Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
REMARKABLE NEWS TODAY
I love reading my newspaper... Actually I read more than one and have two weekly news magazines; I noticed a series of remarkable news items in today's copy of Haarlems Dagblad (dutch)-
The ailing British newspaper 'The Independent' has been bought for 1 Pound Sterling (1.11 euro) by former KGB-agent and Russian entrepeneur Alexander Lebedev. Last year he bought the (British) 'Evening Standard', for the same amount.
ELINOR SMITH 1911-2010, AVIATION PIONEER
The Associated Press - March 24th, 2010 08:10 PM
SAN FRANCISCO - A woman considered to be an aviation pioneer has died.
The family of Elinor Smith says she died Friday in a nursing home in Palo Alto. She was 98.
Smith Elinor Smith soloed at 15, earned her flying license at 16 and was considered one of the youngest and most daring pilots in the 1920s, when she set a number of flying records.
Elinor Smith became an instant celebrity at the age of 17, when she flew under all four of New York's East River suspension bridges!
She also set the women's solo flying endurance record in 1929, during a 13 1/2 hour flight. She set an even longer mark three months later by flying solo for 26 1/2 hours...
Smith also set a women's altitude record by flying at a height of 32,576 feet in 1931.
More on this remarkable woman here: www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/smith_e.html
ELLIOTT MURPHY in PARADISO 20MAR2010
The stage at the Paradiso (Amsterdam, Netherlands): Elliott Murphy, (guitar and vocals) and the Normandy All Stars: Olivier Durand (guitar), Laurent Pardo (bass) and Alan Fatras (drums).
Elliott James Murphy Jr., born 1949, grew up in nearby Garden City, started playing the guitar at 12 years old.
He began writing songs while singing on the streets of Europe in 1971.
After four albums on major labels Murphy was one of the first American artists to go independent (by both choice and necessity) with the release of the EP Affairs (1980) that sold well in Europe and set the stage for the successful Murph the Surf (1982).
Murphy's 30th studio album, Notes from the Underground, came out in 2008 and received 4 stars on the prestigious All Music Guide, In fact, 18 of Murphy's albums have received 4 or 5 stars on All Music Guide.
ZEN and THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE
There is very little writing spent on the relation between father and son, compared to the Chautauquas. In fact, it pissed me off no end to read about the narrator going on within his own thoughts, while his son screams for attention (claiming stomach pains, being evasive in responses); dad is preoccupied and gives his son hardly the time of day, because after all his driving and thinking he is exhausted. What an asshole.
After some 100 pages I began to flick the pages with the philosphical
ramblings: yaaaawn, not interested! 400 more pages to go...
Well, I did make it to the end of the book, mostly interested in
developments in the relation towards his son, Chris. And Phaedrus going
mental, at some sitting in front of his students, not speaking a word.
After suffering a nervous breakdown, Robert Pirsig spent time in and out of
mental hospitals from 1961 to 1963. After undergoing a psychiatric
evaluation, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and clinical
depression, and was treated with shock therapy.
Robert Pirsig had married Nancy Ann James on 10May1954. They had two sons:
Chris, born in 1956, and Theodore, born in 1958. After Pirsig was first
hospitalized in 1961, his wife filed for divorce, which was finalized in
1978. Pirsig remarried.
In 1974, Pirsig was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to allow him to write a
follow-up, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991), in which he elaborates and
focuses on a value-based metaphysics, called 'Metaphysics of Quality', to
replace the subject-object view of reality.
dot COM CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Symbolics.com is the first domain name ever registered on the Internet: March 15th, 1985...
This domain is used as the personal blog of Aron Meystedt, owner of XF.com and Symbolics.com.
MUSIC FROM THE SOUTH (2)
TONY JOE WHITE | THE SWAMP FOX
At some point, in the early 1990s, I was driving home from work, late one evening, and a song on the radio caught my ear. I kept listening, spellbound, while I parked the car in front of the house. When I went inside, I switched on the radio, leaving my wife perplexed (she was watching a tv program). "Have to catch the name of this guy and the title of the song", I told her. She was flabbergasted & miffed, but before she could erupt I got what I wanted and the next day I bought that CD, the first of many...
That song was:
CLOSER TO THE TRUTH
The moss hangs like witches hair from the big oak tree
And from across the swamp there comes riding on the breeze
The sound -- the sound -- Bi-Yo rhythm -- Bi-Yo rhythm
The rooster is born a fighter
Wears those surgeon blades on his legs
Hot blood, cold eyes
Headed for an early grave
He moves -- he moves with the sound
And he'll fight until they lay him in the ground
Bi-Yo rhythm -- Bi-Yo rhythm
The gator rides low in the water
But his eyes see everything
He watches the cities moving closer
Turning his home into a four lane
He moves -- he moves with the sound
He waits until it all comes down
Bi-Yo rhythm -- Bi-Yo rhythm
Tony Joe White was born one of seven children and raised on a cotton farm
near the small town of Oak Grove, Louisiana. When Tony Joe was 16, Charles,
the oldest of the White children, brought home a Lightnin' Hopkins album
and started teaching blues guitar to his younger brother.
They say these are dangerous times
And all along the border lines
They shook the redman's hand
Now he floats in dreams where eagles fly
Homeless people shuffle alone in the dark
They took their heavy load
Standing up for all they believe was right
Far across the sea
Singing songs of freedom through the night
I was used to getting them from African countries, but this is the first time I got one from China...
I am Mr. Wang HongZhang, Chief Disciplinary Officer, People’s Bank of China (PBC). I got your email contact via the internet (Google search) and decided to contact you. I have an interesting/profitable business proposal of US$24.5million and this will be of immense benefit to both of us if only you are interested. Before the U.S and Iraqi war, a client of Bank of China, Mr. Khazeal Hamood Hasaab a Merchant, made a numbered fixed deposit valued at $24,500,000.00 (Twenty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars), for 18 calendar months, at Bank of China, Tower Branch, 1 Garden Road Hong Kong. Upon maturity several notices were sent to him, even during the war which began in 2003. Again, after the war another notification was sent, but still no response came from him. It was later found out that Mr Khazeal Hamood Hasaab, his wife and two sons had been killed during the war (Basra).
After further investigation, it was also discovered that Mr Khazeal did not declare any next of kin in his official papers, including the paperwork of his bank deposit. He also confided, in the Chief Risk Officer, Bank of China (BOCHK), that no one knew of his deposit in the bank. According to the laws of my country, at the expiration of 6years such funds are reverted to the Peoples Bank of China (PBC), where it will be deposited in the reserve of the Government, if nobody applies to claim it. Due to the fact that the fund has been in the bank for more than five years, provisions are being made for it to be reverted to my Bank (PBC). When the case was presented at my desk, I contacted the risk officer (BOCHK), who is a good friend of mine and gathered all the information that I have presented to you. Against this backdrop, I will like you, as a foreigner, to stand as next of kin to Khazeal Hamood Hasaab, so that we can receive his funds.
I will like to know if you will be interested in this project please. I will make more details available to you on receipt of a positive response from you.
My official lines and email address are not secure as they are periodically monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management Policy, do contact me only at my private email address: bladibla -AT- bladibladotcom
They write quite a story, don't they?
JOE MEEK (MOUNTAIN MAN)
KOKO TAYLOR 1928 - 2009 'QUEEN OF THE BLUES'
Recently I have been watching that fantastic Martin Scorcese DVD-box about 'The Blues'... Brilliant production, archiving American musical roots. The dvd 'Godfathers and Sons', tracing the electric blues in Chicago with Marshall Chess of Chess Records, has an interview and powerfull material by Koko Taylor.
Today I found she died last year. Here is a tribute, to her and The Blues.
Grammy Award-winning blues legend Koko Taylor, 80, died on June 3, 2009 in her hometown of Chicago, IL, as a result of complications following her May 19 surgery to correct a gastrointestinal bleed. On May 7, 2009, the critically acclaimed Taylor, known worldwide as the “Queen of the Blues,” won her 29th Blues Music Award (for Traditional Female Blues Artist Of The Year), making her the recipient of more Blues Music Awards than any other artist. In 2004 she received the NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award, which is among the highest honors given to an American artist. Her most recent CD, 2007’s ‘Old School’, was nominated for a Grammy (eight of her nine Alligator albums were Grammy-nominated). She won a Grammy in 1984 for her guest appearance on the compilation album ‘Blues Explosion’ on Atlantic.
Born Cora Walton on a sharecropper’s farm just outside Memphis, TN, on September 28, 1928, Koko, nicknamed for her love of chocolate, fell in love with music at an early age. Inspired by gospel music and WDIA blues disc jockeys B.B. King and Rufus Thomas, Taylor began belting the blues with her five brothers and sisters, accompanying themselves on their homemade instruments. In 1952, Taylor and her soon-to-be-husband, the late Robert “Pops” Taylor, traveled to Chicago with nothing but, in Koko’s words, “thirty-five cents and a box of Ritz Crackers.”
In Chicago, “Pops” worked for a packing company, and Koko cleaned houses. Together they frequented the city’s blues clubs nightly. Encouraged by her husband, Koko began to sit in with the city’s top blues bands, and soon she was in demand as a guest artist. One evening in 1962 Koko was approached by arranger/composer Willie Dixon. Overwhelmed by Koko’s performance, Dixon landed Koko a Chess Records recording contract, where he produced her several singles, two albums and penned her million-selling 1965 hit “Wang Dang Doodle,” which would become Taylor’s signature song.
After Chess Records was sold, Taylor found a home with the Chicago’s Alligator Records in 1975 and released the Grammy-nominated ‘I Got What It Takes’. She recorded eight more albums for Alligator between 1978 and 2007, received seven more Grammy nominations and made numerous guest appearances on various albums and tribute recordings. Koko appeared in the films ‘Wild At Heart’, ‘Mercury Rising’ and ‘Blues Brothers 2000′. She performed on ‘Late Night With David Letterman’, ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien’, CBS-TV’s ‘This Morning’, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, CBS-TV’s Early Edition, and numerous regional television programs. Over the course of her 40-plus-year career, Taylor received every award the blues world has to offer. On March 3, 1993, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley honored Taylor with a “Legend Of The Year” Award and declared “Koko Taylor Day” throughout Chicago. In 1997, she was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame. A year later, Chicago Magazine named her “Chicagoan Of The Year” and, in 1999, Taylor received the Blues Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2009 Taylor performed in Washington, D.C. at The Kennedy Center Honors honoring Morgan Freeman. Koko Taylor was one of very few women who found success in the male-dominated blues world. She took her music from the tiny clubs of Chicago’s South Side to concert halls and major festivals all over the world. She shared stages with every major blues star, including Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy as well as rock icons Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.
Taylor’s final performance was on May 7, 2009 in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards, where she sang “Wang Dang Doodle” after receiving her award for Traditional Blues Female Artist Of The Year.
Saw Chris Rea perform an excellent gig at the Heineken Music Hall (Amsterdam,NL) yesterday. The brilliant slide guitarist from Middlesborough,UK has said farewell to touring a number of times, due to failing health, but he likes it so on the road that once more he went out there...
YouTube, partial recording of mine, 'Dancing Down the Stony Road'
MUSIC FROM THE SOUTH (1)
Some magnificent music comes from the US Southern States... I am particularly interested in singer/songwriters. Americana, progressive country or alt.country... whatever. Grayson Capps sure hits the right note for me, love his music, seen him put up a brilliant performance (twice sofar) and his lyrics are quick-witted, talented, comical at times, a protest at times but enjoyable at all times!
Having drawn comparisons over his last few albums to the likes of Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt and Drive By Truckers, to name but a few, Rott ‘N’ Roll proves Grayson Capps an artist equally singular in vision as those to whom he’s compared. He doesn’t
always paint the prettiest pictures or offer a gleamy white smile, but he does reach down deep to remind us of our own humanity. Grayson’s own words illuminate it best: “How many times must it be said? Though blood runs blue, you still think it’s red, because that’s how it appears when it hits oxygen. Our life is an illusion, and we create the confusion, so take a dose of seclusion to dilute the delusion. And hope that it’s not in vein that we look into the spheres of the fear-fruit bearing tree before we eat again.”
Several stories reveal that O'Connor was familiar with some of the most sensitive contemporary issues that her liberal and fundamentalist characters might encounter. She addressed the Holocaust in her famous story "The Displaced Person," and racial integration in "Everything that Rises Must Converge."
In 1951 she was diagnosed with disseminated lupus, and subsequently returned to her ancestral farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville, Georgia. Although expected to live only five more years, she managed fourteen. At Andalusia, she raised and nurtured some 100 peafowl. Fascinated by birds of all kinds, she raised ducks, hens, geese, and any sort of exotic bird she could obtain, while incorporating images of peacocks into her books.
Thanks to Alexander for this magnificent gift and making me aware of the lyrics!
ABANDONED PLANE WRECKS by RICHARD MOSSE
Why do we do the things we do? Richard Mosse, a photographer from Ireland who roamed the earth and harvested fascinating fruits of photography, visited airplane wrecks which were often hard to get to. Such as below wreckage of a Curtiss C-46 Commando in Patagonia... Brilliant stuff !
Richard's exhibition/portfolio, called The Fall, features photographs of extremely remote airplane crash sites, with often partially dismantled or disintegrated wrecks disappearing into an uninhabited landscape; Mosse compares these structures to the Arctic shipwrecks and ruined forest abbeys of painter Caspar David Friedrich. The images were on display at New York's Jack Shainman Gallery, ending during Dec.2009.
Mosse: These photos are the result of months of online research, skimming forums, YouTube videos, Google Earth, Flickr, emailing wreck chasers, and cold-calling bush pilots. I'd even surf the web for jpegs of plane wrecks, then bring this information into Google Earth in the hopes of finding tiny silhouettes of downed planes. I was searching for accidents so disintegrated and remote to civilization that they only really exist in the virtual imagination of transient and anonymous online communities. Others had become landmarks, a destination for the intrepid to come and leave their trace...
Mosse: I met an extraordinary Dutchman (Hans Wiesman, see here.. - Webmaster)out in Thailand who is known in wreck-chasing circles as the Dakota Hunter. Once an advertising director for a cigarette company, the Dakota Hunter ventures into the world's remotest places to salvage the wingtips of C-47 Dakotas, which he then ships back to the Netherlands to be sandblasted and turned into luxury tables for boardrooms and executive offices.
Read more of Richard Mosse being interviewed by BLDGBLOG by THIS LINK or on Acrobat Reader .pdf document I saved.
Richard Mosse website www.richardmosse.com
Some of the wreck Richard visited, and more, can be seen documented on my webpage Abandoned Plane Wreck of the North and Mystery DC-3 Wreck in the Yukon
INFLUENCE OF DUTCH LANGUAGE ON NORTH AMERICAN LANGUAGES
Some boroughs derive their origin from the Dutch settlers.
Outside New York we see the same influence.
Somewhere during the 1980s I made my first visit to Florida. I preferred the ruggedness of Western parts of USA, than the Eastcoast, and Florida with Disney and all the wrong sort of tourism was far beyond my interest. But for kids Disney and Sea World and all the other attractions are great of course, revisits were planned because of my growing interest in old propellor transports ('skytrucks', 1940s & 1950s vintage) still in commercial use or seized after being used for illegal drugs trafficking. So when I read my first book by Carl Hiaasen, it caught on as he provided an extra dimension.
He was a reporter for Cocoa Today (Cocoa, Florida) for two years beginning in 1974, then was hired by the Miami Herald in 1976, where he still (as of 2009) works.
After becoming an investigative reporter, Hiaasen began to write novels.
Hiaasen's fiction mirrors his concerns as a journalist and Floridian. His novels have been classified as "environmental thrillers" and are usually found on the mystery shelves in bookshops, although they can just as well be read as mainstream reflections of contemporary life.
I like how he shows concern for the environment, but is realistic on the subject (many a time crooked politicians or ruthless project developers seem to get away with it). He mingles these serious subjects with a crime plot and has hilarious figures plodding through the story. Captivating and funny in the extreme!
CARL HIAASEN WEBSITE
PRICES OF LARGE JET AIRLINERS
I never realized prices would be readily advertised on the Net...
Then again, why not? I suppose you get a discount when you buy 20 or 50 of them !
It annoys me when I find upon purchase of a CD the lyrics are not included; since I am interested in singer / songwriters, I find it strange to see the lyrics not enclosed separately. And don't tell me to download them from the website!
After I bought Sonny Landreth's excellent CD 'from the Reach', I found him to set an magnificent example...
I'm gettin' a feelin' loud and clear
The time is now for gettin' out of here
A sure sign that I can't ignore
My feet start to walkin' Then I'm out the door
............................ WAY PAST LONG (in part)
Neil Young's cd 'Fork In The Road' offers great music, but I don't like the design; the lyrics are unreadable and you really have to make an effort to get the cd out of there. It's cheap and lousy.
12.1 MEGAPIXEL WASHDRYER
Specs are great, but they got their wires crossed here...
VENICE CARNIVAL MASKS
I bought my own mask, celebrating my visit to Venice,Italy in 2009, but my visit was not during the actual carnival days. I hope to go there one day. But I came across photos by Joe Marquez on PBase, he's been there more than one once, so go THERE or to his website THE SMOKING CAMERA, and stand in awe of these masks which seem surreal and real at the same time!
I came across this remarkable photography on Photo.net by 'Szincza Szincza'
WARHAMMER - AGE OF RECKONING
I have been fascinated by Warhammer since my son got involved with it, but I never had the time to indulge in this subject (he had to let go, too)
To briefly clarify this subject:
Warhammer 40,000 (informally known as Warhammer 40K or simply 40K) is a tabletop miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop, set in a science fantasy universe. Warhammer 40,000 was created by Rick Priestley in 1988 as the futuristic companion to Warhammer Fantasy Battle, sharing many game mechanics. Expansions for Warhammer 40,000 are released from time to time, often to facilitate a certain sort of game, such as Cities of Death, Planet Strike and Apocalypse, which give rules for urban, planetary siege and large-scale combat, respectively. The game is currently in its fifth edition. [Wikipedia, more...]
Today I stumbled (because I typed www.blur.com, instead of www.blurb.com while looking for something totally different...) on a link to a mindblowing, f*cking brilliant, trailer of WARHAMMER -
I recently watched all 8 episodes of Billy's World Tour of Australia again, on dvd. What an outstanding man, larger than life, versatile, humerous and outspoken. I just had to write a few words here on him.
I think I became aware of him when he presented some BBC series. We saw him in the streets of Vancouver,BC (2003 I think it was), but since he was engrossed in conversation with someone we did not walk up to him; our stay in Vancouver was too short to try to attend a show of his. Todate I have not had the pleasure of seeing him live on stage, unfortunately.
He has a fantastic website and I don't know who designed it for him, but it is so Billy Connolly...
BRITISH CRIME DRAMA ON TV
In reference to my 01FEB10 posting, about Midsomer Murders, here is a list (alphabetically) of other British crime drama I very much enjoy, or have enjoyed, watching-
Bergerac (John Nettles)
Blue Murder (Caroline Quentin)
Dagliesh (Roy Marsden)
Dalziel and Pascoe (Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan)
Foyle's War (Michael Kitchen)
Frost (David Jason)
George Gently (Martin Shaw)
Inspector Alleyn Mysteries (Patrick Malahide)
Inspector Lynley Mysteries (Nathaniel Parker)
Inspector Morse (John Thaw)
Inspector Wexford (George Baker)
Jericho (Robert Lindsay)
Judge John Deed (Martin Shaw)
Lewis (Kevin Whately)
Miss Marple (when played by Joan Hickson)
Murder City (Amanda Donohoe)
Murder in Mind (various)
Murphy's Law (James Nesbitt)
New Tricks (Amanda Redman)
Prime Suspect (Dame Helen Mirren)
Rebus (John Hannah, later Ken Stott)
Silent Witness (Amanda Burton, later William Gaminara)
Spooks (Peter Firth)
Taggart (Mark McManus, later Alex Norton)
The Commander (Amanda Burton)
The Last Detective (Peter Davison)
Trial and Retribution (David Hayman)
Waking the Dead (Trevor Eve)
Whitechapel (Rupert Penry-Jones)
Wire In The Blood (Robson Green)
Wycliffe (Jack Shepherd)
For more on some of these, see Wikipedia
Another list: http://www.hjvanderwijk.nl/series/_series.htm
UPDATE: Actor Barry Jackson died 05Dec2013.
A posse of geese roaming our streets, no doubt in search for food.
This month statistics (www.weerstatistieken.nl) show that the average temperature in the Netherlands was below zero Celsius, quite unique.
Today I read in the newspaper that actor Pernell Roberts had died Jan 24th, aged 81. I remember him for playing the part of Adam, in the tv-series 'Bonanza'.
Bonanza would be the first Western on tv I've seen. My father had some movie reels of Hopalong Cassidy, of an even earlier date, but Bonanza was the first western series I saw regularly on tv; it was later later followed by Rawhide (with Clint Eastwood) and High Chaparral. I never took to Gunsmoke, but don't remember why not.
Pernell Roberts was the last surviving actor who played a member of the Cartwright family. Michael Landon, who played Little Joe, died in 1991, aged 54. Hoss, the gentle giant of the family, played by actor Dan Blocker, died in 1972 at the age of 43. The father role, Ben, was played by Lorne Greene; he died in 1987, aged 72.
The series ran from 1959 - 1972, ending upon the demise of Dan Blocker. Roberts had left the series long before, in 1965.
LONG HAUL PASSENGER FLIGHTS
I hate present day airline service. I dislike short haul flights, my main dislike being redarded as a potential criminal by security, customs and immigration. Not to mention the attitude you get when you want to check in by a human being, who will look at you with the message in their eyes'why the fuck did you not check in through the internet; and what's with all the luggage?'
For long haul passenger flights you get all of the above, plus the discomforts on board the flight. And nobody describes it better than Lewis Black on YouTube
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE
When I read this book, and when I wrote the above, I did not know if Mr Salinger was dead or alive. The news tonight, 28JAN2010, reported J.D.Salinger's death.... what coincidence!
A new year has broken and january is always a good months to make plans for destinations beyond the horizon...
Perhaps not this year, but I do hope to visit the Arctic Regions of Canada some day; last month I came across 2 routenet images of Canadian airlines: Canadian North (on which I travelled in 2006 to Yellowknife) and First Air. Maybe these will help your travelling plans!
HAPPY & UNHAPPY PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES
A recent report procliamed that New Yorkers are the unhappiest people in the entire US...
New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and Indiana are the runners up.
On the other side of the spectrum are Hawaii, Louisiana, Colorado, Florida and Tennessee, which are filled with the happiest folks.
All in all 1.3 million people were surveyed over the course of four years, and the least miserable were those residing in states that do well in quality-of-life studies.
US DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, PRINTED ON DUTCH PAPER
Last year, 2009, saw the celebration of 400 years of close relations between the Netherlands and the United States.
Through centuries the Dutch have explored and traded the globe far and wide.