Thursday, January 30, 2014

Then it got even worse.

As seen this morning:
But the sun came out and started warming things up.  Still a little ice here and there in patches that remained shady all day.  Should be gone by tomorrow.

Man, nothing makes icicles like a tin roof. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Blues Blackout

Those who know me know that I don't watch TV and don't have any weekly 'must see' show.  However I do listen to a certain blues radio show on a regular basis, and its start time seems to be some sort of signal for The Entire World to start calling my phone.  The show comes on 4-5 time a week, but just so everybody knows when to start dialing, I usually listen at
7-8 pm central Sundays
6-7 pm central Tuesdays

Starting with the next show my phone will be set to "I'm sleeping, do not disturb except in emergencies" mode.  Two particular people (you know who you are) can get through normally, but for everyone else you'll need to call twice in rapid succession to reach me.  But please, resist unless it's really an emergency.

I'm not trying to be a bastard about this, but damn, the last two times I was listening four calls poured in in both of those one hour time slots.  When they're playing music like this, you can see why I don't like having the show interrupted.

Better yet, you could listen in too.  Get one of these, or upgrade to one of these (or anything remotely similar) and if you're anywhere in the red here:
and the ionosphere is even marginally cooperative, you'll be good to go. Just call me (in the other 166 hours each week, please) if you want any details or help in setting things up.

Yeah, Wintry Mix

Scene out the kitchen window this morning:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wintry Mix?

Sound nice.  Some mint, maybe some cranberries, hazelnuts...
Wait, that's not the wintry mix I thought it would be!   No!  Do Not Want!
ps: Remember this Tuesday forecast?  Uh-huh.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Back in the Woods Today

32.2 miles on the mountain bike at the Bethel Trails and I'm beat.  No pictures, just good times.  No mud to speak of, but the trail surface was damp enough to hold together.  Cool, in the upper 40's, into the 50's, maybe peaking at 60.  Just about right.  G'nite!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Travel Anti-Destinations

Here's a photo article on ugly monuments over at CNN.  Worth flipping through to see monuments to stupidity, vanity, and just plain bad art.  Don't worry, it's short.

My favorite:
"Monument to the Heroic TIE Fighter Pilots of the Great Patriotic War"  Well, it looks like.  I guess that they were especially heroic to pilot something with asymmetric wings.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Will My Friends & Associates North of I-10

... please take their cold-ass weather back up north where it belongs.
This winter is beginning to give me Pittsburgh flashbacks.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bad Joke Day in The Swamp

Coming on the heels of yesterday's Robert Johnson post, we have:

Q: What happens if you play a blues record backwards?

A: Well, your dog and your wife both come home.  But you don't wake up the next mornin'.

(Sorry, but you'll have to press the big red button yourself.)
Thank you, thank you!  I'll be here 'til next Thursday.  Try the grits, and don't forget to tip your waiter.

Battle of the Johnsons

It just seemed like time to dive into listening to Robert Johnson, one of the first generation of Delta blues singers.  I'm no expert in the field, but it doesn't take more than a casual listen to hear where Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton got a bunch of their guitar moves.  But where to start?  There's "The Complete Recordings," "The Complete Recordings (The Centennial Collection")," and "King of the Delta Blues Singers."  There are several other collections, but "King" is the album that fueled the 1960s British blues-rock invasion and is reputed to have a warm sound, while "Complete (Centennial)" has everything and is purportedly much cleaned-up over the earlier "Complete" collection, so this narrows it down to two.

So what's it gonna be?  Why not both.

I spent an hour this evening doing A/B listening – convenient having a CD player and Blu-Ray that'll play CDs wired in through the same sound system, just sync tracks up and roll – and the 2011 "Complete (Centennial)" double-disc set came out way on top.  All of the tracks were cleaner, you could really hear the vocals and especially the guitar work shining through on the Centennial re-mastering.  "King" did have a warmer sound, but there was a gut-rumble on many tracks, and frankly it was a pretty cheesy mix-down to make the guitar sound more natural on the bass end in a single-mic recording.  Ain't gonna happen, at least not happen right.  But what really pushes "King" off the top of the heap is the clipping in a lot of tracks.  It's so bad in this mastering that I was afraid "Terraplane Blues" would harm the speakers.  None of that clipping was anywhere in the Centennial version.  Sloppy engineering on "King" or amazing restoration on "Centennial"?  Doesn't matter, I know which disc is listenable.  But I might turn up the bass a little while listening to it.

To recap: don't get the current release of "King of the Delta Blues Singers," get the 2011 "Complete Recordings / Centennial Collection."  Then crank up the bass a little when you play it.  But above all, get these discs, 'cause this stuff is so good it has to be heard to be believed.

To re-recap: 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Great Balls of Fire!

Ball lightning is at least somewhat explained: Wikipedia, APS article, Phys. Rev. Lett.

Ionized dirt, who'da thought?

Go-Faster Stripes for Humans

On suggestion from my triathlete brother, I applied KT Tape to that calf I sprung out of whack while running last weekend.  The stuff works!  It's stretchy, kind of like a stick-on Ace bandage, gives support for the injured muscle, and gives it a chance to rest and heal.  It's probably over-used on non-injuries (search on "KT Tape snake oil"), but for a genuine, minor injury, this stuff is the stuff.  If you're not sure how to apply it, remember that youtube is your friend.

But using it for a performance enhancement on uninjured parts seems nonsensical.  I mean, if a stretchy skin-level membrane improved performance, wouldn't we have already evolved one?

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Lungs are better, but on last night's run my right calf locked up.  Weird, nothing like that's ever happened before.  Still sore this morning.  Will take a bike ride today and see if works well enough for that.  Definitely can't run on it.

On one hand, it's always something.  On the other, at least I can breathe.

Friday, January 17, 2014

They ain't got much, but they got style.

That and really, really good beer.  Now playing: The Guinness Ad for the Sapeurs of the Congo!  Very odd, but still kind of cool.  Other materials: a documentary on the making of the ad.  Found this all over at Messy Nessy.

Disclaimer: this doesn't have a damn thing to do with me and my life (believe me, if you know how I usually dress...), but it is at least interesting.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Good Start on a New Year: Lazy Mag Black Creek Imperial Stout

If you like the dark side, this is one to try.  Lots of deep, rich flavor, nice clear-black color just like the creek it's named after, satisfying in every sense.  Not creamy like its stablemate Jefferson Stout, nor overwhelming (in a good way) like the Crooked Letter's Mystery Romp.  This is a brew of its own, and something really new for Lazy Mag.
A good start on the new year!  It's a seasonal, so get it while you can.