"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

14 June 2021

Scorpions, "Coast to Coast"

With Michael Schenker, a tune to learn and whistle from their '79 release, Lovedrive ...

Gary Moore with Thin Lizzy, "Back on the Streets"

Happy Birthday, White

Alan White was born on this day in 1949.

"Ritual",  with Chris Squire ...


That the Flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation. 

We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty.

George Washington


Neil Peart's thoughts from the liner notes of Clockwork Angels ...
Long ago I read a story from another timeline about a character named Candide. He also survived a harrowing series of misadventures and tragedies, then settled on a farm near Constantinople. Listening to a philosophical rant, Candide replied, “That is all very well, but now we must tend our garden.”

I have now arrived at that point in my own story. There is a metaphorical garden in the acts and attitudes of a person’s life, and the treasures of that garden are love and respect. I have come to realize that the gathering of love and respect – from others and for myself – has been the real quest of my life.

“Now we must tend our garden.”

RUSH, "The Garden" ... 

The School of Life continues, HERE


Pseudo-scientific minds, like those of the scientist or the painter in love with the pictorial, both teaching as they were taught to become architects, practice a kind of building which is inevitably the result of conditioning of the mind instead of enlightenment. By this standard means also, the old conformities are appearing as new but only in another guise, more insidious because they are especially convenient to the standardizations of the modernist plan-factory and wholly ignorant of anything but public expediency. So in our big cities architecture like religion is helpless under the blows of science and the crushing weight of conformity--caused to gravitate to the masquerade in our streets in the name of "modernity." Fearfully concealing lack of initial courage or fundamental preparation or present merit: reactionary. Institutional public influences calling themselves conservative are really no more than the usual political stand-patters or social lid-sitters. As a feature of our cultural life architecture takes a backward direction, becomes less truly radical as our life itself grows more sterile, more conformist. All this in order to be safe?

How soon will "we the people" awake to the fact that the philosophy of natural or intrinsic building we are here calling organic is at one with our freedom -- as declared, 1776?

Frank Lloyd Wright, from A Testament

Tavener, "Song for Athene"

Performed by Sonus ...


On this day in 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag.

From ...
The first celebration of the U.S. Flag's birthday was held in 1877 on the 100th anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777. However, it is believed that the first annual recognition of the flag's birthday dates back to 1885 when school teacher, BJ Cigrand, first organized a group of Wisconsin school children to observe June 14 - the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes as the Flag's Birthday. Cigrand, now known as the 'Father of Flag Day,' continued to publically advocate the observance of June 14 as the flag's 'birthday', or 'Flag Day' for years.

Just a few years later the efforts of another school teacher, George Balch, led to the formal observance of 'Flag Day' on June 14 by the New York State Board of Education. Over the following years as many as 36 state and local governments began adopted the annual observance. For over 30 years Flag Day remained a state and local celebration.

In 1916, the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 became a nationally observed event by a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson. However, it was not designated as National Flag Day until August 3rd, 1949, when an Act of Congress designated June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Francis Scott Key

13 June 2021


An excellent album ...

Poco, "Rose of Cimmaron"


Ella Fitzgerald, "Cheek to Cheek"

Steve Winwood, "Vacant Chair"


The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

George Washington, from his September 17, 1796 Farewell Address


Rum and tonic.
   Gin you say?
     No, my dear. Not today.
       Barbados rum and tonic, please.
         Aged some years, ~80 degrees.
           Over ice in a highball glass.
             A nice dry tonic adds some class.
               Some lime as well, but just a squeeze.
                 Keep them coming and hold my keys.

Thank you, Inu A Kena


Sailing aboard the fabled JK4, Endeavour ...

From a past article in Yachting World ...
Endeavour sat in her Solent mudberth for three decades following the war, in the hands of a variety of owners. She was once saved from scrap and even sank in the Medina River in the seventies.


I eye the miniature Lake Superior brook trout I have grilled over an oak fire, the sliced tomatoes, fresh corn, and wild leeks vinaigrette, and think back to a winter day when it was a few degrees above zero and I was out on the ice of Bay de Noc near Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, beyond the last of the fish shanties. It doesn't matter how far but rather how long it took to get there—an hour out and an hour back to my hotel, the House of Ludington. Unfortunately, I was caught in a whiteout, a sudden snow squall out of the northwest, and I couldn't see anything but my hands and cross-country skis, a short, broad type called Bushwhackers, which allow you to avoid the banality of trails. I turned myself around and tried to retrace my path, but it had quickly become covered with the fresh snow. I had to stand there and wait it out because the evening before a tanker and a Coast Guard icebreaker had come into the harbor, which meant there was a long path of open water or some very thin ice out there in the utter whiteness. I would most certainly die if I fell in, and that would mean, among other things, that I would miss a good dinner, and that's what I was doing out here in the first place—earning, or deserving, dinner.

I became very cold in the half an hour or so that it took for the air to clear. I thought about food and listened to the plane high above, which was circling and presumably looking for the airport. With the first brief glimpse of shore in the swirling snow, I creaked into action, and each shoosh of ski spoke to me: Oysters, snails, maybe a lobster or the Kasseler Rippchen, the braised lamb shanks, a simple porterhouse or Delmonico, with a bottle or two of the Firestone Merlot or the Freemark Abbey Cabernet I had for lunch.

The idea is to eat well and not die from it—for the simple reason that that would be the end of my eating. I have to keep my cholesterol count down. There is abundant dreariness in even the smallest health detail. Skip butter and desserts, and toss all the obvious fat to the bird dogs. But as for the dinner that was earned by the brush with death, it was honest rather than great. As with Chinese food, any Teutonic food, in this case smoked pork loin, seems to prevent the drinking of good wine. In general, I don't care for German wines for the same reason I don't like the smell down at the Speedy Car Wash, but perhaps both are acquired tastes. The fact is, the meal required a couple of Heileman's Exports, even Budweisers, but that occurred to me only later.

Until recently, my home base in Leelanau County, in northern Michigan, was over sixty miles from the nearest first-rate restaurant, twice the range of the despised and outmoded atomic cannon. This calls for resourcefulness in the kitchen, or what the Tenzo in a Zen monastery would call “skillful means.” I keep an inventory taped to the refrigerator of my current frozen possibilities: local barnyard capons; the latest shipment of prime veal from Summerfield Farms, which includes sweetbreads, shanks for osso bucco, liver, chops, kidneys; and a little seafood from Charles Morgan in Destin, Florida—triggerfish, a few small red snappers, conch for chowder and fritters. There are two shelves of favorites—rabbit, grouse, woodcock, snipe, venison, dove, chukar, duck, quail—and containers of fish fumet, various glacés, and stocks, including one made from sixteen woodcock that deserves its own armed guard. I also traded my alfalfa crop for a whole steer, which is stored at my secretary's home because of lack of space.

In other words, it is important not to be caught short. It is my private opinion that many of our failures in politics, art, and domestic life come from our failure to eat vividly, though for the time being I will lighten up on this pet theory. It is also one of the writer's neuroses not to want to repeat himself—I recently combed a five-hundred-page galley proof of a novel, terrified that I may have used a specific adjective twice—and this urge toward variety in food can be enervating. If you want to be loved by your family and friends, it is important not to drive them crazy.

The flip side of the Health Bore is, after all, the Food Bully. Several years ago, when my oldest daughter visited from New York City, I overplanned and finally drove her to tears and illness by Christmas morning (grilled woodcock and truffled eggs). At the time, she was working at Dean & Deluca, so a seven-day feast was scarcely necessary. (New Yorkers, who are anyway a thankless lot, have no idea of the tummy thrills and quaking knees an outlander feels when walking into Dean & Deluca, Balducci's, Zabar's, Manganaro's, Lobel's, Schaller & Weber, etc.) I respected my daughter's tears, albeit tardily, having been brought to a similar condition by Orson Welles over a number of successive meals at Ma Maison, the last of which he “designed” and called me at dawn with the tentative menu as if he had just written the Ninth Symphony. We ate a half-pound of beluga with a bottle of Stolichnaya, a salmon in sorrel sauce, sweetbreads en croûte, and a miniature leg of lamb (the whole thing) with five wines, desserts, cheeses, ports. I stumbled to the toilet and rested my head in a greasy faint against the tiled walls. Welles told me to avoid hat-check girls, since they always prefer musicians. That piece of wisdom was all that Warner Brothers got for picking up the tab.

Jim Harrison, from "Sporting Food"


Telemann, Ouverture-Suite, TWV 55:G10, "Burlesque de Quixotte"

The Academy of Ancient Music soars through "His Attack on the Windmills" ...

Happy Birthday, Yeats

William Butler Yeats was born on this day in 1865.

God spreads the heavens above us like great wings
And gives a little round of deeds and days,
And then come the wrecked angels and set snares,
And bait them with light hopes and heavy dreams,
Until the heart is puffed with pride and goes
Half shuddering and half joyous from God's peace;
And it was some wrecked angel, blind with tears,
Who flattered Edane's heart with merry words.

Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house!
Let me have all the freedom I have lost;
Work when I will and idle when I will!
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.

I would take the world
And break it into pieces in my hands
To see you smile watching it crumble away.

Once a fly dancing in a beam of the sun,
Or the light wind blowing out of the dawn,
Could fill your heart with dreams none other knew,
But now the indissoluble sacrament
Has mixed your heart that was most proud and cold
With my warm heart for ever; the sun and moon
Must fade and heaven be rolled up like a scroll
But your white spirit still walk by my spirit.

When winter sleep is abroad my hair grows thin,
My feet unsteady. When the leaves awaken
My mother carries me in her golden arms;
I'll soon put on my womanhood and marry
The spirits of wood and water, but who can tell
When I was born for the first time?

The wind blows out of the gates of the day,
The wind blows over the lonely of heart,
And the lonely of heart is withered away;
While the faeries dance in a place apart,
Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,
Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;
For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and sing
Of a land where even the old are fair,
And even the wise are merry of tongue;
But I heard a reed of Coolaney say--
When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,
The lonely of heart is withered away.

W.B. Yeats, from The Land of Heart's Desire

12 June 2021

Eagles, "Twenty-One"

Their best line-up ...

Firefall, "Just Remember I Love You"

Another order of chicken nachos, please, and two more tall Coors Lights ...

Poco, "Call it Love"

Two more Coors Lights, please ...

Happy Birthday, Delp

Brad Delp was born on this day in 1951.

"Don't Look Back" ...

Chicken nachos, please ...


It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions.

Samuel Adams, from his “Loyalty and Sedition” essay, 1748


Before making camp on Double Adobe Creek I headed up a feeder creek, the dense riparian thicket of a long, narrow canyon. I felt a wonderfully mindless eagerness toward exploring the new territory, a palpable return to the curiosity of childhood when the responses to the natural world are visceral. The pulse races at an unrecognized welter of tracks (javelina), then softens, determining where mule deer and a single, large bobcat stopped to drink. Walking at twilight owns the same eeriness of dawn. The world belongs again to its former prime tenants, the creatures, and within the dimming light and crisp shadows you return to your own creature life that is so easily and ordinarily discarded. I have always loved best this time just before dark when the antennae stretch far and caressingly from the body. I heard the flap of a raven's wings before I saw it, and exchanged a series of greetings before heading back.

Jim Harrison, a journal entry recorded in the introduction to Just Before Dark


Mozart's Symphony No. 31 in D major, K.297(300a), "Paris", premiered on this day in 1778.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, performs ...


“The problem with the machines is their bagels are too perfect. They all look the same. So everything winds up looking like a Krispy Kreme donut, this perfectly round thing,” he says. Machines also need soft dough. “So you get a softer bagel, which is not what you want, you want a firm bagel.” The bagels prized by New Yorkers, with their puffy insides and shiny exteriors, are still best crafted by hand.

Jewish immigrants continued to operate and staff independent bagel shops well into the 2000s, but the dissolution of Local 338 opened up the bagel-making labor pool to non-Jewish workers. Like much of New York’s food-service workforce, many bagel rollers are Mexican. But many are of Thai descent. In How to Feed Friends and Influence People, Milton Parker, the late author and co-owner of Carnegie Deli, writes that the Thai government invited members of Local 338 to come to Thailand in the 1990s to train local residents. Government officials hoped to develop a local bagel industry; instead the newly minted bagel rollers immigrated to New York in search of work.

Due to their ability to work swiftly and efficiently, bagel rollers can earn a sizable salary by working for several shops at once. The fastest produce upwards of 500 bagels in an hour, hopping from store to store and handling as many as four yields daily. Fuentes, an immigrant from Mexico who has been rolling bagels since he learned from a Jewish-American boss 20 years ago, prefers the stability of working at one shop. But he understands why peers prefer otherwise.

11 June 2021

Derek and the Dominos, "It's Too Late/Matchbox "

With Cash and Carl Perkins ...

Blackberry Smoke, "All Over the Road"


Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement; get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel


Whenever you make a decision, whenever you act, you are never just doing, you are becoming.

Tom Morris

Thank you, Mr.  Wade, this is going on the wall in the classroom.

Roxy Music, "Manifesto"

I am that I am from out of nowhere
to fight without a cause
Roots strain against the grain
With brute force you'd better
Hold out when you're in doubt
Question what you see
And when you find an answer
Bring it home to me


Don’t be afraid of cooking, as your ingredients will know and misbehave. Enjoy your cooking and the food will behave; moreover it will pass your pleasure on to those who eat it.

Fergus Henderson, from The Complete Nose to Tail

Henderson's St. John Bread & Wine ...

Beef mince on duck fat toast ...

The technique is HERE.

Beethoven, Piano Sonata No.21, Op.53, "Waldstein"

Daniel Barenboim performs ...


Happy Birthday, Constable

Constable, Cloud Study, 1822

John Constable was born on this day in 1776.

Light – dews – breezes – bloom – and freshness; not one of which has yet been perfected on the canvas of any painter in the world. Painting is a science and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature. Why, then, may not a landscape be considered as a branch of natural philosophy, of which pictures are but experiments? We see nothing truly until we understand it.

John Constable

Constable: A Country Rebel ...

10 June 2021


"Hang care!" exclaimed he. "This is a delicious evening; the wine has a finer relish here than in the house, and the song is more exciting and melodious under the tranquil sky than in the close room, where the sound is stifled. Come, let us have a bacchanalian chant—let us, with old Sir Toby, make the welkin dance and rouse the night-owl with a catch! I am right merry. Pass the bottle, and tune your voices—a catch, a catch! The lights will be here anon."

Charles Ollier, from "The Haunted Manor-House of Paddington"

The Tubes Group, "Sushi Girl"

Hot green root sure is boss ...

The euphony transformed me and inundated my soul in a roguish countenance, the likes of which I had know well in younger days. Such impishness soon drove out the complaints of the day. 

Umberto Limongiello


An excellent book ...

The Specials, "Concrete Jungle"


The season for paper napkins and plates, bikinis, and other signs of disrespect to our flag is upon us.

Stop it.  The American flag is not a decoration.

Quit jamming the wooden stick flags in your flower gardens, too.  Stop it.  

4 U.S. Code § 8.Respect for flag

No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
  1. The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
  2. The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
  3. The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
  4. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
  5. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
  6. The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
  7. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
  8. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  9. The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
  10. No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
  11. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
(Added Pub. L. 105–225, § 2(a), Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1497.)

The Style Council, "Changing of the Guard

RUSH, "Jacob's Ladder"

The clouds prepare for battle
In the dark and brooding silence
Bruised and sullen storm clouds
Have the light of day obscured
Looming low and ominous
In twilight premature
Thunderheads are rumbling
In a distant overture

All at once,
The clouds are parted
Light streams down
In bright unbroken beams

Follow men’s eyes
As they look to the skies
The shifting shafts of shining
Weave the fabric of their dreams…

Ian Hunter, "Standin' in My Light"


Khufu (attrib.), Great Pyramid of Giza, c. 2500 BC

Remember that man lives only in the present, in this fleeting instant; all the rest of his life is either past and gone, or not yet revealed. Short, therefore, is man's life, and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein he dwells. 

Marcus Aurelius

Thanks for the image, Dan.

Happy Birthday, Courbet

Courbet, Self-Portrait with Pipe, 1849

Gustave Courbet was born on this day in 1819.

I deny that art can be taught, or, in other words, maintain that art is completely individual, and that the talent of each artist is but the result of his own inspiration and his own study of past tradition. The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found, it belongs to art, or rather to the artist who discovers it.

Gustave Courbet

Courbet, The Seaside at Palavas, 1854


An excellent album ...


In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship can survive. Don’t insist on your rights, don’t blame each other, don’t judge or condemn each other, don’t find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

09 June 2021

Keith Jarrett, "On Green Dolphin Street"

With Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock ...


Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts – the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. 

John Ruskin