Sunday, September 3, 2006
After a two-day drive from California, I got home last night a few minutes before 10:00 PM. I'll catch up on the blogging later.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Quite a bit later, as it turns out. For now I'll just put up this week's music, and fill in some of the missing accounts later. Today happens to be not only Mexican Independence Day, but it's also the anniversary of the Cherokee Strip land rush on September 16, 1893. That day was hot, dry, and windy, just like today.
Los Tigres del Norte are a good band for standard norteño music. This disc has a couple of selections that go off that well-beaten track, both of them hits that have been getting a lot of airplay. Señor Locutor is a call to a radio disk jockey by a father and son, telling of the loss of the wife and mother. The other hit is Ingratitud, which hardly sounds as if it's from the same band because of the fancy guitar playing. These guys don't normally feature the guitar so prominently, but on this track guitars take the lead, and the wonderful playing combines with the fine singing of an excellent song in a memorable performance. It's not hard to hear why this one was a hit.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Now let's catch up. When I wrapped up blogging in August I headed west for a visit to little brother Mike and a bunch of friends in California, some of whom I hadn't seen during the present century. I decided to go west by way of US 160, through Kansas and southern Colorado. I did make sure to take a detour through Dodge City because I knew the considerable Mexican population there would make for pretty good odds of getting a good dinner. In Colorado I stopped at a few antique shops and managed to find a stove lid to replace the cracked one on my kitchen stove. The disappointing thing about that part of the trip was seeing how badly southern Colorado is being Californicated. From Pagosa Springs to Durango, it's westward ho the bulldozers, with Mcmansions spreading across the level ground and up the sides of the canyons. Fortunately, the infection hasn't yet got a full grip on Cortez, which doesn't seem a lot bigger than it was thirty years ago.
The worst incident of the trip happened when I stopped for the night on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. It was there that Molly the dog went out on the highway and got squashed. I didn't see it happen, but she was so badly mangled that I assume a truck got her. So now I'm watching the papers for a "free puppy" ad.
The rest of the trip was uneventful and enjoyable. I'm working on a couple of pages of pictures to put on the website, but right now I'm waiting on additional computer memory I ordered so I can make photos any size I want. I've been getting "Out of Memory" messages on some of the bigger pictures I want to use
Monday, September18, 2006
Now for a little gardening. The area where the vegetable garden used to be was neglected for so many years that a lot of brush and small trees have grown up in it. Now that I have some time, I plan to clear it off and at least raise some home made tomatos. Yesterday afternoon I dug up a couple dozen peonies and transplanted them behind the house. There are still some there, so I need to find a place to transplant those. Once the peonies are out of the way I can get in there with the clippers and the chain saw and the truck and start clearing brush. This afternoon I took it easy and just did a little weed pulling.
Tuesday, September 19
Oh joy! Today after work I stopped at the garage where my VW has been sitting for a couple of months. The guy said he's going to start putting it together tomorrow. We shall see. The next stop was the paint shop where the steel cabinet from the kitchen has been waiting for sandblasting. The guy said he's doing it tomorrow. Excuse me if I'm cynical, but if both things happen when promised, it will be a happy surprise.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
No surprise. Car not done, cabinet blasted but not primered. As Scarlet said, tomorrow is another day.
Not all the "special" stuff that turns up on public TV during pledge week is my cup of tea, but tonight they hit a home run with a concert performance of South Pacific from Carnegie Hall. Reba McEntyre was great as Nellie, and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Emile wass impressive, but the real stars were Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. This show is almost sixty years old, and even in concert form the Rodgers music and the Hammerstein words are still a powerful combination. The evening ended with Reba McEntrye wiping away tears, and I dare say people watching all over the country were doing the same, while the Carnegie Hall audience stood, shouted and roared their appreciation. Now I have to get the movie version, which I haven't seen for over forty years.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
This afternoon I took the pickup and got the blasted and primered kitchen cabinet. With any luck I'll have it painted, reassembled, and back in the kitchen by the end of the month. Also, on this last day of summer, I finished putting the kitchen wood stove back together. I guess the next few weeks should be devoted to building up the firewood supply.
Friday, September 22, 2006
This afternoon I took the infernal contraption to the computer store in Wichita to have 1 GB of memory installed. The idea was to make it handle big picture files better, but I have my doubts. I didn't get back to town until after seven, so I ate at Tacos Juquila. I didn't feel like cooking, and I want to support the only place in town where actual Mexicans are willing to spend their money on the food.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
One of last month's musical plugs was for Volume 40 in a series of discs by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony. Here's Volume 38, which is all American music recorded in 1942 and 1945. In addition to Gershwin's American in Paris, Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite, and Barber's Adagio, this one contains Sousa's El Capitan and Stars and Stripes Forever, and The Star Spangled Banner. This will take you back to a time when the nation's most popular mass medium, radio, had a lot more class than anybody who didn't live then can imagine.
Saturday was brush-clearing day. Actually, most of the clearing was of branches downed in the big ice storm a few years ago. I started the job of opening up a way into the vegetable garden and removing the brush and trees that have overtaken it.
In the evening I made the forty minute drive to Ponca City to buy paint. Specifically, I was shopping for appliance epoxy for the kitchen sink cabinet. After buying the entire stock of two cans at the local "super center", I had to go to the real super center for enough to do the job. Dinner at the Royal China buffet was an enjoyable end to a busy day.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
The chain saw got another workout today. I took down the big mulberry branch behind the house, which has been sagging lower and lower. I figured it's better to do the job at a time of my choice, rather than waiting for it to fall down and block the road to the barn at some inconvenitent future time.
Once that was out of the way, I got started on painting that cabinet. I took the cabinet to town so I could work on it at the sign factory and cook it in the big oven overnight. At room temperature, the paint is supposed to dry for a week between coats, so the oven will let me finish the job in a week instead of taking more than a month.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Every afternoon this week I've worked on the cabinet, sanding and painting. I should have the painting finished tomorrow, and I hope to have the thing reassembled and ready to move back into the kitchen in a day or two.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
When this disc was released in 1997, Doc Cheatham was 91 and Nicholas Payton was 23. Doc began his career in the 1920's in Chicago, where he had moved from his native Nashville. He heard Louis Armstrong, Freddie Keppard, and King Oliver, and he sometimes substituted for Armstrong. He played in several bands, including Cab Calloway's and Teddy Wilson's. By the 1960's he teamed up with his friend, pianist Sammy Price, for some memorable duets. In the 1970's and 80's Doc became a big star in Europe, where jazz is more appreciated than in its home country. At home in the US, he continued to appear in clubs with small groups and became a favorite at jazz festivals. Nicholas Payton, a New Orleans native and son of a music teacher and a former opera singer and classical pianist, got his first trumpet at age four. He played his first paying gig at nine, and by the age of nineteen had played with theLincoln Center and Carnegie Hall jazz bands. By age 23 he had released two CD's of his own and played on releases by Jimmy Smith, Mark Whitfield, Jesse Davis, and the Miles Davis project. When Cheatham and Payton got together in New Orleans to record this CD, the young man was a little intimidated by the great old timer, but they played beautifully together. Doc didn't start singing until late in life, but he shows here why audiences immediately took to his vocal style. Among the classic songs included here are How Deep Is the Ocean?, Jeepers Creepers, Stardust, I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues, Dinah, Jada, I Cover tha Waterfront, Black and Blue, She's Funny That Way, and The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise. For anybody who loves New Orleans jazz, this disc is a must.
After doing laundry this morning, I spent about four hours at an auction. There wasn't a lot that I wanted, but I did get a good buy on three boomers and some chains. The three boomers cost me a little over half the price that one new one would cost at the local farm supply. On the way home I stopped at the sign factory and did the last of the painting on the kitchen sink cabinet. After it cooks overnight, I'll bring it home tomorrow and reassemble it. I finished the day with a chorizo burrito and a couple of tacos al pastor at Tacos Juquila. Excellent stuff, very tasty. I can't do that too often, or I'll blimp out.