January 29th, 2016

እንደምን አደርክ? (əndämən addärk?)! (An Amharic Good Morning to you!! – A semitic languages spoken in Ethiopia)

Our weather has been as warm and lovely as the east coast weather has been cold, snowy and generally crappy (naturally, Florida is the exception). We had blue skies and warm temps all week.

San Diego’s Symphony has been placing colorfully painted upright pianos all over the city to celebrate their Upright and Grand Piano Festival. Its very cool..one of them is just down from the San Diego Watercolor Society and I have been enjoying hearing members of the public just walking up and playing for us regularly. I will be saddened when the month is over and the city returns to its piano-less noisy self. You can check out the pianos here.

This week I learned some stuff:

I have been re-reading Robert A Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” book again. It impresses me that even after all this time (I first read this book in 1969), the concepts and storyline are still so compelling to me. I often re-read books. Sometimes I don’t like them the second time but most of the books I have re-read enabled me to see things that I had either forgotten or missed the first time. I have read some books many times. For example, I imagine that I have read Arthur Conan Doyle’s Homes books multiple times. For a while there I would re-read them each fall when the temperature and rain would fall. Do you re-read books?
I watched a great documentary about the History of the Eagles. It was actually two part film. The first one was the story from the beginning through 1980 when the Eagles just disappeared. And the second one starts in 1994 when they got back together until the present (2013 when it was filmed). It was bittersweet knowing that Glenn has left the building.

Website Update
2nd week for the “New” Vocabulary Quiz!!

Painting Update:
Didn’t make progress on painting project this week.

Writing Update:
I am re-reading and editing GPS each day now. Getting towards the end.


I am not sure what is stranger?? That UPS furnishes their driver with UPS Logo Socks or that I noticed this fine detail sitting at a light the other day. I complimented the young man through my window and speculated that if it weren’t for the socks, the uniform and the big brown trucks, he might be mistaken for a FedEx guy! But now inquiring minds have taken over….Who among us has diddled with a UPS driver of either persuasion and can testify as to whether the company furnishes uniform undies as well???? Hmmmm???
Have you ever lived in a city or suburb and have been assailed by the unmistakable presence of Perfume de Skunk ?? It seems to happen fairly regularly in southern California. We have these canyons throughout the city and county that are left virtually untouched by man. This is where the coyotes, skunks, snakes and other critters live among us. Anyway, every time one of my black and white neighbors from the Florida St Canyon gets tangled up with some puppy or coyote over night, I am somehow comforted. That pungent remainder reminds me that nearby life goes on untouched by the tragedy of a potential Trump/Cruz ticket for the highest office in the land or perhaps its just an early primary vote.
Ok. Is it just me or are we all spending more time cleaning up “auto correct help” than we did either fixing our own stuff or apologizing for typos that got sent out?? I now have re-read all my stuff to or three times to make sure I have corrected myself into nonsense. Are we learning to read past the corrections in stuff we read too?? Hmmm..

Music Update:
I didn’t get to record the new Venice album this week but we have some rainy days coming. That is a good rainy day project. I hope you enjoy this week’s mix. I seem to have ended up with a lot of vinyl this week! I also have some new music for you this week. I found Shane Smith and the Saints kind of by accident but I am liking it a lot. I hope you do too:  

Eric Clapton – Diamonds from the Rain — This is a deep cut from his “Clapton” album. Its just a great song about redemption. There is so much wisdom in these lyrics, I encourage everyone to take the time to actually hear what the boy is saying. My favorite line.. “Every storm that I have turned and each forgiveness that I have earned…” Oh and yeah, Eric plays his guitar for us too!

Eagles – Victim of Love — From the Vinyl !!!! This song was release on Hotel California and features the Eagles at their peak I think. They reinvented the band doing this record. They did great stuff before and after but this was the best selling album OF THE CENTURY!! Wow !

Shane Smith and the Saints – All I See is You – Every since my days with Somerset, I have been a sucker for 4 part harmonies. This just a good band! Good songs, played and sung well. These boys just find that special place inside me and make me smile. It helps a lot if you have loved as this song describes it.

Donald Fagen – New Frontier — Even though I had Donald on last week’s list, I just couldn’t let this one pass as it came up on the iPhone rotation this week, Another cut from the Nightly album and the tightness of this entire album just blows me away every time I take it from the album sleeve.

Bruce Springsteen – Fever – From the Vinyl!! This is just the Boss at his best hanging with the E Street Band.

Cat Stevens – Into White — From the vinyl!!! This is a deep cut from his “Tea for the Tillerman” album I always loved his phrasing and the texture of his vocals.

Grateful Dead – Sugar Magnolia – From the Vinyl !!! This is just another good time song that me and millions of other dead heads have danced to in every concert we attended. Any song that gets away with, “She can dance a Cajun rhythm just a Willies in 4 wheel drive…” you just gotta love.

Tommy Bolin – Homeward Strut — This is a cut from his remastered Teaser Deluxe album. Nothing fancy, just a raw Tommy guitar music jam but it is a great demonstration of his talent with the instrument.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember, the best is yet to come! 

As always, thank you for being my friend!