static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Birds revisited

I had a great post last night about how I can't stand dealing with birds but my browser froze and was unable to post. I will try again to express my opinions and this time it will hopefully take. As I was saying last night, I don't like birds. While I might like looking at them, reading about them, or eating them, I don't like the animals. They are noisy and messy. I have mentioned stories in the past about birds, notably the Red-tailed hawks, Pale Male and Lola, that had been evicted from their 5th Avenue (New York) condo. I also mentioned the three emus that had been released in the Skokie Lagoon last Thanksgiving. There have been a couple of pretty good bird stories in the news recently. I have no idea what it is about emus and Thanksgiving but another one was seen in the Munster, Indiana are this last Friday that sent police on a wild chase. A restaurant near where the event had occurred ordered several pounds of ostrich meat to use in Ostrich noodle soup as a joke saying that the emu had been killed and was being used in the soup. As of this morning, no one had claimed the emu from animal control. Another story had been about the wild parrots that live in Chicago. A flock of Monk Parrots that appeared in Hyde Park in the 70's has been growing and a sub-group seems to have taken up residence near the Shedd Aquarium which have been thrilling visitors recently. I actually first heard about the parrots when watching a documentary about a wild parrot flock in San Francisco, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. This was a very good documentary about a homeless musician who bonded with the birds and became the expert on the flock and the individuals within the flock. Recently in San Francisco the owner of the trees in which the parrots live has decided that they want to remove the trees. They were able to remove one tree but Mark Bittner, the protector of the birds, was able to prevent the destruction of the other two. Things are presently in a stand-off. Another great documentary that came out this year was The March of the Penguins. I have not been able to see it but it just came out on video and I will see it soon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Punk Rock

Does Punk rock belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? The 2006 inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced today. Besides Lynyrd Skynyrd, Miles Davis, and Black Sabbath, Blondie, and The Sex Pistols were also inducted. I will grant that Blondie and the Sex Pistols are not the first punk bands to be inducted. The Ramones, The Clash, The Talking Heads, and, it could be argued, U2, The Police, and Elvis Costello and the Attractions preceded them. While it could be argued that the idea of Rock and Roll in a museum is contrary to the idea of rock, I would argue that it is even more so for punk rock. Rock music was originally about rebellion and as rock became established and accepted, the music of rebellion eventually evolved into punk rock. With punk music being able to be presented in a museum, it means that punk rock is acceptable and the music of rebellion has moved on again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Guitar God Link Wray Dead at 76

Guitar pioneer and "father of the power chord" Link Wray died at his home in Denmark in November 5th.

His instrumental hit "Rumble" was improvised at a sock hop in Fredericksburg, Va. in 1958. Wray didn't know the song, but when his drummer (and brother) Doug Wray laid down a stroll-like beat, Link filled in with a slowly unfurling, ominous guitar sound so immediately cool the crowd demanded it three more times that very night.

When he tried to recreate the sound in the studio, it finally came to him that it was the distortion that made the song and in order to achieve it, he ended up putting two holes in his amp with a pencil creating the fuzzbox. He later wrote Rawhide, Jack the Ripper, and The Swag.

NME dubbed Wray the father of punk rock, heavy metal, and every other form of sonic nastiness and guitarists from Bob Dylan and Pete Townshend to Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young all named him as an influence. While his populrity waned in the early 60's he continued to play and push his guitar. He played his last show in Washington D.C. in May,

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving Monday

This week will be a short week and I am happy for that because I am really tired tonight. I didn't have a terribly eventful weekend (or day) but I did do some stuff. Thursday was our bookclub meeting where we talked about The Kite Runner and on Friday, I attended Sunnyridge's Gala in Oakbrook as a volunteer. I also did a little Christmas shopping this weekend and saw a little of the Magnificent Mile's Festival of lights. I ended up buying some chocolate, some DVDs, and looked but did not find a book for my sister.

I went to Eli's Cheesecake to get a cheesecake for Thanksgiving in addition to the Jones Soda Holiday Pack that I will be bringing. I think that most people will like the cheesecake. I don't think, however, that the soda will be liked. I hope I don't have to drink it all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My One Free Evening This Week

I saw three of the eight Flower15 concerts last week and they were all very good. The headliners were Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Promise Ring and Tortoise. I enjoyed them all and amazingly, unlike Flower10, even the opening bands were good. I saw one show on Thursday, which meant that I didn't get a lot of sleep before I went to work on Ftiday. The other two shows I saw were on Saturday and while the last show ended late, it wouldn't have mattered because I could sleep in on Sunday. Having said that, I met three guys who had taken the train from Wisconsin and were going to be stranded, so I drove them to Kenosha. I didn't get to bed until 5 AM and even after getting up at noon, things were not right.

My aunt Marcie came into town on Monday for a two day conference. I met her on Monday evening in the lounge at her hotel for a while and when we parted, because I was so close to my former place of work, I went to visit my friends for a while. It was good seeing them and actually kind of cool because I met someone who is into the same kind of music that I like.

Yesterday, I met up with my aunt, my sister, and the people that my aunt came with. We went to Ikea briefly so they could see it and then wet to Bahama Breeze for dinner. It was a good dinner and it was nice to talk to everyone.

I will be busy tomorrow and Friday with my bookclub meeting and a benefit for Sunnyridge so I'm not sure if I'll update tomorrow or Friday.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Slow News Day

That isn't exactly true, election day was yesterday (off year) and the Democratic party picked up several major wins including the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia. President Bush campaigned for the Republican candidate in Virginia and he went down in flames. While it isn't necessarily a harbinger of 2006, it was a good thing.

On a completely different subject, every once in a while (on slow news days) humorous animal stories show up in the news. In one article that appeared while my computer was down, a family in Appleton, Wisconsin lost their cat about a month ago. They looked all around their neighborhood and then the animal shelter in the area without luck. Last week the cat was found in a container that had traveled by air, sea, and land, to Nancy, France. The cat had to pass through quarantine to enter France and again will have to go through quarantine to re-enter the US. The family is wondering how they will get their cat back.

And in Sweden, two moose, a cow and her calf, became drunk and invaded a home for the elderly. The moose became drunk after eating fermented apples that were in the yard and came into the house. Police were called and scared them away but they returned in search of those apples. A hunter with dogs were called to scare the moose away again and this time they made sure that the apples were removed from the yard.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I had a nice long post about becoming a volunteer manager with CBF and also about a bunch of chocolate stores in the Chicago area but my browser crashed and I lost it. I liked this post but its gone and I will not try to repeat it. Especially since a thunderstorm has started. I don't need my computer to fry.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'm Back

I got the replacemet disc for my computer last week. It took a couple of days to get my computer running again and another day to recover all of the software that I lost. There are several articles that I wanted to talk about but I want to keep this post short. I have to mention the fact that scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine have discovered that male mice sing in the presence of females. The song sounds very birdlike which is pretty funny. The image of a male mouse serenading his love below her window comes to mind.

That is all for tonight. My future updates will be lnger.