How do I love thee? I love thee for thine funky retro greeting cards that thou dost findeth in thrift stores. Man, I hate trying to write prose in Elizabethan English. Anyway, when we bought our home from Mrs. Brass in 1997, we also took possession of a huge stash of greeting cards from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. That supply ran out a couple of years ago, so Denise scours the thrift stores and eBay to find the finest cards for loved ones. That’s one way Denise demonstrates her affection – by sending folks cool special occasion cards. Here is the one she gave me this year for Valentine’s Day.… Read the rest “Denise: How Do I Love Thee?”
Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two-pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
I collect quotes and pithy sayings to share with others, fully realizing their veracity and/or utility vary greatly. Take this one by C.S. Lewis, for instance. How can we know if what he says here is really so? Who is he talking about, what is the truth he would have us tell, and what will it look like, if you or I become original?… Read the rest “Why Bother With Originality?”
Do you know who #65 is? If not, isn’t about time? Check out this interview by PopDose.
A Songwriter’s Story: Bill Mallonee
BILL MALLONEE on August 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm
In a Paste Magazine poll of writers and artists, Bill Mallonee was listed at #65 of the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters. Mallonee is not only an accomplished songwriter, but a prolific one as well. Since the start of his recording career in 1991, Mallonee has released 58 albums. His latest album, Winnowing, is being released today. You can get a CD or digital download here. There’s going to be vinyl too.… Read the rest “Do You Know #65?”
Evidently, the cigar box guitar (and, bass) craze has swept the land and I’m the last to know. Glenn Kaiser and I go way back, although he wouldn’t know that. He was the front man for the Rez Band, which I saw perform at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa over 30 years ago. Glenn is a very good guitarist and blues historian. Check out why he is so passionate about the cigar box guitar over at his blog.… Read the rest “Cigar Box Guitar Craze”
Have you ever wondered why people who always seem to be involved in conflicts or controversy are the first to cry foul? Richard Baxter made this observation of human nature over 300 years ago and it’s as timely now, as it was during those factious days of the English Civil War:
He that will blow the Coals must not wonder if some Sparks do fly in his face…
I have hundreds and hundreds of pithy quotes (and, some longer), which I have collected over the years. I brought them together as a collection in a Hypercard stack, back in the early ’90s.… Read the rest “Quotes: Lots of Quotes”
Denise is collecting unique calendars… I get to use this one on my desk. It’s made of brass, it’s heavy-duty and it’s awesome. Every time you turn it over, the next day falls down into place. After the 31st, it reminds to you to change month… then, instructs you to turn slowly and, finally, informs you that this cool calendar is covered by Patent # 241137, 1925.… Read the rest “Calendar Design • Bauhaus”
We visited our friend, Joan, who was our next-door neighbor when we lived in the village of Sedgwick way back in ’93. She owns one of the oldest, if not the oldest, homes in town. She was getting her wheel all ready for a spinning demonstration at the Blue Hill Fair. It seemed very appropriate to watch her at work in the parlor of the home, near the great brick fireplace and original paneling.… Read the rest “Please Allow Me to Spin a Tale”
Denise may be an efficient office manager at LRR, but she’s also a stylish and sassy one! Just check out all the latest gizmos in her home workstation and you’ll know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. If it’s any indication of what she’s got going on at her pro gig… well, then it’s no wonder that she has proven indispensable to her employer.
Let’s see; we have a bill holder, an address/phone contraption, a stand for her eyeglasses, a pen/pencil holder, battery charger, field guides for bird watching, binoculars and, of course, her name plaque from her former employer, AAA.
You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged about Maine for about a week.… Read the rest “Krazy Kitsch”
Blueberries are native only to North America. Wild Maine blueberries, like Maine lobster, are the best — finest kind. They are small and full of flavor, unlike the larger ones that grow higher off the ground in places like New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Our friends in Maine will sometimes eat the larger, inferior blueberries from away but that’s an anomaly.
Blueberries are raked and it is difficult and back-breaking work. If you are good at it, you can make a big wad of cash during the season, typically the month of August. In the 90’s, that’s how teenagers in our town earned money to buy a car.… Read the rest “Blueberries”
I coveted. This watercolor was hanging in our motel room in Wolfeboro and I wanted it. I wanted it so badly. I was pleading with Denise to offer the owner 10 bucks for it. I even thought we might be able to trade Emma for it.
Now, I’ll need some help from all of you art afficianados. It is signed by one, Marty. It reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish, but I’m not sure why. I don’t think it’s his style, but I believe it may reflect his palette.… Read the rest “Confession”
What trip to Maine would be complete without a lobster bake? And, why do they call it a bake, when you boil or steam everything? Well, that and other weighty questions of eternal consequence will have to wait until later. Right now, we’re talking about downeast cuisine.
We headed down to Brooklin to buy some lobsters from John Candage and found them for just over $5 a pound.
We got together with Bruce and Terri, Paul and Mary, Leah and Emma for some lobster, steamers, fresh corn on the cob and, of course, pie. Mary made the best coconut cream pie, with a great whipped topping.… Read the rest “Lobster”
When you’re in Maine, there are a number of rare treats you’ll want to track down besides the best lobster in the world. Emma and I love two Maine staples, common to the working class downeast; red hot dogs and whoopie pies. The best place to find them in Hancock County are at the Eggemoggin Country Store or, as the natives call it, B&L’s (it was established years ago by Billy and Lorna… but, that’s another story).
Danny makes the best whoopie pies, bar none, anywhere in New England. He also serves up the most righteous cookies and baked goods.… Read the rest “Red Hot Dogs, Whoopie Pies and Maine Male Models”
I’m sitting in a very comfortable motel room in Wolfeboro New Hampshire, which I’m sure you know was the first resort town in the United States. We found a wonderful little place on the lake, where Emma and Denise are relaxing in a gazebo, on the lawn, watching some kids being delightedly dragged and tossed about the lake on some big rubber boat by their irresponsible parents.
We finished some takeout for lunch and two pints of hand-packed Morrissey Ice Cream, followed by a nap. Now, I’m ready to get down to some serious Bible study, following this post.
Ever since our first trip to New England, Denise and I have trained our eyes to detect each and every dairy bar along the road, in search of the best soft serve and homemade or local dairy’s hard ice cream.… Read the rest “Dairy Bar!”
So, we met some new friends in Sedgwick Me — Joanne and Doug. They told us that Pushcart Press, the world’s smallest bookstore, is in the building at the back of what was once Donny and Eleanor’s garage and auto dealership. We stopped by to check it out. The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious literary project, pioneered by Bill Henderson over 30 years ago. As it turns out, Mr. Henderson is now a resident of Sedgwick, where I once served as Postmaster and our family wintered for a year before moving up to Blue Hill. From the PP website:
… Read the rest “The World’s Smallest Bookstore”
The Pushcart Prize – Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America.
Hey, kids! Let’s have a sock hop at the Salisbury’s pad! I bought each one of these albums at the same yard sale for 25¢ apiece — much less than the original owners paid. They threw in the album stand for free! The entire display goes well with our entertainment center, don’t you think?
Bo had the Box Tops album, when he was in the sixth grade. The Fontaine Sisters and Herman’s Hermits were before our time.… Read the rest “Krazy Kitsch”
I’d like to introduce a new feature to our tens of thousands of readers. Krazy Kitsch serves to provide you with a virtual tour of our Home on Piety Hill, which Denise is transforming into a varitable museum of off beat, kitcshy kollectibles and questionable art, furniture, kitchen utensils and, well, just about everything else. Now, mind you, some items will not actually be kitschy at all, but we’ll use that as a sort of catch-all label for just about anything we think is cool. Here’s a good definition of kitsch from Wikipedia:
… Read the rest “Krazy Kitsch”
A term of German or Yiddish origin that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an existing style.
Did I ever tell you that Denise can make excellent tamales and carnitas? ¿No? Well, then… About the time Denise and I started getting serious, she worked at a deli and meat market, owned by Jess (Mexican) and Julianne (Polish). So, while I was off surfing every single day during the summer of 1974 (I couldn’t get a job, because I wouldn’t cut my hair — Idiot), Denise (Anglo) learned how to make carnitas, tamales, tortillas, menudo, peirogi, golumki and fresh/smoked kielbasa. Yes, she was always good in the kitchen, but this experience turned her into a serious culinarian.
Denise is not threatened by others, with more sophisticated or advanced skills.… Read the rest “Carnitas!”
Emma just completed her first semester at Sacramento State University with a Big Four Point Oh! She’s pursuing a degree in design — leaning toward architecture. This was confirmed to Emma on her latest visit to Chicago, the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, as well as home to the Prairie School and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Emma’s strength, I think, is in photography. She has always had a good eye for an interesting composition and Photoshop is the logical extension for the skills she learned in the dark room years ago. Here we see two Photoshop projects and the final example is a graphic design assignment using Adobe InDesign.… Read the rest “Emma Is On Her Way”
Why is Phil Keaggy one of my favorite guitarists? Here are four reasons, spanning nearly forty years from his days with Glass Harp (and a really cool macramé vest), through his “Alan Holdsworth period,” into the “Windham Hill era” and on to the present. Now, the second video is fairly long, but please be patient… Phil will turn himself and one guitar into an entire band by the time he’s finished with an incredible run. I hope you enjoy….
I just upgraded to WordPress 2.5 and it was deceptively simple. Now, I can use the Visual Rich Editor, which was not supported in earlier versions of Safari and WordPress! I actually liked coding the posts manually, but truth be told… I’m kinda sloppy and I’d have to go back and edit my posts about a million times.
Second, I can try out the latest plugins, including Akismet. That should save me even more time, not having to deal with SPAM.
Finally, I like the new look and feel… it’s almost like beginning all over again. So far, I highly recommend WordPress 2.5.… Read the rest “Upgrade A Success!”
Now, here’s a blog I get. Jonah travels the length and breadth of America, sampling the fare from taquerias of all sizes, posting his reviews on the Burrito Blog. As of this writing, he hasn’t sampled the best yet, which can only be found at El Tepeyac. ¿Es verdad, mi familia?
Now, if you’re ever in the Los Angeles area, you want to head over to East LA and find 812 N Evergreen Ave., between Brooklyn and Wabash. El Tepayac is across the street from a large Catholic church, in a neutral zone, and there’s usually a real long line outside.… Read the rest “The Burrito Blog”
Yes, that’s Promaster and not Postmaster. Although many of you know me as a Postmaster, I am also a harp player since about this time last year. I took up the harmonica, because I realized that the nerve pain in my right arm would probably prevent me from playing the guitar seriously.
I’ve really come to enjoy the harmonica, thanks in large part to my friend, Tom B., an excellent harp player. He dropped by one afternoon with Amy and a large suitcase full of harmonicas. Being a generous mentor, he gave me a handful of Big River harmonicas, Pucks, a tremolo harmonica and a nice Hohner Chromatic 260.… Read the rest “Promaster”
It took nearly twenty years, but my short biography of Richard Baxter is in publication and you can get your hands on a copy of it on at Lewis and Roth, using PayPal, VISA© or MasterCard. It’s only $9.95 and a nominal charge for shipping and handling, so how can you go wrong? Most of my sales have been by money order or personal check and you can find that order form right here.
“Who’s Richard Baxter?” you ask.
The well-known Christian author and authority on the Puritans, J.I. Packer, called him “incomparable” in his zeal and abilities, as well as “…the most outstanding pastor, evangelist and writer on practical and devotional themes that Puritanism produced.”
His detractors called him Scribbling Dick, because he published over 140 works during his lifetime, all the while thinking he would be killed or die by the next Spring.… Read the rest “Buy This Book”
Oh, my. I found this great little clip of the Electric Flag — Mike Bloomfield is in fine form. I was too young to see the original Flag, but caught them on a reunion tour with Moby Grape in about 1974. Fantastic! We were in the orchestra pit and Mike Bloomfield was right in front of us. His guitars were totally memorable. He played a Les Paul that was beat with the standard white knobs from a Stratocaster replacing the originals which he must have lost somewhere. He also played a blue Telecaster that looked like he had painted it himself — there were drips and runs across it.… Read the rest “The Electric Flag Featuring Mike Bloomfield”
Because now, with a little bit of broadband, I can take a trip down memory lane and watch a lot of my favorite bands/artists from the past. For example, Living Colour on the Arsenio Hall show performing Cult of Personality. I once heard Living Colour referred to as the black Led Zeppelin… LZ wishes they were this heavy. Rock, funk, punk, noise, rap, African, reggae, metal, industrial, free jazz… they have it all and stage presence!… Read the rest “Why Do I Love YouTube?”