June 3rd, 2016

Buorre iđit! (“Good Morning” in a Northern Sámi, a Western Sámi language spoken in parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland!!!)

I have observed swamps with more enticing inspiration that this crop of “probable” presidential candidates. If Bernie and Gary Johnson weren’t still taking about specific ideas and how to pay for them, there would be no substance at all! Hillary visited our fair city this week. Allegedly she was going to layout her foreign policy perspective. As she explained it, she is not Donald Trump! She took the opportunity to articulate her vision for being Commander in Chief of the most powerful armed force that has ever been, and chose instead to critique The Donald’s personality as demonstrated in his 140 character rants. To me, this approach was a demonstration of poor judgement. While ridiculing his tweets may have felt good but there are serious Americans who want more substance than vitriolic rhetoric. Her speech did not invoke confidence. I frankly do not understand how anyone could support either of the most likely candidates based upon their own merit because as of now, I see little merit to admire.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I was buried this week doing the notifications for SDWS International Exhibitions electronically. This is the first year that SDWS didn’t create letters and stuff several hundred stamped envelopes to tell the entrants whether they were accepted, selected as an alternate or declined for this art show. I worked with some great people, taught myself about Google’s Docs (their robust and free office automation solutions that are augmented by numerous collaboration add ons). We did a email merge to replace placeholders with real values to personalize and make the emails more effective as a part of the process. It was not perfect or pretty at times but I think the results are an improvement both in terms of cost and effectiveness over the snail mail approach.

Website Update
• This is the last week for the “New” Vocabulary quiz!

Painting Update:
• My grandson, BJ continues to impress us with his colored pencil work. Once again, I failed again to wet a brush.

Writing Update:
• Working again on finishing the edit.

• Chewy is enjoying the new digs down in Chula Vista. In stead of a postage stamp front yard to patrol, he has comparative acreage. He misses his visits from the dog walkers and kids that would stop and say hello as the passed our little place on the cover of Robinson and Florida streets. But now he will not spend any time inside the house. I am not sure if he considers me a lost cause or feels that with all the other people here he can stop worrying about me and just hang out in the back yard by his pond.

Music Update:
I really didn’t get to play much music this week. In fact, I want to thank you for the opportunity to pick the selections for the UJT because with just a couple of exceptions, it was my only chance to listen this week.

• Savoy Brown – Sunday Night — Just another instrumental cut of my old new found best musical friends. This is a Kim Simmonds tune from SB’s, “Looking In” album but it takes a band to make this kind of magic.
• Electric Light Orchestra – Turn To Stone — Jeff Lynne wrote this in Switzerland during a 1977 two week writing binge that resulted in a double album, “Out of the Blue”. Hearing it was like hearing an old friend call your name across an airport.
• Fleetwood Mac – Big Love — Sweet music by a great band! This one came out in 1987 on their, Tango in the Night album. Features some particularly fine guitar work and of course Mic Fleetwood’s incredible play.
• Bruce Cockburn – Last Night Of The World — I learned about Bruce Cockburn when I fell in love with a song I heard Jimmy Buffet play live. “Pacing the Cage” is a deep song that will hurt your head if you listen too closely but it is also very moving. I heard the cut again this week. I also remembered being surprised when I learned that this Canadian, Bruce Cockburn had written the song. I found out he has released over 30 albums! I have only heard a a few of his songs so far but I like what I hear – excellent fingerpicking and he enjoys wide diversity of musical genres. Stay Tuned.
• Steely Dan – Daddy Don’t Live in The New York City No More – This is a deep cut from their, “Katey Lied” album and it features one of the greatest guitar players you have probably never heard of in his first collaboration with Steely Dan, Larry Carlton. Becker and Fagen were very unhappy with the sound quality of this album due to a malfunction of the then brand new dbx noise reduction system. After consulting with the engineers at dbx, the damage was repaired in post production but Fagen and Becker still refused to listen to the completed album. But I did and I liked it… a lot!
• Elton John – Candle in the Wind — This song was one of my first favorites when Goodbye Yellow Brick Road came out. I ended up having a lot of favorites from that record. Its a sad song about a sad life and even Elton is sad that he never met Marilyn. I ever saw Elton John in concert at the Hampton Roads Colosseum, Hampton VA in 1972, he kept a framed Marilyn’s photograph on his piano and that was before 1973 when Goodbye Yellow Brick Road came out. It was of course reprised for Princess Di in 1997. I love the song but it is almost a dirge.
• Bryan Adams – The Best was Yet to Come — From the Vinyl!!! Another invader from up north, I always liked Bryan’s singing and his music. This is a deep cut from his, “Cuts Like A Knife” album.
• Bonnie Raitt – Have a Heart — There is something so vulnerable about this song. I always end up teary and trying to sing along. This one is from BRs, “Nick of Time” album and was written by Bonnie Hayes, singer songwriter from San Francisco. Its one of my favs. Oh and I gots to plug Mr. Ricky Faatar who does the percussion and drums on this record. George and John from Somerset got me hooked up with The Flames, Ricky’s first band from South Africa. I came to love his music even more when he joined the Beach Boys.

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!