Thursday, July 29, 2010


Ok, not really an expansion of the Hotlanta post, but I uploaded a bunch of shots (mostly from Atlanta, with a couple others thrown in just to confuse you) to a flickr page. Enjoy, if you're up for that sort of thing.

Oh, all right, here's one for the time being. For your trouble.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I'm back from the conference in Orlando. (Dayjob stuff. Lots of work and no small amount of pressure this year for a variety of reasons. It went well enough, all things weighed.) Between there and here I stopped in Atlanta for a visit with Cory's family on the occasion of Cory's nephew Joe's 6th birthday. We stayed with her brother and his wife and kids. I'll see if I can muster a full-on entry about that mini-trip, but for now, here are a few shots documenting the festivities.

We'll start with a shot of the birthday boy:

There was a smaller family party on Saturday. Cory and I gave presents to her niece and nephew and a couple of their cousins. We gave harmonicas to the older kids, but baby Maya really took to the instrument...

Kind of amazing how thoughtfully she treated it - sounded great! I swear she was even bending notes a couple times - that open channel of breath in natural action.

On Sunday, a bigger group joined us at a minor league baseball game. We had a picnic, and the group all joined in on a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.

Joe's sister Jules got into the game too. Here she is with her cousin Ryan and her uncle John.

I like this shot of Joe a lot.

And here are a couple of the family dogs. Nothing earth-shaking here, just a young dog Blondie with a LOT of energy...

...and an older dog, Joplin, who gets a lot of rest.

I know she looks a little, um, hungry there. She's an Italian Greyhound - they all sort of look like that. And Joplin, well, she's sort of losing interest in food. Cory thinks maybe she's trying to do that thing where you lower your calorie intake so you live longer. I don't know. Could be.

Each is extremely sweet in her own way. Glad I got to know them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Independence Day

The All Star Game is in what look to be its final moments, and I really need to go to bed, but since I'm trying to keep at this a little better in spite of craziness in my life and dayjob (oh my, you have no idea) I'm going to throw in a few photos from the 4th of July a couple weekends ago.

We went to New Hope again this year, to hang with Carl and Kevin. But this year we were also joined by Carl and Eevin. Eevin rhymes with Kevin.

That's right folks, we were with Carl and Eevin and Carl and Kevin. Carl and Carl and Kevin and Eevin. No shortage of fun there!

We did have lots o' fun, including the Erwinna Fireworks (complete with local orchestra) and some fierce games of Killer Bunnies (have you heard of this?) We also went to some friends' pool, and got to hang out with some wicked awesome puppies.

Sam and Sadie love the pool.

Sadie prefers it from the outside, in general.

Carl and Eevin shared some of their weekly Sunday Times traditions.

And I like this shot of paws and prints by the pool.

Ok, there you have it. Plus the National League won the All Star Game for the first time since 1996. Holy Moly!

I'll try to be back sooner than that.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Fun with Legal Streaming

One little perk of the non-stop "hey, let's remaster and/or re-release our old records and sell them again!" trend in the world of rock and roll is that these little gems do tend to include some new and/or interesting material.

R.E.M.'s contribution to this pattern has so far involved digital remasters of their early albums and pairing them with a bonus disc of live material from the era. But the newest installment, the remastered version of Fables of the Reconstruction, gives us a bunch of demos on the bonus disc. And in a friendly gesture, you can listen to a stream of those demos here (and probably in a bunch of other places too, but that's the place I ran across first.

Fables was about to be released when I saw R.E.M. for the first time, at the University of Wisconsin Stock Pavilion (for all intents and purposes a literal barn, albeit a really really big one). It was a great experience at the time (though I heard somewhere that the band did not appreciate the particular form of "return to your country roots" provided by that venue) and a great music memory now. That album took a critical beating, and even R.E.M. sort of disavowed it at the time, but I was blown away from the get-go: from the ringing minor key hyper-electric guitar opening of "Feeling Gravity's Pull" through the amazing "Driver 8" (still has to be one of R.E.M.'s best songs) and the folky jangle of the whole record.

Love this picture from around that time. For those first few years (till around Green, I think) Michael Stipe would hardly ever look at a camera.

Anyway, sentiment may color my judgment, but enjoy listening to disc 2 if you feel like it, with demo versions of the whole album and a couple b-sides and extra treats as well. Thanks to the good people at KCRW in L.A. for the stream.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Way behind in blogging, on levels large and small, for a bunch of reasons, good and bad.

But also, and nigh unforgivably, I missed Gustav Mahler's 150th birthday yesterday. Oof. Oy. Yikes.

It was Chagall's birthday too, which is big. But missing Mahler's 150th? Sorry 'bout that.

Not to worry - I'll have a Mahlerthon tomorrow. Das Lied von der Erde coming up.

Oh yeah, and LeBron picked Miami. So be it.