July 21, 2014Me at Saturday's JP Porchfest... I have to say the day was a smashing success! Awesome turn out for a first-year event and great enthusiasm and fun all around. As far as I could tell my lil' website for it (http://jpporchfest.org/) held up fine - in fact I've heard rumors some of the Somerville Porchfest Organizers (who were the (freely admitted!) inspiration for this event) might like to pinch some of our ideas to punch up their own site.
I swear I should consider moving to JP one of these years.
Also, later, I grabbed Leigh's percussion wearable, and my cousin Bill took a shot:
I love things that recast pop culture mythos and show how the lens we're given to watch and read this stuff as children isn't the only one: "LotR DVD Commentry" by Zinn and Chomsky http://kottke.org/14/07/lotr-dvd-commentary-from-zinn-and-chomsky and even better: https://storify.com/tcarmody/the-people-s-history-of-tattooine A People's History of Tattooine, where Luke Skywalker group up.
(that yellow strip is a cheat sheet to "Seven Nation Army" I put on a long time ago....)
advent day 11
Beginning of the End for Giant Glass? I would be kind of bummed if Giant Glass fell - including that jingle (why do I not mind it when 1-877-Kars-4-Kids unfailingly causes me to angrily stab for the radio dial? Maybe horns vs guitar?)
Fun fact: Giant Glass was named after the football team. Don't hold that against them though - that was before the Patriots. Hell, even my Waltham-based granddad liked the Giants then.
Yesterday I learned that "Beauty", my lovely Holton Collegiate Sousaphone, has a serial number that dates it to 1954...
New Airplane Seating with a View More for the "I Wish I Was Insanely Rich" file.
glad I looked up from my book
advent day 13
today's game is one of the better playing ones, I think (yesterday's was probably way too difficult). If I was thinking more clearly "enemy mine" or "mine enemy" would have been a better name.
Melissa took this photo of my tuba in its Christmas lights doing Honk carolling Saturday night...
Frinkiac is a great Simpsons' quote finder and meme maker:
That's one of my favorite quotes, just a reminder at how out of perspective problems are when they show up right in front of us.
A kiss is just a kiss, but a sigh is a reflex that happens a several times an hour and helps preserve lung function.
My sousaphone roots, Euclid High School Panther Marching Band!
The 1991 Homecoming Game, by the looks of it.
--William Finnegan in the New Yorker, Last Days: Preparing for the apocalypse in San Bernardino
I think this is problematic with a lot of faiths, especially with an emphasis on a supernatural hereafter, and in fact the Awlaki quote reminds me of messages I would get from time to time in my Christian church upbringing. Why give a damn (so to speak) about anything around us, what in the finite can measure up to the infinite that awaits? Yeah, some faiths say God wants to be good stewards, but why worry about the planet when we're careening toward the apocalypse? (Revelation was written 19 centuries ago, and still waiting, but it must be around the corner now...) Some religions emphasize charity and kindness in the here and now but those goals have to be weighed in the balance of spreading the word and fighting the fight.
I understand faith adds to the lives of many people. On the one hand, a more mature faith is balanced by basic humanity concerns, but if you start using "basic human concerns" as a litmus test for your religion, you're down the path of admitting they might be more important than religion... that it's something with common values that might transcend which of the many, many possible faiths we cling to. I wish establishing that common ground was the priority - it seems a lot healthier than this "people of faith, any faith no matter how mutually incompatible" lined up on the righthand sheep side against the skeptics on the lefthand goat side..
I know in some ways science - or rather, what science thinks is most likely true about how the universe functions, for now - requires some kind of faith. I've often longed for a good kitchen-sink science demonstration of atomic theory! (And one of the things I found bugging me most in the Scalia retrospectives was that he thought evolution was just a theory, and a crummy theory at that.) But why science differs from most other faiths is that it offers a method of its own correction; its core is coming up with ideas, and putting them to the test, and letting other people put them to the test. Knowledge is painstakingly grown, not handed from on high, or merely homegrown in our hearts. (And science doesn't tell us what to do - you can't get ought from is -- that's the job of moral philosophy, and when people try to shove science into that role you get crap like social darwinism.)
The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens I'm less interested in the rags-to-riches-to-rags aspect than the general take on tumblr culture; admittedly FB has been a better mirror for my old (and ongoing) kisrael.com but I really appreciate the "relatable" style culture, relative to other cultures (twitter or especially chan/twitter) it is very human.
Wow, an insult that bugs that Short-Fingered Vulgarian.
In 1990 my high school marching band travelled to Detroit for a band competition and the parade... jump to 27:50 for some fine tuba, cymbals, and majorette dancin' to "My Sharona".
Good for anyone who has a fetish for badly lit vintage shots of the Henry Ford Museum.
Man, it's tough to look cool playing a tuba. Never sure of the best place to put my other hand. (and at one point I'm sneaking in a Second of the Day...) Still, some great footage.
"Dying is hard. I've always felt the final reward of the dead is to die no more!"
"The enemies of truth are not lies, but convictions!"
"Maybe, Josef, Living safely is dangerous. Dangerous and deadly."
"I've always believed, Josef, that we are more in love with desire than with the desired!"
--Irvin D. Yalom's "When Nietzsche Wept", spoken by the title character. A very solid book, I think it's a great introduction to Nietzsche's view of the world, especially as lived through his own suffering, as well as early psychotherapy. Russian Warplane Flies in 'Unsafe' Manner Near U.S. Aircraft The start of the War With Russia, or maybe just revenge for "Top Gun".
"Of course, we know that humans are political, but we still often assume that our political actions come from thinking about beliefs and desires. Even in election season we assume that voters figure out who will enact the policies they want, and we're surprised when it turns out that they care more about who belongs to their group or who is the top dog. "
--Alison Gopnik, in an Atlantic review Frans de Waal's "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?"
Nice debut for BABAM! - the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, a loose affiliation of like minded players from various bands for last minute but worthy events and big umbrella gatherings.... today we supported the rally to get Somerville's Retirement fund divested from fossil fuels - a real loser investment these days no matter how you slice it.
(I was having a water bottle crisis where it somehow flooded by hip pack... I gotta stop carrying stuff during gigs :-) (local copy of video)
I really liked Cracked Against Trite Inspirational Memes. Especially the stuff about travel; I've done my fair share, but I think it's easy to get hung up on "I want to be the kind of person who travels" vs actually absorbing the experiences -- I know my interest is usually more in getting a feel for the differences in mundane day to day life stuff.
"Teenage logic leaps swiftly and without fear."
--Daniel Nester, "Shader"
Anyway, here I was getting read to march with Brass Republic at Boston Pride:
It started raining but we still punctuated the event with "Thrift Shop"
After I joined School of Honk at the first Arlington Porchfest:
And backing our head honcho Kevin:
--Mel Brooks as the Two Thousand Year Old Man. He's right, just had one and they're great.
This was another shot from School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest:
By Nobuko Ichikawa. I'm not soloing (I think Carlos on the metal clarinet is), just dancing, but still, I love how expressive my posture and hands are... it's more cluttered than my previous profile-able tuba shot but has more energy, and I like that it's my own horn ("Beauty") not a School of Honk one I was borrowing for kicks.
Typeset in the Future takes on Blade Runner
Trump pays $30K to a well-nigh fictional ad agency. Jeez, what's the line here? "Mad Men, indeed?" "Truth is fictioner than fiction?" Trump is a shyster par excellence. He goes to where what his audience wants to hear; the trouble is some of that is understandable, but the rest of it is really, really gross.
So, a Zika bill poisoned by Republicans with amendments to promote the Confederate flag and other crap repugnant to everyone but GOP loonies. Republicans, you are unfit to lead. If you can't understand politics has to have SOME level of bipartisanship, you deserve Trump.
I'm grabbing place names from the much more detailed day by day travel log I did then (starting @ http://kirk.is/2008/03/14/)
Detail from a temple in Kamakura - besides the lovely color I liked that it used the "triforce" symbol I knew from Legend of Zelda.
View from Yokohama's Landmark Tower, Japan's tallest building (at 69 stories, because of earthquakes, but it has the world's fastest elevator.)
An enjoyable billboard on the walk to Hiroshima Station.
The imperial palace at Kyoto.
Statue behind protective fencing at the gate of Todai-ji in Nara.
Th Great Buddha hall at Todai-ji - look at the scale relative to the people! One detail is a "peekaboo" door the Buddha can peek out of.
Delicious calamari on a stick from a street vendor, in Osaka, known for its cuisine
I was a gray day and I really enjoyed how this girl's raincoat visually popped.
Josh is good at raising his daughter.
My final side trip was to Kanazawa, a town with an emphasis on the arts. This was a statue on a street corner
The 21st Century Contemporary Art Museum had an installation of Argentinian Leandro Erlich's "Swimming Pool", a facsimile of a small courtyard swimming pool... except there are fellow tourists moving around down there...
Is It Just Me, Or Is the World Going Crazy? Great article - maybe a little privileged, but like Jesus said, "the poor you will have with you always", so while we should always fight for economic justice we shouldn't think it's newly awful.
There's so much demonization going on. Our fellow citizen republicans are still people. Maybe misguided, maybe drinking way too deeply from this fountain of fearmongering, but people. And not even idiotic people, always.
"No one stays home and watches TV on Sunday - everyone's out playing polo!"
--Wealthy Potential Ad Buyer in Blake Snyder's guide to filmwriting "Save The Cat!" (The title refers to putting in a scene early that makes the audience like the main character, for example saving a cat.)
After JP Honk played Figment, I got myself framed by artist Franklin Marval
Protestant Minster: "God loves everyone!"
Catholic Priest: "God is love."
Eastern Orthodox Presbyter: "God is who is."
Rabbi: "This is special? Who isn't who is?"
One Second Everyday for August! A lot of band stuff as always (at a funeral on the 5th, at the hatch on the 11th, in front of a ribbon acrobat on the 21st), other highlights like underwater Melissa on the 13th and seeing my German friends on my way to Ireland on the 15th.
Diggerland, USA Wow. Plans for my next NJ trip! Who wouldn't want to operate a massive earthmover machine?
here I am front and center, both as we calmly played along with "Hall of the Mountain King" and then when we went into full on honkin' mode
via Jezebel's Donald Trump Got Curved by Both His Daughters Tonight
"tomorrow, we are all going to wake up and try and go about our lives with some measure of normalcy... but please, take a moment to remember that tonight, in front of the entire country, the republican nominee for president said that he would use his office to persecute and jail a citizen... allegedly for a crime of which she has already been investigated and found free of wrongdoing, but probably, more likely for daring to be his political opposition."
Such a busy weekend at Honk!
Photo by Candace Esslinger - this was the clear Saturday before the Drenched Sunday
Man, iTunes store search is so pathetic. Supposedly a while back they had a power search mode, but now it's just keywords. You can't search for just a song title, for instance, you're going to get any artist or album who has the same name. Even better - their version of "All Results" cuts off at 100. So if there are over 100 non-title matches for a song you're trying to find a good cover of, and the song's title is later in the alphabet, there's no way the song you're looking for will show up on the list.
Even more insulting is the message after those 100 items:
"Less relevant items are not displayed. To narrow your results, use more specific search terms."
I would if you'd let me, jerky.
Go Pro Hot Wheels are pretty keen!
I love the sky in the first one.
--photos by Andrew Huang
Trump to say transgender protection is a "state's rights issue"
Huh, I didn't realize states had genders.
I just read the book Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences. I took the "Left/Right 20 Questions" quiz from the appendix and put the 20 Questions online with automated scoring. I score reasonably liberal, a 5 or 6 spots over.
(Click for a larger version - that's me and my tuba on the right, nice visual balance to the french horn, and showing the name of our metaband BABAM!)
Here's the photo from the web article
It wasn't Congress who sold your privacy, it was 100% Republicans, for big campaign bucks. The Book of Honk (prints available)
(The Ride 'Em Cowboy is my favorite from this batch - usually the tuba is riding me, nice to turn that around, though the "hero shot" might be even better than Franklin Marvel's Take at Figment.
Last years bass sectional photo was a little better, come to think of it:
"You might see punching bags are even better hugging bags if you'd just calm down for a second."
Write up about Ze Frank and The Show. Man that was great. Also, I really miss his page of little digital toys, he was a really inspiring toymaker...
"What do you care what other people think?"
--Arline Feynman today's NY Times; Andrew, Dave, and me behind
It's cool how both the Boston Globe and the NY Times select photos with younger players front and center, and some taller folks backin' em up
I've moved around 20 times in my life. You think I'd be a bit less crap at it by now...
And also concerned that I'm not sure what to trust to tell me if that is a risk of being the case, because I don't know to what extent the inner-narrator/rational self vs subconscious self is the same for everyone. Various paths of self-improvement call it different things (the Id, the inner child, the right side of the brain, the unconscious mind, etc) and imply different functional relationships.
Even something like meditation has contradictions in advice about its methods and goals. Like, is it to have that zennish empty mind, where my verbal inner-narrator is finally silent and my whole self can enjoy purer sensation, unmitigated by simplification into verbal simplification and categorization? Or is it to be 'mindful', and allow that inner narrator to calmly process and analyze and pontificate but without encountering spikes of anxiety and other disruptive emotion? (Which, in my current way of thinking, tend to emerge from my inner toddler.) I kind of prefer the latter; it's less work and a lot more fun.
In "Eat, Pray, Love" Elizabeth Gilbert writes
Like most humanoids, I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the "monkey mind"--the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. From the distant past to the unknowable future, my mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the problem is the emotional attachment that goes along with the thinking. Happy thoughts make me happy, but--whoop!--how quickly I swing again into obsessive worry, blowing the mood; and then it's the remembrance of an angry moment and I start to get hot and pissed off all over again; and then my mind decides it might be a good time to start feeling sorry for itself, and loneliness follows promptly. You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
The thing is, to me it feels backwards... like the thoughts are the slaves to the emotions, and then I'm the slave to the thoughts. Or something. But basically, the process is more my inner rational narrator teaching my wordless sometimes-raging sometimes-fearing sometimes-frolicking subconscious self about the world. You know, it feels a bit like the relationship between Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller.
So I feel there's lots of room for that inner toddler - who will probably never grow up to have words - to mature, and develop a real camaraderie, rather than the current paternalistic relationship. And without assuming that subconscious part of me is only feeling, not thinking. I suspect feeling and thinking are the same thing but at wildly different time scales, feeling taking in the long term evolutionary wisdom and near term immediate reaction, with thinking occupying the middle ground.
Also through all this, I feel my rational, verbal, narrator self is trying to reassert the throne of being "The Actual Me", the real me, that it lost when I read Dennett's "Conscious Explained". I think it's time for a reread of what I pin as the "most important book I read", even though it's mighty long.
"There is no old age like anxiety," said one of the monks I met in India. "And there is no freedom from old age like the freedom from anxiety."
Maria thinks that in a civilized society one should be able to rely on such things as the post office delivering one's mail in a prompt manner, but Giulio begs to differ . He submits that the post office belongs not to man, but to the fates, and that delivery of mail is not something anybody can guarantee .
Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.
"To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life."
Talking with Liz the other day, she asked if I had always worn glasses- yes, ever since 4th or 5th grade or so, with a brief unfortunate attempt at contacts in high school. So glasses are a part of my face, and I'm pretty comfortable with that. But I wasn't at first, which is funny- back around that time I tried to pretend that I liked classical and jazz because that's what smart people did and I was a smart person, but somehow I failed to make the same, perhaps even more obvious, leap for eyeglasses.
I still do like PostSecret...
Stood in with Prone to Mischief today on the Vietnam Memorial Bridge in Western MA - photo by John Bell