February 26th, 2016

Selamat pagi! (A fine Malay good morning to you !!!)

San Diego returned to its normal wonderful weather again this week..creating new heat records for February. This El Nino is not providing the much needed moisture this far south as had been hoped.

It is amazing what you can learn from looking back! I finished reading John Adams by David McCullough. This tome will exercise your arms and your mind. My daughter reminded that Sean, my son, had given me the John Adams HBO special DVD set for my birthday or fathers day some time ago. I can no longer recall if I realized that it was based upon this book and made a conscious decision to postpone watching until I had read the book or not. I prefer to read the book a film is based upon before I let all the directors, actors and screen writers puke their interpretations of it all over me. Anyway, that is going to be my story .. kind of like the cat that is seen falling off the stairs in his sleep…gets up … shakes and looks at you .. “Yeah, I meant to do that!” before laundering off to some place else. This is me sauntering over to the video cabinet to look for the John Adams DVD set that Sean gave me. About the book:
Many of my childhood “heros’ of our revolution come out of this reading tarnished and petty, if not nominally evil.
The illnesses that seasonally plagued the colonies was much worse than I had imagined virtually every American family was impacted and of course, this horror was often much more horrendous on American Indians and Slaves, that had no immune defenses.
John Adams’ autobiography is a love story (Abigail, his family, his country and life, in that order). I can think of no better summary for any life.

This week I learned some stuff:

This week I finally “rassled” the technology to its knees and managed to dumb down the amazing USB/MAC configuration to the point where I could record the wonderful serial-numbered-clear-vinyl. “Venetian Vinyl” album to my iTunes Library:) While I was at it, I also captured some some other music trapped in vinyl … let the good times roll!
The origins of our currently counterproductive two party system began as early as Washington’s second term. It exhausted Washington and was solidly entrenched by the time Adams was elected. Adams found this short sighted dysfunctional behavior personally abhorrent – that a “leader” would put his party’s aspirations over the good of the country. Sound familiar…just goes to show that sorry ’somabitches’ are timeless. The hopeful note I can take away from this lesson is that America always seems to find enough greatness to get past the ambitions of SOBs.
Two my favorite musicians who have passed happen to share the same birthday. The “quiet” Beatle George Harrison(1943-2001) would have been 73 this week and Nicky Hopkins (1944-1994), the amazing keyboardist for such bands as Jeff Beck Group, Steve Miller Band, Jerry Garcia Band, NRPS, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks and so on…would have turned 72 on the same day. Two giants who molded my world and gave it texture, color and above all, love.

Website Update
Last week for our “new” Vocabulary Quiz.

Painting Update:
Slowly, step by step, I am making my way to the paints.

Writing Update:
More Re-reading and editing more GPS chapters. This next revision will truly be better… I cannot believe that I am still finding typos!!


Why did we ever stop using LPs? The album covers alone were worth the pain in the butt dragging theses heavy ass records all through our lives. The art work, lyrics, liner notes ..all golden juju my friends! As I go through my records that have survived I can relive those joyful moments when I put them on the turntable for the first time!
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were “Frenemies” for well over 50 years. Their collaborations created a new and lasting form of government. Aristocratic, slave owning, Jefferson lived his entire life in privilege but died hopelessly in debt. While Adams lived his entire life from hand to mouth and left an estate worth well over $100,000 dollars (an amazing amount of money at that time). They died within hours of each other exactly 50 years after signing the Declaration of Independence that launched a new nation.

Music Update:
I diddled and fiddled with my gadgets all day last Saturday until they gave in:  

Leo Kottke – Bouree — From the vinyl!!!! From his early Mudlark album. I remember hearing this tune the first time on “Stand up” by Jethro Tull… little did I know at the time that they both were just covering the song of some other dude named Bach!

The Everly Brothers – Stories We Could Tell — From the vinyl!!!! This is a John Sebastian tune that has been since covered by Tom Petty, Jimmy Buffett, etc. It is one of my fav JBS songs. This record has just about everyone playing on it – Bonnie and Delaney Bramblet, Graham Nash, Ry Cooder, John Sebastian, Warren Zevon, Johnny Barbata, Jim Gordon, Russ Kunzel, David Crosby, etc. Its a great song sung well by the only voices that I ever thought challenged Roy Orbison.

Bryan Adams – Cuts Like A Knife – From the vinyl!!!! This is the title cut and a great song. Yeah, its a little commercial and cheesy, but reminds me a lot of early Rod Stewart. Keith Scott’s solo guitar work is worth the price of admission even if you aren’t a Bryan Adams fan. And what the hell, sometimes I can be damn cheesy 🙂

Venice – The Point — From the vinyl!!!! Many thanks go out to “The Lad”, “The Lad’s Dad” and St. Jan who provides the adult supervision when needed for her boys and crazy friends. This is one that we have seen Venice play live together more than once. Its fitting that its a song about fathers and sons. My daughter thinks this one is just too something.

Stanley Clark – Hot Fun – From the vinyl!!!! I am not sure how many people really know of Stanly Clark and his amazing bass technique. I discovered him in a 55 gallon drum of musical diamonds call Return to Forever that featured in addition to Stanley, amazing keyboardist, Chick Corea, child prodigy guitarist, Al DiMeola and Lenny White on drums. This is a cut from his fourth solo studio album, “School Days”. I love this funky spacey bass lead jam.

Carly Simon – It Was So Easy — From the vinyl!!!! This is a deep cut from her, “No Secrets” album. This is a sweet reminisce of a child living a sweet young life. Carly and her beautiful smile was always joyous to see but I think few gave her due credit for her songwriting and performance. This is a sweet song sung sweetly by a nice woman.

Tim Flannery – Scare Easy – A deep cut from Tom’s album, “Traveln’ Shoes”. I don’t think that he played this one when I saw him but I like it. The lead guitar is kind of nice on this one as well but I can’t tell if it is Jeff Berkley or Doug Pettibone doing the fingering deeds.

Bob Schneider – The World Exploded in Love — This is another cut from his,”Lonelyland” album. I gain more respect for this guy with every cut I play. I heard another fun live cut the other day, “Hanging with the Horny Girls”..got to check that out some time.

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!