewelry is aesthetically criminal, but we have seen that sort of thing before.  No, it is the symbolism that is wrong - severely wrong - and needs to be corrected.

If the P-51 is to be a symbol of anything, it must be a symbol of a global triumph over mendacious tyranny, an affirmation of freedom, the chariot of the good guys, as in Empire of the Sun...

...and an affirmation of redemption, as in Saving Private Ryan:

These are images of the P-51 that deserve to endure, and should endure (thank you Mr. Spielberg).

If it could talk, the P-51 would say to Breitling:  "you know nothing of my work."  The P-51 is not the bully's plane, it's the plane that grabbed the bully by the nose and kicked him in the ass, and made the world safe for freedom.

Breitling and its customers need to find another symbol for their special brand of bully-boy posturing.  I can think of one that fits very well with their aesthetics and values: the Stuka.

August 10, 2013

A dying breed

Strange, but I miss the patricians.  This guy was no friend of liberalism, but he was at least willing to state this obvious fact (as quoted in The Week):
[There are] very few [middle class] people whose parents didn't, one way or another, get their kids into a good school of their choice.  But we deny that right to [inner city kids].  
He was right, and, after decades of bipartisan misrule - this is true in both Red and Blue states, after all - it really bothers me that he's still right.

August 09, 2013

LeBron Madrid

Gareth Bale in five bullets:

  • Annunciation.
    • "Bale actually covered a total of 719m at sprint pace, measured at a speed of 24k per hour or higher.  Incredibly, that is 45 per cent higher than the average of 324m at sprint pace in the Premier League." (link)
  • Love.
  • Colossus.
  • Betrayal.
    • "Clearly this can only mean Gareth Bale is right now getting Real Madrid's crest tattooed on his sphincter."  (link)
  • Rage.
I remember when they were thinking of moving the Giants to Pensacola or somewhere, and a friend who had grown up with them raged:  "Go!  Who cares? We made you!"

Well, perhaps.  And someday...hopefully in this lifetime...perhaps they can make another Gareth Bale.

I checked with Dr. Kapital and he confirms that €100 million is "a lot".

Please enjoy this Matthew Yglesias article

Economics of Goldfinger: James Bond as the Enforcer for Harold Wilson's Doomed Austerity Policies

Guess where this is?

Answer here.

August 08, 2013

Paul Roseland and Ol' Timey Alaska Folk Music

You may have run into actual Alaska folksinger, in the full sense of the word, Paul Roseland of Girdwood, now about 85, who's been fascinated by the oldest Alaska folk songs since before we were born. His 1967 Centennial album I had and played repeatedly when I was 7 or 8; he collected songs from the oldest sources, incl things found in old cabins- his friendly Swedish/ Norwegian tinted accent is no bullshit, old time Alaska.

Terrible production values at the Alaska Folkfest, 1998, but at 13:50, his signature song, Goodbye, Summer, written in about 1950.

Grizzly Johnson, (Note: domestic violence.)

Lament of the Old Sourdough.   around 1901.  From an interesting audio page on Alaska history, incl. a 1941 interview with a man who knew Soapy Smith's telegraph scheme.

Old albums, like Paul, are still around.

If there were a liberal media bias

via DailyKos

The jobs thing is real.

August 07, 2013

Letterman discovers Pokey

"You like to drive?"
"Yeah, I'll drive, we'll sell some tickets my friends..."


Further info here. you hear me...LAST!

Back from my vacation to places where Google doesn't let fictional characters log onto Blogger (achtung! ...or should I say, 令!).

Back in the Land of the Free, I am filled with the spirit of open and friendly conversation.  So let me begin by pointing out that this rating system rates Russell Wilson dead last.  And does it really need to be said that he can never hope to compare to Tony Romo?

August 01, 2013

Here is the (updated) 2013 Seattle Seahawks schedule you requested