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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley

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.




Dangling in the Tournefortia, by Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski is one of America's best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and many would claim its most influential and imitated poet.
He was born in Adernach, Germany to an American soldier father and a German mother in 1920, and brought to the States at the age of 3.
He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for 50 years.
Bukowski published his first story in 1944 when he was 24 and began writing poetry at the age of 35. He died in San Pedro,CA om 9Mar1994 at the age of 73 (shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp)
During his lifetime he published more than 45 books of poetry and prose.
His most recent books are the posthumous editions of Betting on the Muse: Poems & Stories (1996), Bone Palace Ballet: New Poems (1997), and The Captain Is Out To Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship (1998) which is illustrated by Robert Crumb.
All of his books have now been published in translation in over a dozen languages and his worldwide popularity remains undeminished. In the years to come Black Sparrow will publish additional volunes of previously uncollected poetry and letters.
-info from 'Dangling in the Tournefortia', published Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa, 1998.

"This poetry book is more for the fanatic than the connoisseur of Bukowski’s work. It is sandwiched amongst his fire in the belly writing of Burning in Water, Drowning in Frame (1974), Love Is a Dog from Hell (1977) and his intense and diverse philosophical ruminations found in War All the Time (1984) and The Last Night of the Earth Poems (1992). Dangling in the Tournefortia was published when Bukowski was fifty-nine years old and his reputation was clearly established and growing exponentially."




Sonny Landreth

Only when I had bought the various Eric Clapton's Guitarfestival 'Crossroads' dvd's (2004, 2007, 2010), I became acquainted, and fascinated, with this slide guitar wizard, Sonny Landreth.
'Levee Town, Expanded Edition', became the first cd I bought of his music; it is in every way the perfect album: music, photography on this nicely produced album (reminded me of a Sally Mann's photobook I recently received as a gift, but the evocative photography here is by Jack Spencer) and the booklet with lyrics is why we buy & treasure albums and pity the people who will limit their experience by only downloading this great music.

'Levee Town' has the following artists performing:
Sonny Landreth - guitars & vocals, David Ranson - bass, Michael Organ - drums, Steve Conn - keyboards.
The following artists contribute: Stephen Bruton, Michael Doucet, John Hiatt, Steve Howard, Danny Kimball, Marce Lacouture, Joe Mouton, Herb Pedersen, Bonnie Raitt, Jon Smith, Erroll Verret, Jennifer Warnes.

From www.popmatters.com:
"When Sonny Landreth first released Levee Town in 2000, the general public perceived Louisiana bayou country as swampland with gators, peopled by colorful backwoods characters that ate spicy foods, liked to party, and engaged in weird voodoo practices. Landreth played off that view. He wrote songs that fit in with those observations rather than challenged them.
Landreth’s slide guitar playing is the star of the record. While the songwriting ranges from adequate to quite clever, without Landreth’s wondrous accompaniment, the album would be much less impressive. He turns the Zydeco-based music here into something that reveals the depth and pathos of the culture, while simultaneously making dance music that makes one want to celebrate. The two instrumentals, “Spider-Gris” and “Z. Rider”, are among the best tunes on the disc because Landreth is able to say more with his fingers than his vocals. That’s not meant to disparage his voice or lyrics, just to laud his instrumental talents."

Sonny Landreth was born in Canton, Mississippi, but soon after, his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, before settling in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Landreth is best known for his slide playing, having developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments behind the slide while he plays. Landreth plays with the slide on his little finger, so that his other fingers have more room to fret behind the slide. He's also known for his right-hand technique, which involves tapping, slapping, and picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand.
When he is not touring and performing, he resides in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. [-Wikipedia]

I am sure I will buy more of his music and hope to see him play live some day.





Doing away with a bit of history... I subscribed to Scramble magazine from 1982 - 2006; ceased my subscription because I found other sources of information for my particular interest in aviation and had no interest in the military information (often over 50%) in this magazine.
Concluded I never consulted the old editions so out they go today, into the paper recycling bin!



Aviation Letter

Aviation Letter, issue Dec.2011- a one off production with colour pics! From now on slightly reduced in size (19x14cm) for reasons of postage costs.
This is at the moment my prime source for news & sightings of propliners.
Aviation Letter is facing somewhat declining number of subscribers, no doubt having to do with all the information available online.
This monthly magazine was first published over 43 years ago, to enable the enthusiast to be informed of aircraft sales, leases, colour scheme changes and operations.



Billy Connolly on Route 66
I am a big fan of this guy: William "Billy" Connolly, Jr., CBE (born 24 November 1942); he's a Scottish comedian, musician, presenter and actor. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin (The Big One)!
His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder (specifically a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer in the Humblebums and subsequently as a soloist. In the early 1970s he made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to full-fledged comedian.
As an actor he has won recognition too and was nominated for a BAFTA; The Boondock Saints in 1999.
In early January 1994, Connolly began a 40-day World Tour of Scotland, which would be broadcast by the BBC later in the year as a six-part series. It was so well received that the BBC signed him up to do a similar tour two years later in Australia.
When this was broadcasted on the BBC I was hooked! The travel documentary combined recordings of his comedy performance en route and his humor, and that particular chuckle of his, brougt tears in my eyes of laughter. I was hooked!!!

That formula was repeated for several BBC programmes, but his Journey To The Edge Of The World, touring Canada's entire north coast from east to west, did not allow for comedy gigs en route but did result in an excellent ITV travel documentary. We saw him in the streets of Vancouver, B.C., engrossed in conversation, so we did not bother him.
This blog is about another ITV edition: Billy Connolly's Route 66, travelling the most famous road in the world. Again no comedy gigs enroute but it did reunite him with his trike (May 2011: Connolly suffered a broken rib and a gashed knee when his motor trike rolled on top of him while filming for ITV - he returned to filming a week later).

"Get your kicks on Route 66!" Chicago to L.A., 2.500 miles.
A magic trail through the heart of America, land of broken dreams and hollywood endings...
To quote Billy Connolly: "A story of America, written by the people, for the people; a tale in tarmac, of Presidents and paupers, cowboys and indians, diners and drive thru's - framed in a landscape of a 100 movies and a soundtrack of the greatest music in the world: Rock 'n Roll!"
Billy meets lots of people, sees lots of things; add to this his unimitable comments with that charming Scottish accent and his chuckle...
Simply wonderful.



Snoecks 2012

The yearly publication of the new Snoecks, 2012, was worth the wait!
Some 550 pages brimming with literature, short stories, art, architecture and a wide range of photography subjects.
Yves Marchand & Romaine Meffre documented the ruïnes of Detroit, an awe-inspiring report (above photo, lower half) and I'll try to see more of it.
Mark Laita travelled through 48 US States, each portrait representing a state; impressive.
The list of '100 best books in Literature' will keep me shopping for a while..




Ray Bonneville in Paradiso, Amsterdam 04Dec11

Ray Bonneville played the Paradiso in Amsterdam (Netherlands) on 04Dec11. He was promoting his latest CD, Bad Man's Blood.
I had been very much looking forward to seeing this singer/songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player perform as previous years I couldn't make it to any of his gigs.
Ray's parents moved the family from French Canada when he was young to the US, where he got acqainted with the blues - presently he lives in Austin,TX). He plays the blues as thick as the Big Muddy, I love it!

He can be classified as a unique guitarplayer (described as “loose, darkly funky vibe” by All Music Guide - listen to him on the YouTube links below), a style all his own; he has performed with such blues luminaries as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Robert Cray. In recent years he's become a fixture in the Americana scene, since moving to Texas, becoming one of the go-to session players for artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Mary Gauthier and Eliza Gilkyson.

His Red House release 'Goin’ By Feel' was named one of the best CD’s of 2008 by DownBeat Magazine and featured the Americana hit 'I Am the Big Easy'; this tour he's promoting his latest: 'Bad Man's Blood'.
Following the success of his digital single 'Mississippi' (about the flooding of the Mississippi River - link below), Ray released recently his new full-length album 'Bad Man’s Blood'. Like this summer’s single, the new songs have a down and dirty quality, capturing the hardships of every day life.

Born in French Canada and raised in the United States, he writes from his experience as an immigrant, Vietnam War vet, taxi driver and bush pilot, drawing inspiration from the many places he has called home—Montreal, New Orleans, Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska, Boston, Seattle and Paris, France. He now lives in Austin,TX.

My photos of this performance HERE..
Videos on YouTube: Blonde of Mine - I Am The Big Easy - Mississippi



Ian McEwan's boring Solar

Finished Ian McEwan's novel Solar, finally! Seldom read such non-compelling book, a struggle!
The story is about Nobelprize laureate Michael Beard whose best work is behind him; a womanizer, in the process of winding down his 5th marriage, when he finds the lover of his wife dead at home. Beard makes the most of the scientific papers left by the dead man, a theory in alternative energy sources.
Beard is unethical, clumsy (but hardly comical), lacks self dicipline in everything, he becomes obese, his flat is a dump, to recuperate he stays with another lover. This is something that cannot last, but Beard remains in denial of everything and the world until the very last page.
The really boring thing is that the story is captured in his mind-set, a boring man going on about his struggles, wifes and lovers, and a lot of scientific bla-bla.
This book is published as 'Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse for Comic Fiction', incredible. That prize has lost all credibility.
Not enough humour in this book it to fill ten pages.
Avoid at all cost.


Gurf Morlix 01Dedc11 Leiden

Gurf Morlix promoting his CD 'Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream', honouring this Texan singer/songwriter; this was at Q-bus (a.k.a. Muziekhuis.nl) in Leiden,Netherlands. And he was also promoting Kevin Triplett's documentary 'Duct Tape Messiah' about Blaze, who was murdered in 1989; Mr Morlix knew Blaze Foley well and contributed to this fascinating documentary.

Photos of this performance
YouTube': Oh Darlin' and Wouldn't That Be Nice



Tsarina Esra

'Tsarina Esra' is a handcrafted beer, a fine dark ale brewed by Dutch brewery 'DE MOLEN' (The mill).
Ingredients include water, pils, wheat and cara barley malts, chocolate, bitter hops and it has been treated with wood chips soaked in 40 year old cognac!

Described as a good Baltic Porter, with a rich taste and long roasted range; touches of chocolate and coffee, rather smooth with an oily bitter and creamy finish.
The alcohol taste is very well masked.
The thick body, with low carbonation, is best enjoyed sipping.




Carmiggelt - Vroeger Kon Je Lachen
Click on above thumbnail for larger image

Simon Carmiggelt had a unique, wry sort of pen he wrote his observations with. Perhaps 'wry' is even too strong a word for his writing, because there is a distinct tenderness in his reports too. His face matches his writing very well.
The title of this book translates as 'One could have a laugh in the past', implying there is no fun in today at all, just hard going. He gets around, mainly in Amsterdam (he doesn't need to travel the world to meet interesting people), and reports what people tell him or what impressions befall him.

First print of this book was in 1977; this edition is an 8th print, produced in 1978.

The name 'Carmiggelt' stems from Scottish, Carmichael. My wife's family is linked to the Carmiggelts..

Wikipedia on Simon Carmiggelt



Nathan Hamilton Tour Netherlands 2011
Nathan Hamilton and Michael Fracasso toured the Netherlands, performing a series of concerts. I visited the gig at Grandcafé Cinetone in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
I've been visiting Mr Hamilton's gigs since I saw him play in 2006 at the Blue Highways Festival in Utrecht(NL).
Nathan Hamilton, a singer/songwriter from Austin(TX), was promoting his new CD 'Beauty Wit and Speed' while Michael Fracasso has his latest, 'Saint Monday', to promote. Both I can recommend, while I enjoyed also the purchase of a Live recording at John T Floore's Countrystore of Nathan Hamilton preforming with No Deal.

When I bought Hamilton's 'Tuscola' CD it was like an epiphany! Man, that music threw me! It was followed by 'Six Black Birds' ANd 'Receive', both with strong music, ideally suited for performing, but 'Beauty With and Speed' seems to me moving back to 'Tuscola's' song writing and that isn't bad at all; the CD is beautifully produced, a bit jazzy in places but others definitely Americana music. Listen and buy!

The crowd at the Cinetone was much thinned by a dense fog, resulting in a traffic advise to stay at home!
But the music was excellent and even saw a guest appearance by Gurf Morlix, who was enjoying a night off but nevertheless picked up a guitar and took to the stage!
Those who weren't there certainly missed out!
Nathan Hamilton and Gurf Morlix

Gurf Morlix was in Amsterdam promoting the film documentary on Blaze Foley, 'Duct Tape Messiah'.
The man is a wizard: a singer/songwriter, record producer of many of the greatest singers, while also touring and playing all over the world!

Nathan Hamilton website
Nathan Hamilton blog
Michael Fracsso website
Gurf Morlix website
Gurf Morlix Wikipedia
Gurf Morlix 'Blaze Foley Project'
My photos of the 21Nov11 Cinetone AMsterdam concert on Flickr.com
YouTube of this gig, Nathan Hamilton with '4 Directions' and 'Six Black Birds'
YouTube of this gig, Gurf Morlix with 'Cold, Cold World'
Music available from LuckyDice.nl and CdBaby.com



Deep South by Sally Mann
DEEP SOUTH shows a collection of exquisite, ethereal landscape photographs by Sally Mann.
Many of these photographs are produced with the 19th century collodian process plus a variety of toning techniques and capture what Mann calls the radical light of the American South.
She became inspired for this project when she found glass plates (glass negatives) taken around her town by a returning Civil War veteran.
Technical imperfections, such as light leaks or scratches on negatives, echo the accidental, chaotic workings of time. From ghostly images of historic battlefields to painterly visions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and her native Virginia, Mann's landscape photographs transport the viewer to another time and place.
These photographs move light years away from Photoshop perfection, but show nevertheless perfect photography!
sallymann.com website.



Het Zijn Net Mensen - Joris Luyendijk

Joris Luyendijk graduated from Gemeentelijk Gymnasium Hilversum (Netherlands) and studied Political Science, History, Arabic and Religious Anthropology in Amsterdam(NL), Kansas(exact location not specified;USA) and Caïro(Egypte).
During his stay in Caïro, in 1995, he wrote a book ('Een goede man slaat soms zijn vrouw', transl.: 'A good man sometimes beats his wife') as well as completed advanced studies (and a degree) in Religious Anthropology, focussing on the Arabic society.
After this, 1998 - 2003, he became a correspondent for a Dutch newspaper, 'de Volkskrant' as well as Dutch radio ('Radio 1') from Caïro, later Beirut, followed by East-Jerusalem; he later changed to 'NRC Handelsblad' (newspaper) and the 'N.O.S.' (Dutch television).
In march 2001 Luyendijk published 'Een tipje van de sluier' (transl.: 'A tip from the veil'), identifying a connection between islam and terrorism before becoming a common subject of discussion; the book did not become a success until events of 'Nine-Eleven' brought the issue to everybody's attentention.

In 2003 Luyendijk returned to Amsterdam and published in 2006 a book detailing his experiences as a journalist in the Middle East: 'Het zijn net mensen' (transl.: They are just like people'); the book expands on the impossibility of reliable, objective reporting about (political) events in the Middle East.
The problems he describes details the consequences of lack of freedom of speech while obtaining data and reports in countries ruled by dictators as well as the influences of propaganda. Joris Luyendijk was awarded in 2006 the Dick Scherpenzeel-award and also in 2006 he was proclaimed Journalist of the Year.

Luyendijk has a clear and logic way of describing his findings, emotions and analyses, often with a touch of humor to lighten the load. For it is a grim message he reports in this book; not only is a solution to the politics involved a long way off, but we also have to be aware that the media reports that reach us often are infiltrated by propaganda and information is presented to the public under the influences of 'producer - consumer relations'.
Wonderful reading, greatly recommended!

Joris Luyendijk, his website (in Dutch)
Wikipedia: Joris Luyendijk (EN)



Shaun Lunt
The wonder world of the internet: over 3 years ago a young bushpilot in Alaska crashed and died, Shaun Lunt. Previous to his death I'd been admiring his photography for a number of years.

Today I received this email:
"My name is Elias Wakefield. 2 Days ago I was going through the glove box of my car and found this CD, hidden under a lot of papers that I had not gone through since I purchased the car. The CD was labeled Alaska and each picture had 2007 Shaun Lunt on it.
After googling 'Shaun Lunt' and learning of his tragic loss, I was curious if you knew of a way to give this CD back to his family?"
In response, due lack of ever having had dorect contact with teh family, I suggested
to attempt contact through website of the Shaun Lunt Memorial Fund"

I hope my Tribute Page will have helped to get the CD to the family.




Mauro is an 18 years old kid who has been living in The Netherlands for the past 10 years. The Dutch, who claimed for generations to have embraced the multi ethnic society, have a failed immigrations system which kept this boy for 10 years waiting for a residential permit.
Finally it arrived, but alas in the form of a denial. Mauro has been denied to continue his studies and his life here: he is to return to.. Angola!
Minister Leers shrugs his human responsibility in favour of agreements between governing parties, stating 'he is only an instrument' and upholds the decision. This reeks of 'befehl ist befehl' the nazis were fond of while committing atrocious war crimes.
The insignificant Dutch who are so fond of to reminding the Chinese of Human Rights, who fought with NATO forces in Afghanistan and for the freedom of Libya, who condemned Apartheid in South Africa..

No excuse for a failed immigration board who kept this boy waiting through his formative years. No historic conscience for decades of profitable slave trade so efficiently and expediently performed by the Dutch during the 16th and 17th century.

Mauro has got to go.
Leers: "Befehl ist befehl; Heil Wilders!"

I think this is the final drop for me, I have lost all faith in the Dutch governmental system. It is only fitting to conclude in these times of economic crisis that the Dutch government has no credit left with me, they are morally bankrupt.



Those Pearly Gates

The authors Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein demonstrate how humor allows us to express our fears about death while defusing anxiety. Succinct accounts of Kierkegaard's notion of embracing angst, Schopenhauer's notion of undying... But one finds also quotes by Groucho Marx and Woody Allen.
Plenty of jokes to lighten the load on this philosophical quest to the edge of the pearly gates!


Cigar bands

Fell from a long forgotten book: 2 cigarbands.
When I was a kid I was collecting these, quite a common thing to do, like stamps collecting.
The top one has 'Boneka Cigars' on the label.
Not sure if that is still going on, should be a lot less with smoking banned in so many places.


Een Journalistiek Gehaim Ontsluierd door J. Hemels

This book, written in Dutch (not sure if published in English at all), is about the structural influences in Dutch journalism during the First World War from Vienna, Austria-Hungary. This was done through cunning manipulation of news items and 'public relations'-stories sent to the news desks in The Netherlands.
Robert Saudek, from Czech origin, was assigned to the task to influence Holland (which remained 'neutral' in WWI), win over the public opinion and in this way also spread propaganda beyond the Dutch media.
Prof. Dr. Joan M.H.J. Hemels (b.1944) went through the archives and documents in Vienna with a fine comb and managed to unravel this carefully designed plot.
Journalists could apply with the Austrian-Hungarian Kriegspressequartier for a permit to visit the frontlines and provided embedded warreports! Dutch military officers were allowed the same facilities.
Another striking item for me in this book was to read that the Dutch produced cocaine on a large scale for both sides of the front!
Most newspapers and Press Agencies became under the influence of 'spindoctor' Saudek, money and information came hand in hand, as a result the news showed favourable accounts of the German-Austrian war effort.
When WWI ended in 1918 there were no efforts for self reflection in the Dutch media, this episode was quickly forgotten or perhaps even hushed up.

When referring to 'Austria-Hungary' I refer to the empire which saw its dissolution in 1918, a realm which comprised modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. [Wikipedia]


Ilford b&w film 1980s

Cleaning up a drawer I found two photos I submitted during the 1980s for use of postcard; the top one was taken at an Indian Trading Post, tprobably somewhere in New Mexico.
The postcard deal did not work out, but the photo was published in a magazine.
The other was taken in Tombstone,Arizona and I like the way the steel-and-chrome motorcycle replaced the horse in an otherwise Old West-style photograph!
The Ilford Delta film was my favourite at the time (when you had to shoot B&W to get a B&W photo!).



Ordinary people enslaved by Capitalism

The grassroots movement started by the Occupy Wall Street people, on Sep.17th in Liberty Square, now have the world in protest against bankers, financial institutions, large corporations and governments who caused the world wide economic crisis we find ourselves in.
The bankers persist in giving themselves fat bonuses and government officials keep meeting in expensive hotels, not presenting the banks with the bill, tackling their lack of morals, but instead taxing ordinary people for the required funding.
The OWS movement (http://occupywallst.org/) have seen their protest echoed all over the world on all continents.
What will this bring us?
Will politicians listen or defend the bankers and multinational corporations, and discredit the protesters perhaps simply dismiss them as rioters, hope it will blow over?
A true test for democracy and a timely evaluation of capitalism. Not since the Vietnam War and the Flower Power movement we have seen such protest spread on a global scale, people standing up for ideals and a better world. I admire their determination and wish them well.
(Photos found by googling for images on the subject)

Occupy movement: put down or listen?



Painted my Inuksuk (Inukshuk) today and put it in its position.
These stone landmarks are used by Inuits and other people of the Arctic region of North America and can now be found in my garden too.
The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, camps, hunting grounds, places of veneration, drift fences used in hunting or as a food cache.
For me it is merely a decoration (never so inebriated I would need directions in my own garden), so I added some colour.
[Wikipedia. more..]

Petur P Johnson wrote me: "We have similar things in Iceland. they are called 'vörður' and were used for marking mountain paths and trails; they were very useful when walking across vast lava fields in low cloud or fog!"




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Created: 01-Oct-2011