17 April 2019

Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote

I can't even begin to tell you how down I am for this! Apparently out this week.

Edit: Saw it! Plaza Theater, Atlanta. 9:30 pm, only showing in town. I'd forgotten what it was like for a movie to be fun. FUN! Gilliam does phantasmagoria better than pretty much anyone out there, and there's plenty to be had here. Pryce = Brilliant, wonderful. Made me forget the High Sparrow altogether. Driver = meh. Kinda' wooden which worked wonderfully in Paterson—his best by far. Some subtle allusions to Kylo Ren though—the kind of stuff that made this so much fun. The original story is obliquely identifiable throughout, something else which made this so much fun. Didn't love the twist at the end, but that's mere quibbling. I was mesmerized for the full 2 1/2 hours and plan to see it again. Also, landscapes and castles!!!

14 February 2019

Hoodoo You, Love

It's that time again. Happy St. Valentine's Day from Ellas Otha Bates (McDaniel) aka Bo Diddley. And don't forget to Hoodoo Your Love!

First, the ORIGINAL:

Now, the COVERS. My favorite first, from The Woolies—Detroit!!:

Killer version from Dr. Feelgood, too—Wilko!!:

This is probably the biggest, most well-known cover from George Thorogood—and it's most def thoroughgood:

Giant Sand tearing into it:

Some straight up Rock 'n Rolling from The Milkshakes:

Guaranteed to garner some hate, The Doors:

Live version from The Band's The Last Waltz (with Ronnie Hawkins):

If you're feeling self-indulgent, here's a Quicksilver Messenger Service performance. Psychedelic, man:

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Morlocks:

From Down Under, Oz-land: The Hoodoo Gurus lighting it up:

And in glorious Shoegaze style, it's The Jesus & Mary Chain:

Robin Thrush, Jr.'s noodling version:

Townes Van Zandt with a country folk version:

And you didn't think someone would do a Prog version, well you would be wrong. The Misunderstood:

How about UFO:

Tom Rush:

From A Group Called Smith:

Here's Johnny Winter, a real player:

Some Rockin' from The Preachers:

Brian Curran did a version:

Here's kind of a cool karaoke version by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy:

Juicy Lucy, getting hard:

And from the Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings 100% Canadian Content Jukebox:

Dutch Mason, killin' it Rockabilly style, yo:

Santana style:

Barb Jungr. Moar of this!

Listen to Paul Roland:

Rory Gallagher, shredding:

Golden Earring did a live version:

And lastly, here's the master himself with some guy from some other band:

06 February 2019

A Heart Not Necessarily Left Though Certainly Lent

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I've never been to the Bay Area. Until now. San Francisco is one of this country's great cities. I connected with friends I haven't seen in decades, friends who acted as personal tour guides as we caught up on each others' lives. Great food, great coffee, decent beer. Dined at friends' homes in Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond Point, as well as restaurants in Chinatown and several places in the city. In my four days there, I walked a tad over 25 miles. I'm not ashamed to say I enjoyed being a tourist and doing touristy things for a few days. For example, I learned the original name of San Francisco was Yerba Buena, which translates to 'Mint' or, more literally, Good Herb. Did not know that! Of course, with the legalization of marijuana in California, that whole 'Good Herb' thing takes on a whole new twist. Next visit, I can get deeper. Here's a few snaps. [As always, click pic to embiggen slide show.]
A rising sun limns the canyonlands en route.
The skeletal remains of a buried giant?
Mono Lake from the sky. A different perspective.
Buster Posey, Canine Operating Officer, greets me in my hotel room. SF Giants catcher from ATL.
Sunset drinks at Land's End. Camera Obscura. Vertigo setting.
Fern, Moss, Redwoods: Muir Woods.
Tram through Fishermans Wharf.
They're scarier than the look. Mechanical brakes, steep hills. Be prepared!
Arch frames ship. Prime selfie spot.
Num num num.
It is what it says it is.
Yes. This is what I've been trying to tell you.
And more of this, please!
Botanical Gardens, Golden Gate Park.
A sacred site.
Note the birds, man.
Note the graffiti from the 1969 Indian takeover.
Down on the Bay.
Berkeley by Night.

08 January 2019


I am absolutely distraught.

I just found out the local county wants to re-route a sewer main through my back yard—one acre with ~400' creek bank. That could involve condemnations, easements, competing appraisals, and possibly eminent domain—and law suits. I suspect it would mean digging a trench at least 15' deep between my house and the Peachtree Creek which runs through my property.

My house and a couple flower/shrub/tree beds sit on an outcropping of granite bedrock. The proposed main would cut through it, possibly requiring dynamiting within 20' of my home which could shake the foundations of my house and cause cracks in the otherwise watertight basement.

The lawn falls off into the creek past the bedrock boulder raising issues of creek bank erosion and collapse. Ten or 15 years ago, the county provided us 200 tons of granite riprap which we had laid by hand (!) to prevent further creek bank erosion and prevent our yard from slipping into the creek. The creek provides a major runoff when it rains here. And this year we've had upwards of 70 inches of rain. During major storms, what is normally a two-feet deep clear running stream becomes a muddy 15-20 feet deep Class 2 rapids.

We have a number very large, old trees anchoring the creek bank. Before we shored up the bank, we lost one of those giant trees when its root system was undercut by the water. The proposed trench would undermine all that protection, and we would stand to lose actual acreage.

This is not to mention my goldfish pond, fountains, established plantings (e.g., specimen fringe trees and dwarf Japanese maple as well as giant azaleas and a moss lawn) 20-25 years old as well as canopy trees that block the fierce afternoon sun, a sidewalk, trellis, pier, and bridge, underground electrical and sprinkler and gas lines and installations, fences, etc.

Across the creek from me are 70+ acres of county green space woods it seems they could route this thing through. As I understand it, the county's surveying crew that has been here since before the holidays is doing a "feasibility" study. I must convince the decision-makers that the current proposed route is not feasible and that it would be cheaper, easier, and more feasible to re-route the project across the creek.

The previous resident of the house was a landscape architect who had access to all manner of ideas and designs and equipment. He did a marvelous job, and we are lucky to have this Secret Garden 'inside the perimeter' of metro Atlanta. We moved here nearly 20 years ago and have done our dead level best not to destroy his creation—not easy for a couple who'd always lived in Manhattan apartments and had trouble keeping potted plants going more than a year at a time! It's a mature haven we do not want to lose. There's no way, once 100 year-old trees and 25 year-old plantings are destroyed to replace them and return them to their current glory in what remains of our lifetimes. We've had trouble sleeping the last few weeks, and nearly every morning I wake up worrying about how to keep this from happening.

Stay tuned. Here are some pictures of the place and the proposed route of the pipeline.

02 November 2018

Somewhere in the Swamps of...South Carolina

Some pics from last week:

Gyrfalcon with its handler at Stone Mountain Highland Games. Largest falcon in the world. Amazing eyes!
Salt Marsh on Kiawah Island, SC. A unique ecosystem.
Bike path on Kiawah. Note the Live Oaks with Spanish Moss. 
Live Oak, Saw Palmetto, Deer. What the biking is like on Kiawah.
Some sort of spongey thing on the beach at Kiawah in the rosy light approaching sunset.
Kiawah Sunset!
Cypress Trees in the Swamp at Congaree National Park.
Kayaking along the Cedar Creek in Congaree NP.
Tupelo and Cypress on the Boardwalk Hike in Congaree NP. Note the Cypress Knees.
Congaree Denizen. What a beauty!
Another contribution to my 'Things Growing on Other Things' collection.
This brought back all the feelings. My first job, at the age of 13, was picking cotton. Picked for 2 or 3 summers. My cuticles have never recovered! (If you've ever picked a boll of cotton, you'll know what I mean.)
Beagle hunting with attached radio collar so his owner can locate him.
Someone suggested an upscale restaurant near Santee where we were staying. But when I saw this place, I insisted on eating here. Country Cooking: Beef hash with local rice, BBQ pork, Fried Chicken, Fried Okra, Corn Bread Hush Puppies, Apple Cobbler, Banana Pudding. Just like mama used to make!
Approaching twilight on Lake Santee.

22 October 2018

Northwest Passage — Pt. 9: Whistler/Blackcomb, BC

The last big hike of the trip. We stayed overnight in Whistler, a major ski resort in British Columbia. In summer, the slopes and the area around them are turned into mountain biking trails and hiking trails. There was a major BMX championship going down in the town itself. The gondolas and chairlifts were packed with bicycles and their riders, who rode down the precipitous slopes on groomed trails. Not my thing, but looked like tons o' fun if that's your thing.

We opted for the High Note Trail, described below. Very few other hikers. Cannot recommend this hike enough. It was glorious. The altitude was not so high that it was totally disorienting, but the air was rarified. We were above all the smoke and haze from the wildfires. The day was, in a word, perfect.

As sometimes happens, I opted for a short-cut trail back to the main lodge. The trail somehow petered out in a jumble of rocks. I negotiated my way across the rubble and up a small slope only to discover it was the wrong slope in the wrong direction. After a brief discussion with the kind, helpful folks on the Emergency Hotline, I re-oriented, backtracked down the slope and back across the morraine, skirting a few glaciated patches, and back up the slope on the other side of the saddle until I found my way back to the trail which led to the lodge where I met up with the rest of the crew who were already there! Turns out my short cut was longer than their hike. HaHa. LOL. Silly me! That'll teach me a lesson!

A very important photo. After I got "lost", i.e., the trail disappeared into a pile of rocks, I called the number there, and they helped orient me. Thanks!
Precisely the sort of thing that activates the amygdala fear response region of my brain. Yet, reader, I crossed it!
Distant glaciers. Mid-August.
Hiking the slopes and rocks. (Not my stick, btw. Don't use one.)
Patches O'Glacier.
What is this I see down in the valley?
Cheakamus Lake, tree line, distant glaciers.

Typical trail view.
Wait, where'd the trail go? Guess I'll just have to negotiate this rocky rubble and maybe I'll come across it.
Alpine meadow back on the trail again.
Waterfall near Squamish on the way back to Vancouver.
And...ketchup flavored potato chips. Don't try this at home.